Tesla Announces Model S Plaid But Devastatingly, It’s Not Plaid

Tesla Announces Model S Plaid But Devastatingly, It’s Not Plaid
Image: Getty Images

Elon Musk and crew have announced a new Model S offering — the Tesla Model S Plaid. B ut despite the name, we regret to report it’s not actually plaid in design.

Tesla hosted its 2020 Annual Shareholder Meeting and Battery Day, more commonly known as Tesla Battery Day, in the United States and revealed a new type of Model S is on the way.

It’s called the Tesla Model S Plaid and is marketed as having the fastest acceleration of any car produced. It’ll allegedly hit 100 km/h in under 2.1 seconds, beating out the Model S P100D and speedy competitor, the Porsche 918 Spyder.

If Tesla’s estimates are to be believed, and COVID-19 doesn’t further disrupt production, it’s due to hit the streets by late 2021.

Accoridng to Tesla’s Australian site, the Model S Plaid can reach a top speed of 320 km/h and has an estimated range of 840 kilometres — the longest of any model it offers. It starts from $189,990 before the Luxury Car Tax and other associated on-road costs are factored in.

Don’t expect it to ship looking like your favourite flannelette shirt though. The ‘Plaid’ in the upcoming model’s name, according to The Verge, is actually a reference to the 1987 move, Spaceballs. Like Tesla’s Insane and Ludicrous mode, also references to the film, Plaid is the final and fastest speed mode.

Outside of the Plaid announcement, Tesla unveiled a few other interesting tidbits in the three-hour event.

Musk committed again to developing affordable electric vehicles (EV) more in line with petrol-powered cars. He said changes to battery design and production would make a $US25,000 EV achievable soon. That cost would likely rise once it’s shipped down under but the intent is a promising step forward.

It was also revealed Tesla would move to eliminate the use of cobalt in batteries. Cobalt mines, such as ones in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have been linked to gross abuses of human rights, including the deaths of children working in them.

Musk said this change would make the vehicles more affordable but fell short of offering an exact deadline as to when its use would halt.