Tesla to launch high-end Model S ‘Plaid’ to fend off Mercedes, Porsche

A Tesla brand on a Model S is photographed within a Tesla dealership in New York.

Lucas Jackson | Reuters

Tesla will ship a high-performance model of its Model S on Thursday, aiming to reignite curiosity within the almost decade-old sedan and fend off rivals comparable to Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Lucid Motors within the luxurious electrical car market.

Tesla redefined electrical vehicles in 2012 when it launched its high-end Model S with a smooth design and lengthy driving vary, however is dealing with a raft of recent challengers.

The automaker plans to livestream the supply of the primary Model S Plaid at its U.S. manufacturing facility in Fremont, California, at 7 p.m. PT (0200 GMT, Friday), in accordance to its official Twitter account.

CEO Elon Musk has not mentioned whether or not he’ll take the stage, however he has been on Twitter selling the brand new mannequin, which is priced at $129,990 towards $79,990 for a long-range Model S.

The newest worth for the Model S Plaid is $10,000 greater than what was displayed a number of days in the past on Tesla’s web site.

“The Model S has not been changing a lot in terms of looks over the past almost decade. I think Tesla has to offer consumers something more,” mentioned Jessica Caldwell, govt director at automobile info supplier Edmunds mentioned.

The launch of the Model S Plaid, which has already been showcased on-line, has confronted delay and a few controversy over an anticipated airplane-style yoke steering wheel. Musk canceled one other variant, Model S Plaid+, which might have had a 33% greater driving vary than the Model S Plaid and used superior battery know-how, referred to as 4680 cells.

“The Model S Plaid is definitely intended to help reduce the migration of current Tesla owners out of Tesla,” mentioned Ed Kim, vice chairman at consultancy AutoPacific. “I think what we’re seeing now is that Tesla can no longer operate in a vacuum.”

He mentioned Model S Plaid is a low-volume, halo mannequin aimed toward showcasing the automaker and producing pleasure across the sedan, with Tesla needing to efficiently roll out new fashions like Cybertruck and Semi vans to develop its buyer base.

Musk has known as the Model S Plaid “the fastest accelerating car ever.”

The extra highly effective sports activities sedan goes from zero to 60 miles per hour (97 kph) in 1.99 seconds and has an estimated driving vary of 390 miles.

While it provides little change in physique fashion, in addition to yoke steering the Plaid is anticipated to characteristic enhanced gaming with new titles and extra highly effective processors.

The launch occasion was pushed again to Thursday, from June 3, 2021.

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