• The Tesla Model S Plaid Is Astronomically Expensive

The Tesla Model S Plain is impressive in every aspect, but it also costs a whopping $140,000

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The highly anticipated Plaid version of the Tesla Model S was unveiled by Elon Murk at the company’s Battery Day event on September 20. Musk announced the car’s specs, and since then, the range-topping version was added to the Model S’ online configurator. The Model S Plaid is mighty impressive when it comes to performance and range, but it’s also incredibly expensive, costing twice as much as the Long Range model and some $45,000 more than the Performance version. It’s also the only Model S that fetches more than $100,000 before options.

The Tesla Model S Plaid breaks the bank

The Model S was never an affordable car, but the Plaid model goes into luxury performance car territory with a sticker of $139,990 before options.

That’s a whopping $65,000 more than the Long Range Plus model and $45,000 more than the Performance trim.

This sticker puts the Model S Plaid into Porsche Taycan territory. The American EV costs around $36,000 more than the Porsche Taycan 4S, but it’s about $11,000 more affordable than the Taycan Turbo. The German electric sedans retail from $103,800 and $150,900, respectively. On the other hand, the Model S Plaid trumps both models when it comes to performance, and it will also obliterate the much more expensive Taycan Turbo S, priced from a massive $185,000.

While expensive, the Tesla Model S Plaid is quite impressive

The Tesla Model S Plaid Is Astronomically Expensive
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The Model S Plaid may cost a lot compared to other versions of the electric sedan, but you do get some impressive performance specs for the money.

The Plaid drivetrain features three electric motors, one more than other variants of the Model S.

It’s unclear if the sedan features two motors at the rear and one in the front or the other way around, but it improves both performance and handling through torque vectoring. The three-motor layout is joined by a larger battery of yet undisclosed capacity. The biggest battery pack you can get in the Model S is a 100 kWh unit, so the Plaid model should feature 120- or 130-kWh stacks.

In all, the Model S Plaid will put a massive 1,100 horsepower to the pavement. That’s a whopping 332 horses more than the Model S Performance trim.

The Tesla Model S Plaid Is Astronomically Expensive
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But even though technical details are not yet available.

Tesla did reveal that the Model S Plaid will be able to hit 60 mph in less than two seconds.

That’s at least three tenths quicker than the Model S Performance, and it will probably be the quickest car in the world when it arrives.

Top speed is also rated at 200 mph, 37 mph more than the Model S Performance. A 200-mph benchmark is mighty impressive for an EV, and it almost matches the top speeds of gasoline-powered supercars.

Range is also up a considerable amount. Although the more powerful Performance model offers a smaller range than the Long Range Plus version, the improved power ratings of the Plaid come with a longer range, too, mostly thanks to the bigger battery. Tesla says the Plaid model will return more than 520 miles of range per single charge. That’s an improvement of at least 172 miles compared to the Performance and at least 118 miles over the Long Range Plus. It’s also a new record for the electric car market, assuming no one else will release a 500+ mile EV in the near future.

The Tesla Model S Plaid might be better than the Lucid Air

2021 Lucid Air Fast Facts and Picture Gallery Exterior
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Electric Range Varies Between 406 Miles and 517 Miles, Depending On Trim and Equipment
The Entry-Level Model Should Achieve Around 375 Miles on a Single Charge

The recently unveiled Lucid Air is very similar to the Model S Plaid in terms of performance. It features a dual-motor setup with up to 1,080 horsepower in range-topping trim. However, the Air hits 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, at least a half-second slower than the Model S Plaid. The range-topping model, called the Dream Edition, boasts the highest range at 517 miles per charge. This means that the Model S Plaid could deliver marginally better mileage. As far as pricing goes, the Lucid Air is almost $30,000 more expensive than the Plaid in top trim, coming in at $169,000.

When will the Tesla Model S Plaid arrive?

The Tesla Model S Plaid Is Astronomically Expensive
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Although it’s already listed in the configurator, the Plaid is not yet ready for deliveries. Elon Musk said that production would begin in October or November 2021, so it’s at least one year away. Given that Tesla is known for missing its deadlines, the Plaid might not reach customers until early 2022. But with prototypes already tested on race tracks all over the world, let’s hope that Tesla hits its self-imposed deadline this time around.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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