The premium electric segment is well and truly heating up with the introduction of the Porsche Taycan and Lucid Air. While nothing has really beaten the Model S P100D in terms of century sprint times yet, Tesla isn’t going to be a sitting duck in this instance, instead taking the opportunity at its Battery Day event to unveil its the highly-anticipated tri-motor Model S Plaid.

Exact performance figures have yet to be announced yet, but here are the bold claims laid out during the presentation: 0-100 km/h in under 2 seconds, quarter-mile (402 m) time of less than 9 seconds, and a top speed of 320 km/h. Wowza.

If you’re keeping track, the numbers – if it turns out to be true in production form – will make the Tesla Model S Plaid the fastest-accelerating production car by quite a huge margin, well, until the electric hypercars such as the Lotus Evija and Pininfarina Battista come about. Second place? None other than the Tesla Model S Performance.

The quarter-mile sprint time of under 9 seconds also beats out the recently-launched competitor Lucid Air, which recorded a quarter-mile time of 9.3 seconds. Power output is claimed to be over 1,100 hp, with an unknown amount of torque.

So what does all that performance mean when put to the test on track? Elon Musk said during the announcement that the Tesla Model S Plaid lapped the WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway in 1:30.3, and figures that they can take another 3 seconds off that time. For comparison, the Lucid Air completed the lap in 1:33. Watch the lap in full below:

German publication Auto Motor und Sport previously also reported that a Model S Plaid prototype lapped the Nurburgring Nordshleife with an unofficial time of 7:13, beating the current record-holder for the fastest four-door vehicle around the ‘Ring – the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 – by approximately eight seconds.

Aside from pure performance, Tesla also claims that the Model S Plaid will have the longest range of all the other variants, boasting a zero-emissions range of 836 km from a single charge – again, exceeding the Lucid Air’s 832 km by a hair. The extra range comes courtesy of a bigger battery pack featuring the company’s latest tabless battery architecture.

The Tesla Model S Plaid can be ordered now with a price tag of USD139,999 (RM578k), with  first deliveries scheduled for late 2021.

[Images: YouTube Screencap/Tesla (Official images not unveiled yet)]


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Woon
Believes that a car is more than just numbers and facts, it's about the emotions they convey. Any car can be the right car for someone, but he'll probably pick a hot hatch over anything else.