Tesla has given its debut product, the Model S, a facelift that focuses on an interior makeover and a new variant called Plaid+ that has over 1,100 hp power output.

Tesla first teased the performance capabilities of the Plaid during the Battery Day event.

The newly introduced Plaid+ variant features a motor on the front axle and two motors at the rear to make it a three-motor setup. Tesla says the combined output is well over 1,100 hp!

With such an excessive output figure, Tesla quotes the Model S Plaid+ is the fastest accelerating production car for ‘0-60 mph’ and ‘1/4 mile’ sprint times. The figures are under 1.99 seconds and under 9.0 seconds respectively, even faster than the Bugatti Chiron with 1,500 hp.

A marginally “slower” Plaid variant is also on offer, if one prefers so. It still has the same three-motor setup, but power output is slightly reduced to 1,020 hp. Acceleration times for the said benchmark sprints are 1.99 seconds for the 0-60 mph and 9.23 seconds for the quarter-mile (400 metres) drag.

Both variants can reach a top speed of 200 mph or 322 km/h. Driven like a regular commuter car, the Plaid+ has a range of over 830 kilometres while the Plaid is about 200 kilometres lower.    

Pricing of the two Plaid variants in the US is in between the Porsche Taycan 4S and the Taycan Turbo, with the Plaid starting from US$112,990 and the Plaid+ from US$132,990.

A more regular and accessible Model S Long Range is available at US$72,990, with a driving range of 660 kilometres and a 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds.

The introduction of the Plaid variants also coincides with the makeover of the interior. The old dashboard with the portrait-oriented 17-inch touch screen has now been revamped, together with restyled door panels to match.

A new display with 2200 x 1300 resolution is now mounted in a more natural landscape orientation. It still measures the same 17 inches. The biggest talking point in this new interior is the steering wheel which Tesla calls the Yoke Steering.

The compact, rectangular-shaped steering wheel looks as if it was taken out of a GT3 racing car. All the Mercedes-Benz sourced controls and stalks have been discarded and their functions fully integrated on the new Yoke Steering.

While the Ferrari Roma has the same design approach with buttons and switches for the indicators, lights and wipers, the Yoke Steering in the new Model S only has two scroll buttons alongside touch-sensitive buttons. The new interior with the Yoke Steering will also be fitted in the Model X crossover.

Rear passengers now have their own entertainment screen fitted at the centre console and access downloadable games through Tesla Arcade. Other interior features include a 22-speaker premium sound system, UV- and Infrared-cut glass panels and wireless smartphone chargers.

On the exterior, the styling exercise is limited to the front and rear bumpers, rim designs and the chrome trim pieces now in gloss black.

The new Model S and its yoke steering will reach dealerships and new buyers as soon as next month, but those who ordered the Plaid+ will need to wait until the end of the year to experience that 1,100 hp output.


GALLERY