Model S Plaid Timeline Means Tesla Should Launch Four New Vehicles Next Year

Tesla Model S Plaid prototype 1 photo
Photo: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
You don't need to think too much about Tesla's current lineup to know it only has four models if you remembered the S3XY acronym. Add the original Roadster to the mix if you must, and you get five models in twelve years.
Now, it looks as though Tesla is set to release no fewer than four new vehicles (well, one of them is an upgrade over an existing model, but it's a significant improvement) over the course of a single year. Or at least that's the plan.

A few months ago, Musk said that all three of the company's confirmed new vehicles at that time - the Semi, the Cybertruck, and the Roadster - would begin production over the following 12 to 18 months. Since this was July 2020, it meant we should see all three of them on the streets no later than the very beginning of 2022.

During yesterday's Battery Day, the CEO talked about the Model S Plaid - the three-motor version of the company's larger sedan - and revealed the fact it will be available before the end of next year. Tesla employees must be looking at 2021 with mixed feelings: on the one hand, it's great to see the company you work for moving forward and expanding rapidly, on the other, they're probably a bit worried about the work overflow that's bound to come with the launch of four new vehicles.

While the Cybertruck was a relatively new introduction (the presentation was only last year), both the Semi and new Roadster have been in development for a lot longer than that considering the company was able to show working prototypes as far back as late 2017. Still, as Elon Musk put it during the presentation the other day, making a prototype is "trivial" compared to actually building the vehicle and the production line to make it. That was a dig at competing companies such as Lucid Motors, no doubt, but it doesn't make it any less accurate.

2021 is shaping up as a defining moment for Tesla. If the company pulls off most of what it set out to accomplish, then there will be no doubt left over its place at the big boys' table. Sure, it may cut a few corners in terms of build quality and whatnot to get there, but nobody will ever doubt its production capabilities or its intent after such an impressive feat. Make or break? Not quite, but close.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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