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New Tesla Model S Plaid With 21-Inch Wheels Gets Official EPA Range Estimate

If you specify the Plaid with standard 19-inch Tempest wheels, the $130,000 luxury sedan is much obliged to cover 390 miles (628 kilometers) on a full charge. Level up to the 21-inch Arachnid wheels that cost $4,500, and the range estimate drops to an EPA-rated 348 miles (560 kilometers).
 Tesla Model S Plaid with 21-inch wheels 8 photos
Tesla Model S Plaid with 21-inch wheels EPA ratingTesla Model S PlaidTesla Model S PlaidTesla Model S PlaidTesla Model S PlaidTesla Model S PlaidTesla Model S Plaid
As you already know, the wheel-tire combination plays a huge role in terms of driving range. Wider tires and larger diameters for the wheels may improve grip, traction, and therefore handling and launches, but we have to remember that higher rolling resistance defeats the purpose of an EV. Or - better said - most EVs because the Plaid isn’t your regular eco-friendly car.

There are three main purposes for the strip-slaying Plaid, starting with slightly larger profit margins for the Palo Alto-based automaker. Tesla has also had trouble selling the Model S in the past couple of years because of the Model 3 and Model Y, and the launch of the Plaid should bring in more customers to the full-size sedan. And finally, Tesla differs from legacy automakers who tried their hands at making EVs by integrating excitement.

The closest rivals to the Plaid in a straight line come in the form of all-electric hypercars, especially the Rimac Nevera. The Croatian company quotes a 62-mph (100-kph) acceleration of merely 1.85 seconds, and the quarter-mile sprint is over in a whopping 8.6 seconds with the proper setup.

Coincidence or not, you can’t hit the claimed 1.99-second acceleration to 60 mph (97 kph) in the Plaid unless you have the proper wheel-tire combo, a VHT-covered strip, Cheetah Stance activated, and the first foot of rollout subtracted. In the real world, on plain old asphalt and without rollout, the most the Plaid can offer is 2.28 seconds according to MotorTrend’s testing.

That’s still more than impressive for a five-seat luxobarge, especially one that weighs 4,766 pounds (2,162 kilograms) before any optional extras.


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