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Tesla and Elon Musk Preach to the Converted With The Model S Plaid

Tesla created suspense by delaying the Model S Plaid presentation. It even delayed the presentation by more than an hour compared to the scheduled time. In the end, it revealed everything people expected except for a new motor technology and nothing else. What Elon Musk and his company did was to preach to the converted about what they deem as “the best car in the world.”
Tesla Model S Plaid Presentation 29 photos
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Franz von Holzhausen entered the stage with the same dead-blow hammer he used to dent the door of the Cybertruck. He claimed he had it because the company would smash some records with the Model S Plaid. However, he should have carried a metal ball instead: he crushed the unbreakable Cybertruck glasses with one of them.

After the designer introduction, Musk took a Model S Plaid from the Fremont track onto the stage and started his presentation. The Tesla CEO said the point the new derivative made is that electric cars can have a high performance and be desirable, but Tesla has already proven that nine years ago. The Model S Plaid was more about facing a competition that promises to beat it, and the 4680 batteries were crucial for that to happen. Musk did not mention why the Plaid+ was canceled in his presentation.

Without that trump card, Tesla’s engineering team had to make do with what it had in hands and created an electric motor with carbon-sleeved rotors. It would be light and more resistant due to the insane level of rotations per minute it can achieve. It is not clear how much better it is than the Lucid Air’s compact motor unit, but we’ll probably learn about that when Lucid starts delivering its sedan.

Tesla also revised the car interior, claimed the Model S Plaid was the most aerodynamic production car in the world—with a drag coefficient of 0.208—introduced the yoke steering wheel, announced a new heat pump, and improved thermal management.

With the new thermal management, the Model S Plait would be able to present “relentless performance,” doing 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) runs multiple times. That’s great, but it is something the Porsche Taycan introduced before the new Tesla. Regarding the low drag coefficient, it would technically be 0.21. The Mercedes-Benz EQS presents 0.20. So Tesla may be right just until the German company starts delivering its electric flagship.

On the stage, Musk defended the lack of a gear selector again. The Tesla Model S Plaid will anticipate if you want to go ahead or backward on its own. Apparently, you can also control that on the infotainment screen, but we will have to see how that works out.

In terms of performance, the tri-motor Tesla would accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 1.99 seconds, but there is a catch. The car only achieves that number “with first foot of rollout subtracted.” Jason Fenske, from Engineering Explained, made a video to show that the rollout method means the acceleration number Tesla presented is deceiving. If the car were actually going from 0 to 60 mph, it would take more than 2 seconds to get there.

In the end, Tesla’s advantage against its competitors may be just that it hit the market with the Model S Plaid earlier than the Lucid Air and the Mercedes-Benz EQS. When those two models also become available, many of the company’s claims will vanish. Deliveries for the new Model S started immediately after the presentation for fans that accepted to pay $10,000 more than the price the car previously had. Its price raised that much one day before deliveries began.

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