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Tesla begins deliveries of its new S Plaid model

Tesla began deliveries of its new Model S Plaid, a high-performance version of the company’s flagship electric sedan, on Thursday with a live event at the company’s test track near its factory in Fremont, California .

The company’s design leader, Franz von Holzhausen, served as master of ceremonies and carried a sledgehammer onstage to introduce CEO Elon Musk – a humorous allusion to an earlier event in which von Holzhausen smashed and smashed the windows of a Cybertruck on stage .

Musk made his entry on Thursday driving a Model S Plaid around the Tesla test track and on stage before stepping out to applause from selected customers and fans invited to the event.

Previously, Musk had promised the long-awaited Tesla Model S Plaid would deliver 0 to 60 mph acceleration in less than 2 seconds, and he shouted about “breaking the 2-second barrier” repeatedly on Thursday.

Musk said the new Model S would be “faster than Porsche but safer than Volvo”. But he also highlighted some of his own comprehensive safety claims, noting that the NHTSA has not yet evaluated the Model S Plaid for safety.

“We’re in production and we’re going to ship the first 25 cars now, and basically we’re going to get to several hundred cars a week soon and 1,000 cars a week in the next quarter,” Musk said.

According to the Tesla website, the S Plaid tri-engine four-wheel-drive model produces 1,020 horsepower, has a battery with an EPA-estimated range of up to 390 miles, and can reach a top speed of 200 miles per hour. , if equipped with the proper wheels and tires. They won’t be available until the fall, according to the site’s fine print.

On Thursday, Musk offered no significant details about the Plaid Model S battery, simply saying, “We have a brand new battery” (Tesla is struggling to build a 4680 battery cell that it designed and plans to use in its own vehicles someday .)

Musk quickly moved from briefly mentioning the battery to showing images of the Model S Plaid propulsion unit and boasted of a “carbon-encased” rotor that is part of the vehicle’s electric motor.

“You can take this engine by hand and it can accelerate a two-ton car to 60 miles per hour in 2 seconds. That kind of heavyweight is insane,” he said.

He noted that the Model S Plaid can achieve 187 miles of range in just 15 minutes connected to a Tesla Supercharger. Participants would have a chance to drive around the track, he said.

Musk also praised a myriad of changes within the Model S Plaid, most of which were previously disclosed.

The four-door sedan includes a steering wheel instead of a traditional steering wheel, a 17-inch center touchscreen and a separate 8-inch rear display for passenger entertainment, front and rear charging ports that can carry laptops and other mobile devices and processing power that it says puts its systems on a par with modern gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5.

Tesla Model S Plaid interior
SourcE: CNBC

When Musk began discussing the UI updates to be featured on the Model S Plaid, attendees began harassing him, screaming for “benchmarks,” a feature they’ve long wanted the company to deliver. With waypoints, drivers can enter multiple destinations into a trip within Tesla’s navigation system.

“You really want benchmarks,” the CEO said, nodding. “Okay, let’s make reference points. O. Okay,” Musk chuckled.

He also said the Model S Plaid with autopilot activated can guess the direction, location and route the driver wants to take. “This will continue to minimize the amount of information you need to do until the car just reads your mind,” Musk said.

He did not specify which versions of Tesla software would be needed in Model S Plaid software to enable this level of automation.

Tesla’s standard Autopilot and Premium Full Self Driving options do not make the company’s cars autonomous. Rather, they are driver assistance systems that require active supervision at all times, per company owners manuals and company communication with government offices, including the California DMV.

Fans expect deliveries of the Model S Plaid to begin earlier this year, after Musk said the company had already started production in January in a revenue call from Tesla. Tesla then reported that Model S (and Model X) production dropped to zero on Q1 vehicle deliveries and production refresh.

Ahead of Thursday’s heavily promoted delivery event, originally scheduled for June 3, Musk said on Twitter that Tesla also canceled the Model S Plaid plus variant that would have cost drivers around $150,000 and promised a tempting battery range. of about 520 miles.

Musk said, in a couple of tweets promoting the Model S Plaid before deliveries begin: “Plaid+ has been cancelled. No need, as the Plaid is so good, adding “0 to 60 mph in less than 2 seconds. Fastest production car ever made of any kind. It has to be felt to be believed. ”

On Thursday, the price of the Model S Plaid increased by $10,000 to $129,990 – compared to $79,990 for a Model S 2021 long-range, four-wheel-drive, twin-engine version of the sedan. electric with battery life of 405 miles (according to Tesla’s website, which previously listed it at 412 miles).

Plaid’s nickname for Tesla’s high-performance version of the Model S is a continuation of the company’s tribute to “Spaceballs” – the 1980s Star Wars parody co-written, produced and directed by Mel Brooks. In “Spaceballs”, the spacecraft accelerates from the speed of light to ridiculous, then ridiculous, and finally to “chess”. Previous versions of Tesla vehicles featured Ludicrous mode, which Tesla first announced in July 2015.

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