“Look, it’s an eleven-year-old electric car that everyone has seen by now, with a few more powerful engines and a weird steering wheel.” You would say yes. You would say so. The Model S has ensconced itself in history as one of the most important cars of our time. It started the electric revolution and was, just as Musk envisioned, the car that made the EV sexy.
There are now newer Teslas, more desirable Teslas and, above all, cheaper Teslas. Not to mention the beauty that other brands offer. But the S is not going to mope in a corner. Its most recent update gave it a refreshed look, an interior with more space in the back and a horizontal central screen as we see in other Teslas. There are two revised versions: you could previously choose from the Long Range and the Performance, now there are simply the Tesla Model S and the Model S Plaid.
The Tesla Model S Plaid rewrites the rules
The first one already has everything you expect. Two engines, from 0 to 100 in 3.2 seconds, a range of 634 kilometers, Supercharged with 250 kW. But the Plaid… It held the internet in its grip for years and has recently turned things upside down. Eleven years later, we see another Model S rewrite the rules.
The Plaid has three engines – two rear, one front – and 1,020 horsepower. Tesla never communicates capabilities, but they are so proud of this that they can’t resist. You don’t see anything special about it, apart from a carbon spoiler and a sticker on the boot lid, but it can reach 322 km/h just like that. More importantly, its 0-to-100 time is 2.1 seconds and its price is 140 grand. That means pulling out Bugatti’s for M3 money. Let that sink in for a moment.
Passengers have a hard time in the Plaid
On a roller coaster you will be refused if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant, but surprisingly there is no disclaimer when you get into a Model S Plaid. It’s something to be aware of, because the passengers we took with us during our test are traumatized forever. Their breath caught, they wanted to grab hold of things that weren’t there. Necks are hurt, imaginations trampled.
We’re not exaggerating – it’s really intense. And if you want more, you can use the battery ‘prep for peak performance’ and use launch control, which causes the front suspension to collapse and the rear to rise like a sprinter for his record attempt. Anyone who still says that EVs can’t be fun really needs to experience this.
De Model S Plaid is absurd
Well, the S is heavy and you won’t be able to do anything extraordinary with it in corners – unless you just run the rear engines and sacrifice your tires to the torque gods. But on straights you are in charge anyway. You have completed acceleration. Not only from 0 to 100, but certainly also during intermediate accelerations, you don’t have to tolerate anyone in front of you.
And the fascinating thing is that the smart software always keeps you in control. Because yes, in most earthly conditions there is not enough grip for a Plaid with its right pedal against the bulkhead. Tesla once set a goal to get people into EVs because it would be better for the world. In that (and many other things) the Plaid is totally nonsensical.
He contributes nothing, makes no sense and yes, that yoke is just idiotic. But if someone asks us again what the most mind-bogglingly fast car we’ve ever driven is, we’ll have our answer ready. The Tesla Model S Plaid. He is magical.
Specifications of the Tesla Model S Plaid (2023)
3 electric motors
100 kWh (battery)
0-100 km/u in 2,1 s
top 322 km/u
18,7 kWh/100 km
>10 hours at 11 kW
23 min. at 250 kW (80%)
4.970 x 1.964 x
1.445 mm (l x b x h)
2,960 mm (wheelbase)
793 l (luggage)
€ 139.990 (NL)
€ 140.970 (B)