Tesla has revamped the two most expensive cars in its arsenal, with the Model S and Model X upgraded along with the automaker’s latest three-engine plaid variants. But UK buyers have to wait a year to get their hands on it.
The updates widen the gap between Elon Musk’s electric vehicles and the best of any other on the market. The S Plaid + model with top performance offers performance figures that put its closest rival – the Porsche Taycan – in the shade.
The updated Model S at its highest spec – Plaid + costs just under £ 131,000 and has an industry-leading range of 520 miles – reaches 60 mph in less than two seconds and has a top speed of 200 mph – enough to make supercars nervous do.
A few styling improvements have also been added to the mix. The standout feature is a new steering wheel in both the sedan and the SUV of the Model X, reminiscent of the sawed-off design of ‘KITT’, the self-driving Pontiac Trans, from the legendary 80s TV series Knight Rider.
The Top Trump Electric Car: This is the new Tesla Model S Plaid +, available to order now at a price of £ 130,980, with industry leading performance
The US manufacturer has revamped its two most expensive cars – the Model S and Model X – with both getting new cabin designs, including this sawed-off steering wheel
Tesla is now taking orders for drivers who can afford the staggering asking prices for these plug-in family cars.
Currently, however, it is said that the first shipments of the updated Model S and the updated Model X will not reach UK customers until 2022 – which equates to a waiting period of at least 12 months.
The entry-level version in the Model S sedan line is the twin-engine ‘Long Range’ which costs £ 83,980 and has a claimed driving distance of 412 miles on a full charge.
But it’s the addition of the Plaid and Plaid + variants that steal the headlines.
They don’t come cheap with the former starting at £ 110,980 and under £ 131,000 for Plaid + at £ 20.
There is also a three-engine plaid option for the Model X at the same price of £ 110,980 as the Sedan, although the range is 50 miles shorter (340 miles for the X Plaid and 390 miles for the S Plaid).
The entry-level version in the Model S sedan line is the twin-engine ‘Long Range’ which costs £ 83,980 and has a claimed driving distance of 412 miles on a full charge
The standard S model looks a lot like it did since the last facelift, but has the new interior and redesigned bumpers
The Model S Plaid and Plaid + offer a more aggressive design with flared arches, more aggressive bumpers and a small duck tail wing at the back
All three Plaid options share the same incredible, powerful electric drives that deliver 1,006 horsepower, meaning even the massive Model X SUV – weighing in at 2.5 tonnes, thanks in part to its extremely heavy hawk-wing rear doors – can get out of the Stand to 60 km / h can accelerate in 2.5 seconds and hit 163mph.
By comparison, Porsche’s most powerful electric Taycan – the £ 138,830 Turbo S – puts out 750 horsepower, goes 60 mph in 2.4 seconds and has a top speed of 162 mph. A drag race with Tesla’s barge-like SUV is likely to be close combat.
The US corporation has piqued the appetite of its militant supporters, and fans are getting a sneak preview of the Model S Plaid’s capabilities on track.
The Model S Plaid can travel 390 miles on a single charge, Tesla says. However, the Plaid + reportedly offers over 520 miles of range
Other subtle styling improvements for the car upgrade include this new alloy wheel design
The automaker not only drove the Model S Plaid to the Nürburgring last year to attempt a lap record for electric cars, but also sent a test driver down the legendary Laguna Seca Raceway in California – with a breathtaking lap time of 1:30:30.
Elon Musk said at the time that Tesla could cut this time by a further three seconds in order to make the Model S the “best track time of all production vehicles of all time”.
The US manufacturer confirmed that the updated models will also receive the brand’s latest autonomous technology. This means that the cars can drive on motorways themselves and automatically change lanes to overtake or avoid other road users.
Tesla’s ‘Summon’ system is also available, which allows the driver to take the car to its location over short distances using the company’s smartphone app. The car parking system has been strengthened so that it can maneuver into parallel and end-on areas without input from the driver.
The model X also gets the three-motor plaid drive. The Tesla SUV costs £ 110,980 and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds – an amazing feat for a vehicle weighing 2.5 tons
A Tesla Model X Long Range – with the existing twin-engine powertrain – continues to go on sale in the UK at a price of £ 90,980
All three of the Plaid options share the same incredible, powerful electric powertrains developing 1,006 horsepower, which means even the massive Model X SUV can reach speeds of 250 km / h. Doing this with a bike rack is probably not a good idea …
Contact your inner Michael Knight
The designers also made minor changes to the exterior design, including bumpers and new alloy wheels – though the Plaid versions of both have a lower splitter and diffuser, wider side skirts, and a duck-tailed rear spoiler.
Inside, however, the biggest changes have been made, with a brand new steering wheel that looks like it has been cut in half.
Some have compared it to the controls you would find on an airplane, thinking it definitely had a Knight Rider twist on it.
While it looks unconventional – and it’s also not all that handy when you’re trying to turn the car in a tight area like a three-point turn. However, it does offer a clearer view of the improved digital instrument cluster.
The sawn off steering wheel design should share the opinion. It has only two switches – one to control the windshield wipers and one to display the indicators. The cut-off shape gives you a clearer view of the digital instrument cluster behind it
Many have compared it to the controls on an airplane when we think it looks more like the steering wheel of KITT, the talking Pontiac Trans Am from the iconic 80s TV series Knight Rider
Like Michael Knight’s engine from the 1980s, the new Teslas will have its own self-driving modes – but only for use on motorways. The UK government is expected to allow the use of these autonomous systems later this year
One thing is certain, it will share the opinion of motorists.
And in contrast to the button-laden interior of David Hasselhoff’s talking car, the refreshed Tesla cabs are sparser than ever.
All of the functional controls that you normally find on the stems behind the steering wheel, like the gauges and wiper functions, are now built into the steering wheel itself and the dashboard, with just a single 17-inch tablet-style touchscreen.
The cabin also has a massive 17-inch tablet-style touchscreen that can even serve as a game console when the car is stationary
A second screen is now on the back of the center console for passengers to see in the back
Tesla has also redesigned the seat design for the second row in both cars. This should improve both legroom and headroom for passengers
The screen doubles as a game console, although this will likely only work when the car is stationary.
At the back of the center console is a second screen that passengers in the back seats can see. The chairs in the second row have also been redesigned to improve head and legroom.
Elon Musk also used social media to clarify that the launch date for the brand’s second generation Tesla Roadster has been delayed until 2022 – likely another 12 months for UK models given the existing backlog of sales models.
The brand’s CEO confirmed on Twitter that the timeframe of the project will be postponed even though the sporty electric car is in the final stages of its development program.
The electric Volkswagen ID.4 is available to order now, but only the high quality “1st Edition” cars which cost £ 37,800
Electric VW ID.4 SUV price confirmed – and ID.3 hatchback is Europe’s second best-selling car in December
In other electric car news announced this week, VW announced first prize for its newest electric car, the ID.4 SUV.
The five-seater family car is only available in a high-quality “1st Edition” for the first few weeks and costs from GBP 37,800 – including the state plug-in car grant.
Official figures show that the VW ID.3 was the second most registered car in Europe in December. The Tesla Model 3 was just behind in third place
With a 77 kWh battery and a single rear-mounted electric motor producing 201 horsepower, the power is sufficient for a maximum range of 310 miles.
It will certainly not be able to keep up with the new plaid models from Tesla. The ID.4 1st Edition takes 8.5 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km / h – and the top speed is limited to 100 km / h.
A full lineup with cheaper variants will be rolled out later in 2021, with prices moving closer to £ 30,000.
The arrival of the ID.4 is due to the demand for the first purpose-built electric car made for VW, the ID.3, saw a staggering sales performance in Europe in December.
The hatchback was the second best-selling car across the continent, with nearly 28,000 registrations last month.
Only the VW Golf was sold in larger numbers in December (30,073) while the Tesla Model 3 was the third most popular model in Europe – underscoring the huge demand for electric vehicles.
With the new Vauxhall Corsa-e, customers can get 30,000 miles of free electricity
Vauxhall, in partnership with British Gas, is currently offering 30,000 miles of free electricity and a free charge unit to buyers of its new Corsa-e, including those using PCP funding.
The offer gives buyers access to an exclusive UK gas-dual-fuel tariff, under which Vauxhall credits each customer account with the cost of calculating the equivalent of 30,000 miles over a period of three years.
As part of the offer, Corsa-e customers will also receive a free six-month subscription to the BP Pulse public charging network, the UK’s largest public charging system with more than 7,000 charging points across the country.
The Corsa-e is powered by a 50 kWh lithium-ion battery and has an emission-free range of up to 329 km. Prices start at £ 26,490.
Customers who currently purchase a Vauxhall Corsa-e (pictured) valued at £ 26,490 will receive a number of benefits. The automaker is partnering with British Gas to offer 30,000 miles of free electricity and a free charger to buyers of the electric supermini, including those using PCP funding
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