Tesla Model S Plaid takes off in reviews, even without a shifter


The first reviews have arrived and the new Tesla Model S Plaid is a verified speed demon.

Looking at early reviews of Tesla’s latest car – a revamped Model S sedan with three electric motors and more powerful acceleration – the posts are mostly impressed, despite doubts about a redesigned steering wheel and gearshift.

The first 25 Plaid cars were delivered at a launch event in Fremont, Calif., Last month, where CEO Elon Musk first presented the $ 130,000 vehicle. In the weeks that followed, the fast electric vehicle (it goes from 0 to 100 km / h in less than two seconds) was tested and checked.

MotorTrend has published four separate reviews for the Plaid: one only on the forklift; another was a speed test; a third was a preview of the new interior, with a second screen on the rear and a new user interface on the now horizontal touchscreen on the front; and finally, a practical guide on launching the car to record speeds.

The Plaid passed the speed test, hitting Musk’s promised 0-60 time of just under two seconds.

As for the steering wheel, MotorTrend called the video game redesign “cool,” but ultimately the “yoke is hit and miss” when it comes to steering the car.

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Credit: tesla

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal called the Plaid a “technical tour de force,” praising its speed and quiet driving. It was the power and thrust that ruined (in a good way) critic Dan Neil.

“… the Plaid had a melancholy effect on me at times,” Neil wrote. “Dude, nothing will ever be fast again.”

Car and driver recommends saving your money and sticking with the revamped Model S, which still costs almost $ 80,000 to boot without the expensive features of Plaid. It has better range than the Plaid performance: 405 miles on a single charge compared to Plaid’s 390-mile range.

“The 1,020 horsepower Plaid model sounds compelling, but its six-figure asking price is a diminishing value, unless you have to have a car with the performance of a Top Fuel dragster,” wrote reviewer Drew Dorian.

Meanwhile, “E for Electric” host Alex Guberman looked past frightening gears and put the automatic shifter to the test. With the Plaid, for the first time, Tesla removed the gear selector, although there are touchscreen and physical button controls as a backup.

He was surprised at how quickly he adapted to the lack of a shifter and the car’s ability to predict whether it wanted to back up, drive, or park based on the car’s position, and whether the driver has buckled his seat belt or not. Tesla had always had a more traditional shifter on the right side of the steering wheel.)

Edmunds wasn’t as jubilant about the Tesla variant as the many YouTube influencers in the EV space, but he still gave the Plaid high marks despite the hefty price tag. Overall, the automotive data company gave the latest Tesla a rating of 8.1 out of 10. Car and driver, the review recommended the “regular” long-range Tesla Model S.


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As Edmunds said, “So is the updated Model S one of the best EVs on the market for 2021? We would say so.

Seems like all that extra speed justifies the hefty price tag of the Plaid, but maybe not enough to make it the best EV available.

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