Tesla Cancels Model S Plaid+, Regular Plaid Is “Just so Good”

by Denis Gurskiy

If you were holding out for the absolute pinnacle of electric sedan performance with the Model S Plaid+, well I’m sorry to say that you will have to find a different car. But don’t worry, I hear that the Model S Plaid is pretty much just as good.

With the announcement of the Model S refresh in early 2021, we saw that the old Performance models would be replaced with Plaid versions. Tesla announced both a Plaid and Plaid+ Model S that would both feature a tri-motor setup, alongside the regular dual-motor long-range version.

Both of these versions would have face-melting speeds and would be able to hit 60 mph in under 2 seconds. While the Plaid+ was planned to marginally be faster than the regular Plaid, there is no way you would know the difference without bringing out measuring equipment. What did set apart the Plaid+ from the regular Plaid was that it had significantly more range.

While the Plaid is supposed to have 390 miles of range, the Plaid+ was aiming at over 520 miles of range. This was to be achieved by utilizing Tesla’s new 4680 cells that they showed off at Battery Day (and where they announced the Plaid in the first place). Both of these models have faced multiple delays already with the Plaid+ not planned to be released until 2022. However, ahead of the Plaid unveiling event, Musk took to Twitter to share that the Plaid+ Model S was canceled. 

The exact reasoning besides the Plaid being almost as good as the Plaid+ is unknown. If you are looking strictly for speed, then yes, they are essentially the same. However, while 390 miles of range is more than enough for most people, having that type of speed with a range of over 500 miles would have been special. It also gives the crown of most range back to their new rival, Lucid, whose Lucid Air has a range of up to 517 miles.

This decision also opens up uncertainty regarding Tesla’s ability to produce their new battery cells. The 4680 cells are a key piece in the production of vehicles in both of Tesla’s upcoming factories in Berlin and Texas and so who knows what the plan moving forward will be if battery production can’t be done in time for vehicles to come off the line.

Could it also be an unwarranted fear and perhaps Tesla truly thinks that the Plaid+ is redundant and no one needs 500 miles of range? Perhaps. We’ll soon enough get our answer when cars start moving off the lines in Giga Berlin and Texas by the end of this year.

What do you guys think was the reasoning? Was it a sensible move? Let us know down in the comments below.

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