Tesla will release it’s hotly anticipated tri-motor Model S Plaid from late 2021, and will consider a “tight wolverine” Cybertruck for overseas markets, including Australia CEO and co-founder Elon Musk revealed on Tuesday (US time).
Speaking at the EV maker’s Battery Day in Fremont, Musk shared a video of the Plaid Model S that originally broke cover in 2019 at the infamous Nürburgring track.
Musk said that the Plaid Model S, which is a step up from the Performance variant known for its “Ludicrous Mode”, will have an incredible driving range of 837km on a single charge, topping the Lucid Air’s planned 832km.
With a top speed of 320km/hr, the Plaid will be able to reach 60mph (96.5km/hr) from a standing start in less than 2 seconds.
In addition to achieving an unofficial lap time 10 seconds faster than the previous official record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in November, the Plaid Model S also completed a 1:36.555 lap time at the Laguna Seca during advanced R&D testing of our Model S Plaid powertrain and chassis prototype last September.
According to Tesla, this was a second faster than the record for a four-door sedan.
The Plaid Model S is already available for order from Tesla – but only for those with deep pockets. It is on sale in the $US139,990, which equates to a hefty $A196,294.
In addition to news about the Plaid Model S, Musk also shared more news on the Cybertruck, which has attracted more than half a million pre-orders.
Musk thinks that the polarising, ground-breaking Cybertruck could be in high demand, saying he thinks Tesla could sell as many as 250,000 a year.
It was unveiled in 2019 attracting a wide range of reactions for its angular exoskeleton and innovative design using cold-rolled steel, armoured glass and massive dimensions.
It is available for a refundable pre-order at $US100 ($A150) a pop, and is also available in a $US69,900 ($A98,140 converted) tri-motor version as well as a $US39,990 ($A56,074 converted) rear single motor and $US49,990 ($A70,096 converted) dual-motor version.
However, the dimensions of the Cybertruck may not be approved in overseas markets – James Goodwin, now ex-head of road safety form ANCAP said in 2019 he questioned if it would pass Australia road design rules due to its angular design if it cannot crumple on impact.
“You basically can’t make the Cybertruck [for other markets]. It’s impossible,” Musk said on Tuesday.
But he added that Tesla may make a smaller version for overseas markets – presumably including Australia which is one of the largest pre-order markets according to crowd-sourced data.
“I think we will probably make an international version of the Cybertruck that will be kinda smaller, kinda like a tight wolverine package,” said Musk.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.