The tri-motor Tesla Model S with “Plaid” drivetrain will be available from late 2021 in Australia, priced from an eye-popping $A189,990 – but there is uncertainty about its interior seating options.
First spotted tearing around the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife testing track in November 2019, the Plaid Model S will be Tesla’s most powerful volume production vehicle to date.
As shared by Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk during the company’s Battery Day in September, the Model S Plaid will have a driving range of 837km on a single charge, a top speed of 320km/hr and acceleration from a standing start to 96km/hr in less than two seconds.
According to a video released by Tesla on Twitter during Battery Day, the Model S Plaid will deliver more than 1,100 horsepower, which is up there with Mercedes-Benz’ hybrid AMG Project One, the McLaren hybrid Speedtail and the recently launched, range-topping Lucid Air Dream Edition.
The only thing beyond Ludicrous is Plaid
— Tesla (@Tesla) September 23, 2020
Available in the US from $US139,990, Tesla has since updated its website with Australian pricing from $A189,990, which after adding on-road costs and taxes rises to a circa $A228,000-$A243,000 depending on which state you live in.
In addition to delivering some of the most extraordinary specifications of any road vehicle around, Tesla has been planning for the Model S Plaid to offer a return to a seven-seater option.
In 2019 Musk referred on Twitter to this, saying, “… the actual production 7 seat Model S Plaid variant … goes into production around Oct/Nov next year.”
Tesla originally offered a 5+2 seat configuration in earlier versions of the Model S but copped criticism for the small size of the extra two seats.
Musk confirmed on Twitter in 2019 that the new configuration would feature “larger passengers than before”, although he did not clarify if this meant it would fit larger children, or small adults.
No, original 5 forward facing seats plus 2 rear-facing smaller seats. The new rear seats will accommodate larger passengers than before.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 17, 2019
Certainty about whether this configuration happens at all is now in disarray however, as Tesla does not list this configuration as an option on its website.
Musk responded to a question from a follower about this on Friday morning (Australian time), simply saying, “You never know.”
You never know
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 15, 2020
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.