Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the long-awaited Model S Plaid+ has been cancelled.
Normally, the sudden elimination of an entire trim level would be cause for alarm, but Musk — who as usual announced the move via Twitter — said the long-range Plaid was given the Ziggy because there was “No need, as Plaid is just so good.”
The new vehicle makes its public debut courtesy of a live stream delivery event at the company’s Fremont, California plant where it’s built June 10 at 10 p.m. EDT. Ever the promoter, Musk offered a little hype for the new model tweeting, “0 to 60mph in under 2 secs. Quickest production car ever made of any kind. Has to be felt to be believed.”
Musk introduced the Plaid not long after Lucid Motors began hyping the performance of its soon-to-arrive Air sedan. He wasn’t content to sit on the sidelines after the recent of introduction of the Lucid Air essentially put “Baby in the corner” with a 500-mile-plus range and stunning track times.
In addition to the sub-2-second sprint to 60, the Plaid runs the quarter mile in just 9 seconds — both besting Lucid’s public times for the Air — and with a range of 390 miles. Yup. It’s pricey, starting at $114,000.
Musk also talked about the Plaid’s performance at Laguna Seca, which it scorched in a time of 1:30.3 and it could be about “3 seconds lower,” he noted during the company’s Battery Day last September.
It was rumored last week that Musk was contemplating adding rockets to the Plaid to get the 0 to 60 time down to 1.1 seconds. The tale claims Musk could source a pair of small rockets from SpaceX; however, it was quickly scuttled by experts noting that rocket power is notoriously uneven, which would cause the vehicle to be dangerously difficult to control.
Musk nor Tesla officials never commented on the possibility — for the Model S Plaid. However, the company confirmed in January they remain a possibility for the Roadster. It’s likely the rumor was a conflation of the details of the Roadster, which is also set to race from 0 to 60 in less than 2 seconds.
Competition from Lucid
Prior to the announcement of the Plaid edition, Lucid appeared to have stolen some thunder from Tesla, if only briefly. The sedan races to 60 mph in just 2.5 mph and handles the quarter mile in 9.9 seconds, although CEO Peter Rawlinson said he’s personally bested that time.
The sedan achieved what would be an industry-record 517 miles per charge in an EPA simulation run by the independent EV consulting firm FEV North America. That’s over 100 miles more than the newest and longest-range version of the Tesla Model S — prior to the Plaid — with only a slightly larger, 110 kilowatt-hour battery pack.
Rawlinson has made a big thing about the efficiency of the overall package known as the Lucid Air. Based on what we’ve learned so far, the sedan can muster an impressive 4.58 miles per kWh compared with 4.02 for the most efficient Tesla Model S.How much that efficiency will drop when you’ve got your foot to the floor is uncertain but you’ll certainly feel some neck-snapping performance, the Air claimed to hit 60 in 2.5 seconds, or about 0.2 seconds slower than the highest-rated version of the Tesla sedan.