“This car crushes,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said with delight as he unveiled the Tesla Model S Plaid sedan on Thursday in Fremont, California.
“Plaid” was first announced in January, with the $130,000 Model S marketed as the “quickest production vehicle ever made,” with a 0-60 mph time of under two seconds, and a range of approximately 390 miles.
“This is nine years since we delivered the first model S, the first car produced here in Fremont, so almost a decade, and I think we’ve really taken it to a whole new level with Plaid,” said Musk after driving a Model S around the test track and onto the stage.
The SpaceX CEO then joked, “Some of you may know that our product plan is stolen from ‘Spaceballs,’ we’ve gone Plaid speed. So…why make this really fast car, that’s crazy fast and everything, and I think there is something that’s quite important to the future of sustainable energy, which is that we’ve got to show that an electric car is the best car, hands down. It’s gotta be clear, like, man, sustainable energy cars can be the fastest cars, can be the safest cars, can be the most kick ass cars in every way.”
According to Tesla’s website, the Plaid has a top speed of 200 mph — in the right conditions — and peak power of 1,020 horsepower. It also boasts an “all new interior,” and can travel ¼ mile in 9.23 seconds.
“Beyond Ludicrous,” the website states. “With the longest range and quickest acceleration of any electric vehicle in production, Model S Plaid is the highest performing sedan ever built. Both Long Range and Plaid powertrains, with updated battery architecture, are capable of back-to-back, consistent 1/4 mile runs.”
The company also celebrates the car’s efficiency. “With the lowest drag coefficient on Earth and unmatched efficiency, Model S is built for speed and range. Together with a wider body and chassis, these elements help you go down the straight or around corners quicker than ever.”
During the launch, Musk described Tesla’s engineering as “practically alien,” and that they are looking to deliver several hundred of the Plaid models every week in the near future, aiming to reach around 1,000 every week next quarter. Musk also celebrated the new model as “faster than any Porsche” and “safer than any Volvo.”
Speaking on the subject of Tesla’s autopilot capabilities and plans for the future, Musk also noted, “If we’re thinking about the future where the car is often in autopilot to full self driving mode, then entertainment is going to become increasingly important. So you’re going to want to watch movies, play games, use the internet …”
Tesla’s website includes a section titled, “Game from Anywhere,” stating that Plaid offers “up to 10 teraflops of processing power” which “enables in-car gaming on-par with today’s newest consoles,” while “wireless controller compatibility lets you game from any seat.”
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