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Tesla started delivering its new Model S Plaid

Tesla started delivering its new Model S Plaid

June 14, 2021: -Tesla started deliveries of its new Model S Plaid, a high-performance version of the company’s flagship electric sedan, on Thursday with a Livestream event at the company’s test track near its factory in Fremont, California.

The company’s design leader, Franz von Holzhausen, served as master of ceremonies and carried a sledgehammer on stage to introduce CEO Elon Musk, a humorous allusion to a previous event where von Holzhausen smashed and shattered a Cybertruck’s windows on stage.

Musk made his entrance on Thursday by driving a Model S Plaid around the Tesla test track and onto the stage before stepping out to cheers of select customers and fans invited to the event.

Musk said the new Model S would be “Faster than Porsche but safer than Volvo.” But he also caveated some of his sweeping safety claims by noting that NHTSA has not yet rated the Model S Plaid for safety.

“We’re in production and gonna deliver the first 25 cars now, and then basically should be at several hundred cars per week soon and a thousand cars per week next quarter,” Musk said.

According to Tesla’s website, the tri-motor, all-wheel-drive Model S Plaid produces 1,020 horsepower, features a battery with an estimated EPA-rated range of up to 390 miles, and can hit a top speed of 200 miles per hour if equipped with the proper wheels and tires. Unfortunately, those won’t be available until the fall, according to the fine print on the site.

On Thursday, Musk offered no significant details on the Model S Plaid battery pack, saying simply, “We have an all-new battery pack.”

Musk quickly moved on from a brief mention of the battery to show the Model S Plaid drive unit images and boasted about a “carbon-wrapped” rotor that is part of the vehicle’s electric motor.

“You can pick this motor up with your hands, and it can accelerate a two-ton car to 60 miles an hour in 2 seconds. That kind of power-to-weight is insane,” he said.

He noted that the Model S Plaid could get 187 miles of range in just 15 minutes plugged into a Tesla Supercharger. Attendees would have a chance to drive around the track, he said.

When Musk began to discuss the user interface updates featured in the Model S, attendees began to mock him, shouting for “Waypoints,” a feature they’ve long wanted the company to deliver. With waypoints, drivers could enter several destinations into one trip within Tesla’s navigation system.

“You want waypoints,” the CEO said, approving. “Alright, fine, we’ll do waypoints. Goddamnit. Alright,” Musk laughed.

He also said that Model S with Autopilot engaged could guess what direction, location, and route a driver would want to take. “It will just keep minimizing the amount of input that you need to do until the car just reads your mind,” Musk said.

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