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Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently unveiled the Model S Plaid during an event for customers at the carmaker's factory in Fremont, California. Currently, the company makes four vehicles, namely the Model Y, Model S, Model 3, and Model X.
The Model Y and Model 3 account for the vast majority of Tesla's global sales. As autonomous driving and electrification become a bigger part of our lives, Tesla remains on the technological vanguard.
The meaning behind the Tesla Plaid name
Tesla's breakthrough sedan, the Model S, was first delivered in 2012. The phrase "Plaid Mode" refers to the 1987 comedy movie Spaceballs starring Mel Brooks, as reported by the Washington Post.
In the movie, “plaid” is referred to as the fastest speed a spaceship can travel at. Nearly all discussions about the vehicle before its launch involved the controversial yoke steering wheel.
However, there’s a lot more to the Tesla Model S Plaid that sets it apart from other electric vehicles (EVs). The four-door vehicle has no direct rivals, at least at the moment, and if its claimed specs are anything to go by, the Plaid is the fastest accelerating production car ever.
Tesla Model S Plaid features
According to CarBuzz, one of the things you’ll notice with the Plaid's exterior is that the haunches are more pronounced, and its hood is a bit sleeker. The car doesn’t have a grille since it has no engine. Instead, the Tesla badge replaces the grille in a minimalist silver.
Other features include rear lights connected by a single trim piece and flush door handles. You can upgrade the vehicle's standard 19-inch Tempest wheels to 21-inch Arachnid tires.
Tesla claims that the car can go from 0 to 60 mph in 1.99 seconds and has a top speed of 200 mph. The all-wheel-drive vehicle has one electric motor up front and two in the rear.
But there are some things worth noting if you’re trying to achieve these acceleration numbers. First, you need a prepared surface to attain a sub-two-second 0 to 60 time, and the car should be in Drag Strip mode. The Plaid might also be the first car limited by tire technology; there’s no standard production tire that can keep up with the car’s power.
The Plaid's interior incorporates a few old-school luxury touches and better materials while taking minimalism to the extreme.
Before potential savings like government incentives, the car starts at $129,990.
Why is the car so hyped up?
It is safe to say that even by Tesla standards, the Plaid is unconventional. The vehicle carries a yoke-style steering wheel, with a half-moon shape, which increases visibility for the driver. It also eliminates the gear selector stalk by automating the function.
The turn signals on the steering wheel appear as left and right arrows that the user presses. Drivers can swipe into drive or reverse using the touch screen, and the vehicle can run the popular video game Cyberpunk 2077 as well as deliver PlayStation 5-level gaming performance.
These are some of the things that make the Tesla Model S Plaid a car to look out for.
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