Tesla Model S 420 Plaid is the best car in the world (but not for me)


Previous versions of the Model S were the best driving machines for years. But they lacked the finesse and aura of quality offered by the competition. The Mercedes E-Class, Audi A6 or BMW 5-Series not only had the luxury, but also the long legs and high speed they displayed on the highway. Even speeds illegal in the rest of the world gave the operators of these machines a feeling of superiority.

Over the years, a lot has changed. Electric driving is no longer a hobby of a few wealthy eco fanatics. With the introduction of the Ford F-150 Lightning, even in the United States, the realization that electric driving is the future is setting in. Mercedes with its EQS and EQC, Audi with its e-tron model series, the Jaguar I-PACE and the Porsche Taycan have redefined what can be expected from an electric car.

Voices that call for a range of 600 miles at 100 mph followed by a 5 minute recharge are mostly silenced. The plethora of dials, switches, and buttons that make the cockpits of some of these cars as intimidating as the cockpit of a large 747 plane is no longer a sign of the tech it once was. The more user-friendly and simpler design philosophy pioneered by Tesla is now the primary design method for most new cars.

In this new world, Tesla has relaunched its Model S. The new Model S, both the normal long-range version and the overpowered Plaid version, functionally have the same interior. Only the ventilated seats and some carbon accents are different. This new interior is as luxurious and of the same quality as the interiors of the MABP competition (Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Porsche). The differences are differences in taste. And as we know, there is no accounting for taste.

What’s really different between the Long Range AWD Model S and the new Plaid version is the technology. The Plaid is the successor to the performance version. It has three engines and plenty of upgrades big and small to make it the best production sports sedan money can buy. Both have a range of around 400 miles, or nearly 420 as Musk joked. That 420 will come true when we see the next battery or other upgrade, maybe even coming. Tesla has already increased the range in the air.

Image courtesy of Tesla.

Image courtesy of Tesla.

Now you expect a list with the specifications from me. Preferably, compared to the specifications of the competition. It is not that kind of article. I have the same answer as the standard Rolls-Royce answer when a customer inquired about horsepower. That’s enough.

For nerds who really like a long list of numbers, I have a link to a excellent source. It’s the best on the web in my eyes.

The new Model S Long Range All Wheel Drive is once again the best in its class under $ 100,000. If you have a strong preference for technology and performance, you will probably find this Tesla at the top of your short list of favorite cars.

For those who want and can spend between $ 100,000 and $ 1 million, this is a different case. These cars are for bragging rights. If you want the best performance on a track, even if it’s the Nürburgring Nordschleife, you need some very creative arguments as to why you don’t have the Tesla Model S Plaid. Maybe something like, “My kids didn’t like Tesla colors” or “My wife insists on genuine leather seats” or “The acceleration is too hard for my heart”. Even the argument “I didn’t want to show up in a cheap car costing less than $ 250,000” could be a valid excuse. If you are looking for ostentatious luxury in this price segment, a Rolls-Royce or a Maybach may be the best choice.

For all the other big spenders, many of you will be enticed into buying the best car your money can buy. In this category, it is presumably the Model S. That is why I anticipate higher sales for this renewed model. The previous Model S was stuck at 50,000 vehicles per year. For this new generation S G2 model, sales of the same volume as the competition MABP are more likely IMNSHO. That’s over 150,000 a year.

Image courtesy of Tesla.

The normal Model S G2 was due to start shipping in February, the Plaid version was slated for October, and the Plaid + somewhere in the middle of next year. The Plaid + with its bigger battery and longer autonomy is no longer in the books. Now the Long Range AWD and the Plaid are both in production for delivery. This is “Elon’s time” with an added dimension – four months too late combined with three months too early.

The Plaid Plain is almost as good on all specs associated with the sport, which has made the Plaid + redundant. The larger Plaid + battery that allowed for extra range and towing capacity is expected to be in the standard S LR AWD model. This is the version that benefits the most from a larger battery.

The sound / speaker system of the new Tesla Model S, visualized. Image courtesy of Tesla.

Image courtesy of Tesla.

They are very good cars, if you like that kind of vehicle. To be honest, if I got one for free, I would only be interested in the resale value. It’s way too big for my taste. It’s too low for my oversized belly to fit in. The 22-speaker audio system would only be used for telephone conversations. I no longer play games. Netflix in 4K on my tablet is enough for me. Parking this sand yacht is often impossible. I never thought that driving on 4 wheels was sporty. In a closed box, you don’t feel the wind in your face. You can’t hang on to the corners. For athletes, 2 wheels is better. On 4 wheels, I expect to be transported to my destination while I sit relaxed behind the wheel – preferably, with Full Self Driving taking over my duties as a driver.

For me it’s either a Tesla the size of my Zoë or the Cybertruck. (The Cybertruck that I can convert to an RV. It pays off being too big.) The type of performance I’m interested in is endurance and resilience. Maybe drive one day in China, never at the Nürnbergring.

The all new Tesla Model S Plaid. Photo courtesy of Tesla.

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