Elon Musk has pulled the plug on the planned Model S Plaid+ variant. This is superfluous because the Model S Plaid (i.e. without the + in the name) is simply “so good”, Musk wrote on Twitter.
The Plaid+ is the top version of the revised Model S that Tesla presented in January, alongside the “normal” Plaid and the Long Range variant. While the Long Range and Plaid share the same battery (presumably based on reworked 18650 cells), the Plaid+ was reportedly to receive a battery based on the new 4680 cell type.
Plaid+ is canceled. No need, as Plaid is just so good.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 6, 2021
While the Maximum Range version relies on all-wheel-drive with two engines, the two Plaid models have three engines (two of them on the rear axle). While the Plaid’s power output was stated as 750 kW and acceleration to 100 km/h as 2.1 seconds, the Plaid+’s was 810 kW and “less than 2.1 seconds”. The big difference was in the range specification: with the 18650 battery, the Model S Plaid comes in at an estimated 628 kilometres by Tesla, while the Plaid+ was quoted at up to 837 kilometres.
While the Model S Plaid offers more than sufficient driving performance and is also quite close to the Plaid+ except for the standard range, there are still doubts in the industry whether the vehicle is “too good” to launch the Plaid+ in smaller numbers anyway. There is speculation that the 4680 cells could be the reason. According to speculation, these cells will not be available in sufficient numbers to be used in a Model S in the foreseeable future. The 4680 cells are to be used in the Model Y from the Giga Texas, which is currently under construction, the Semi electric truck and probably also the Roadster 2.
In the German configurator, the Model S Plaid+ is still listed as of 9 a.m. on Monday morning, but the button is greyed out – so this variant can no longer be selected or even ordered.
Deliveries of the Model S Plaid are scheduled to start on 10 June, one week later than originally announced. This is according to invitations to the event, which were probably sent out at the weekend.