Elon Musk reveals Tesla Model S Plaid as world’s fastest production car

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Last night Elon Musk hosted a delivery event for the new Model S Plaid that Tesla has been working on. The first 25 of this latest iteration of electric vehicle will be heading out to customers Stateside later today, and seeing as how the carmaker does not operate in South Africa, the event served as the best look at what Musk calls the world’s fastest production car.

To that end, the Model S Plaid can reportedly do 0-100km/h in under two seconds. 1.99 seconds to be precise, with the Plaid moniker a Spaceballs reference as Tesla continues with its odd naming conventions.

Perhaps more important, however, is why Tesla decided to design and manufacture the world’s fastest production car, especially as its EVs to date have proved fairly rapid. The reason, as Musk explains, is rather simple – to showcase the power of electric vehicles.

“Some of you may know that our product plan is stolen from Spaceballswe’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,” he opened his portion of the event saying.

“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,” he emphasised.

Whether top speed is the best way to sell people still on the fence about EVs is up for debate, but we must admit that pushing the boundaries past what a conventional fossil fuel powered vehicle can do certainly won’t hurt.

Some of the other key numbers that Musk and co. threw around on stage last night included a 200mph (321 km/h) top speed for the Model S Plaid, along with a 627 kilometre driving range from a single full charge. Added to this, the Model S Plaid has a tri-motor configuration that allows quick charging for 187 miles (300 kilometres) of range in 15 minutes.

This latest Model S also features a new battery pack, although Musk did not go into detail as to how the newly improved system was designed. He did, however, note that the Plaid’s heating and aircon setup is 50 percent less power hungry along with featuring a 30 percent better range in cold weather conditions.

Naturally all these enhancements do not come cheap, with the first batch of Tesla Model S Plaid vehicles starting at $129 990 (~R1.76 million). Those hoping to get their hands on the even faster Plaid+ though will need to look elsewhere as Musk confirmed plans to manufacture that iteration were scraped earlier this week.

Still, the numbers on this latest offering are quite impressive.

If you have the inclination, or indeed the data during loadshedding, hit play on the 29 minute-long video below.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.