Did Tesla hint that it might build a Plaid Model 3?
The Parts Catalog for the vehicle certainly appears to suggest that the Plaid Powertrain could be coming to the all-electric sedan, even though CEO Elon Musk has said in the past that it does not necessarily make sense for the Model 3.
The Plaid Powertrain was first installed on the Model S and Model X, Tesla’s flagship luxury offerings, in 2021 as the automaker brought out its fastest vehicles to date.
The Plaid Powertrain enabled a 1.99-second 0-60 MPH acceleration rate for the Model S, white-knuckle speed that routinely was noted as the fastest production car on Earth.
The Model X comes in slightly slower, if that is the correct word, with 2.3 seconds for the same standstill to 60 MPH metric.
The Model S and Model X are Tesla’s premium offerings and account for less than 5 percent of the company’s production and delivery figures during any given quarter.
However, people will pay for speed, but not everyone. Some cannot justify the $89,990 price tag for the Plaid versions of the all-electric vehicles, which also boast top speeds of 200 MPH for the Model S and 149 for the Model X.
Enter the potential of a Model 3 Plaid, which would enable lightning-fast speed and an affordable price tag, giving more consumers access to one of the fastest and quickest vehicles on the planet.
The Kilowatts, a notable EV content creation team, first noticed a Plaid Badge on the image of a Tesla Model 3 rear bumper, something that has been void of the unmistakable design from the automaker since it was first released in 2021.
Tesla’s Parts Catalog confirms Tesla is working on a Performance version of the new Model 3, potentially PLAID!! pic.twitter.com/N7qxt0LUqM
— The Kilowatts 🚗⚡️ (@klwtts) October 19, 2023
Make no mistake, Musk once completely sold off any notion that Tesla would possibly develop such a vehicle. “No,” was his simple and straightforward answer when he was asked by some of his most loyal supporters if the car made sense. But we’ll be frank: it wouldn’t be the first time Musk said one thing and then did another in terms of a Tesla project.
Routinely, Musk has been against advertising, opting to put the money that would be used for a PR budget into vehicle development instead. Last night, Musk confirmed Tesla is advertising. I think there is something to be gained on the advertising front,” he said.
Last quarter, Tesla also temporarily allowed the transfer of Full Self-Driving licensing from one vehicle to another, which was always shot down in the past by customers who did not want to pay for the suite more than once.
For what it’s worth, a Plaid Model 3 might be just what the doctor ordered for Tesla. Although the narrative of slowing demand is often pushed regarding Tesla, the company continues to increase delivery and production volumes apart from the most recent quarter, which was affected by production line upgrades and factory shutdowns.
A Model 3 Plaid would likely increase interest in the company’s mass-market sedan, which is in need of a revamp in the U.S. market.
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