Elon Musk teases Tesla Model S updates: ‘Plaid Powertrain,’ triple motors, 7-seat option, and higher price

The Tesla Model S. (Photo: Darren Moss/Autocar)

Sightings of a Tesla Model S P100D+ unit near the Nürburgring have caught the electric car community by storm, particularly due to the vehicle’s unique characteristics. In a series of tweets, CEO Elon Musk shared some details about the vehicle, providing a glimpse at what is to come for Tesla’s flagship sedan. 

Immediately noticeable in the Model S spotted near the Nürburgring is the vehicle’s design, which differs from the current offerings of the company. Apart from the vehicle’s large, wide, Michelin Cup 2 R tires, the Model S near the German track is equipped with a proper spoiler and wider fender flares. The sedan’s lower grille also looks noticeably larger than those found in the current-generation Model S. 

These design elements make the Model S at the Nürburgring look very aggressive and worthy of the P100D+ badge that was spotted at its rear. Posting about the sighting, senior road tester Paul Maric of added that former Formula One champion Nico Rosberg, who has volunteered his driving services to Tesla for its Nürburgring run, recently stated that he and the electric car maker are “still in discussions.”

Overall, the Model S that Tesla seems to be preparing for its run at the nearly 13-mile German track provides a clear hint at some upgrades that are coming to the company’s flagship sedan. The Model S is Tesla’s first vehicle that was designed from a clean sheet, and it stands as the electric car that pretty much proved that EVs could be superior compared to gas-powered cars. Unfortunately, the Model S has been overshadowed for the most part by the Model 3 as of late, considering that the more affordable vehicle comprises the vast majority of Tesla’s sales today. 

If Elon Musk’s tweets are any indication, the Model S will soon be improved with several upcoming upgrades that will make it worthy of its flagship status, and more. Following Tesla’s release of the vehicle’s record-setting lap at the Laguna Seca Raceway, for example, Musk mentioned a “Plaid Powertrain” update for the sedan, which appears to address the throttling issues that were prevalent in older Model S units. Musk also confirmed that the new Model S will have a three-motor configuration, a setup that was initially announced for the next-generation Roadster. 

These upgrades will not only make the Model S track-capable, but they will likely improve the flagship sedan’s already-ludicrous 0-60 mph time of 2.4 seconds. Of course, such improvements will likely come at a price. This was mentioned by Elon Musk on Twitter, when he said that the Model S with Plaid Powertrain and triple motors will cost more than the company’s current offerings but less than competitors. Considering that the Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S are pretty much the Model S’ only legitimate competitor in the market today, Musk appears to be hinting at a price below $150,000. 

As a final detail, Musk added that the Model S with Plaid Powertrain that is currently in Germany is equipped with seven seats. This would be a welcome return for the option, considering that the vehicle’s rear-facing jump seats at the rear made the Model S a champion of utility in the past. All things considered, it is difficult to deny that the idea of a triple-motor, track-capable electric sedan that can seat seven people is beyond ludicrous — it’s downright plaid.

Elon Musk teases Tesla Model S updates: ‘Plaid Powertrain,’ triple motors, 7-seat option, and higher price
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