Tesla has been hard at work behind the scenes with the new Model S Plaid and Plaid+. The S doesn’t actually stand for Spoiler, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore this new feature. It isn’t clear if this is the Plaid model or the Plaid+ model, but it certainly is a new addition to the Model S.
An updated look for the Tesla Model S
Electrek reported (as spotted by The Kilowatts on Twitter) that the new Model S redesign shows a pop-up or adjustable wing. Tesla says the new Model S Plaid model has an EPA-estimated 390-mile range and a top speed of 200 miles per hour.
The quick car was spotted at a Laguna Seca race track, apparently trying to beat some record. The Kilowatts claimed it got a 1:30 lap time.
The 0-60 time is 1.99 seconds, and it supposedly gets 1,020 at peak power. There is also a Long-Range model that supposedly gets an EPA-estimated 412-mile range. The Model S Long Range has 670 horsepower.
Electrek says the Plaid+ version will have an EPA-estimated 520 miles of range and the same 1.99-second acceleration. The Plaid+ will use the new 4680 battery cell and a tri-motor drivetrain at some point.
It isn’t clear if the Tesla vehicle on the track is the Plaid or even the Plaid+ model, but the design is an interesting development. Since some new Model S editions are getting delivered soon, this might be reserved for the down-the-line Plaid+.
The Model S retractable spoiler
The current delivery dates for the newest Tesla electric vehicle are as follows. The Long Range is delivering between September and October if you order right now. The Plaid is delivering between August and September. The Plaid+ says that it will possibly get delivered in mid-2022.
There was supposed to be a conference call about the new Model S back when announced, but that did not happen. In conclusion, if more surprises are coming with the car, that is still to be seen.
The spoiler in question appears to be retractable or adjustable. It isn’t so much the spoiler itself that makes it interesting. Retracting spoilers have been around for years on high-speed cars. Is this new Plaid or Plaid+ so fast that it actually benefits from this addition?
If the preliminary numbers are anything to go by, it might be.
How Did Tesla Avoid the Chip Shortage?
Tesla has an interesting advantage over other brands that the company discussed in the Q1 Earnings Report. The company can perform software updates over the air should issues arise.
That means that while some automakers are struggling to meet customer demands, Tesla could send out helpful updates without physically seeing the cars.
“We were able to navigate through global chip supply shortage issues in part by pivoting extremely quickly to new microcontrollers, while simultaneously developing firmware for new chips made by new suppliers.”Tesla | Q1 Earnings Report
Tesla took one look at the chip shortage situation and pivoted. Is this something we expect from an innovative brand like Tesla? Perhaps. But it explains why Tesla has been able to avoid the same fate many other automakers are taking.
Tesla decided to develop new technology so that the chip that everyone else needed was no longer necessary. By being able to update software over the air, Tesla did not impact drivers as heavily. This likely saved the company a lot of money in the long run.