Tesla cancels ‘world’s quickest’ Model S Plaid+ equipped with new battery technology

Elon Musk announced on Sunday that Tesla is canceling its announced Model S Plaid+ trim because the regular Model S Plaid “is just so good.”

The $149,990 Plaid+ was set to be the world’s quickest mass market car with a 0-60 mph acceleration time under 1.99 seconds and the longest-range electric vehicle at 520 miles, compared to the $119,990 Plaid’s claimed figures of exactly 1.99 seconds and 390 miles.

Musk told Electrek the reasoning behind dropping the Plaid+ was that “there are essentially zero trips above 400 miles where the driver doesn’t need to stop for restroom, food, coffee, etc. anyway.”

The Plaid and Plaid+ were to both feature tri-motor powertrains rated at 1,020 hp and 1,100 hp, respectively, but it’s not clear if they use the same battery technology. Tesla’s next-generation 4680 battery cells, which are more energy dense and efficient than the current technology, are said to increase range by approximately 30%, but were recently still in development at a pilot facility.

The upcoming Tesla Cybertruck, Roadster, Semi and Texas-built Model Y are being designed with the new cells in mind, but Musk previously said they would be used in a Plaid, without specifying if he meant both or just the Plaid+, which wasn’t scheduled to enter production until mid-2022.

The Plaid+ was initially advertised in January at $139,990, but the price was increased in March by $10,000.

The standard Model S Plaid looks like it will claim the ‘world’s quickest’ title, however. Jay Leno, who has an inside line to Musk, told Spike’s Car Radio podcast that it recently registered an NHRA-certified 9.247 second quarter-mile run with a trap speed of 152 mph. That would make it quicker than nearly any production car save for the $2.5 million Rimac Nevera electric supercar, which can reportedly reach 60 mph in 1.85 seconds cover a quarter-mile in 8.6 seconds.


Even without the Plaid+, Tesla may soon have a car that’s quicker than that. The new Roadster will allegedly be available with a SpaceX option with a cold gas thruster that can accelerate it to 60 mph in 1.1 seconds.

After being delayed from February, the start of Model S Plaid deliveries is scheduled to begin on June 10.