At last, months of speculation have either been verified or refuted after Tesla recently disseminated specifications for the Tesla Model S Refresh, including the Long Range, Plaid, and Plaid+ variants, and the Tesla Model X Refresh, which also includes the Long Range and Plaid variants. These promise to be some of the most powerful electric vehicles ever to enter production with the intention of being distributed to the masses, although the significant price tags attached may hinder this, with Tesla claiming that they are not only the most powerful and high performance production electric vehicles in existence, but also have greater electric range capabilities on a single charge than any other. This makes sense considering that the Model S and Model X are designed to be Tesla’s most luxurious vehicles on the market, with the S covering the luxury sedan sector, whereas, the X serves as the company’s option for an SUV. Both models were in desperate need for a refresh, after sales plunged with the success of the 2020 versions of the Model S and Model X, but no one quite anticipated just how revolutionary and startlingly impressive these modern updates would be.
The Model S has been constructed on an entirely new module that features pack thermal architecture, which allegedly provides considerably more power and quicker charging times than the platform it is replacing in the S, and supports one electric motor at the front axle and one at the rear for the Long Range version, and a tri-motor system for the Plaid and Plaid+, although this will release after the Long Range and Plaid. All three models will be capable of four wheel drive, though the Long Range S will lack a torque vectoring system that enables more efficient torque/power transfer between wheels. Nevertheless, despite being less powerful than the other alternatives for the Model S, the Long Range S still produces a maximum of 670 horsepower, has a top speed of 155 mph and is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60mph in the space of 3.1 seconds. While this may seemingly be dwarfed later by the Plaid, it is still admirable in its own right in terms of power. In terms of range however, the Long Range S surpasses the Plaid, with a claimed range of 412 miles. To put this into perspective, this would be like driving from Manchester to London and back on a single charge.
Despite this, the range of the Model S Plaid is still formidable at 390 miles, however, it primarily focuses on power, providing a total of 1020 horsepower that enables it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in an astounding 1.99 seconds, and allows it to achieve a top speed of 200 mph. While this is a substantial gulf between the two versions of the Model S refresh, it is important to note that the Plaid will be £27,000 more expensive than the Long Range at £110,980, whilst the Long Range will value at £83,980. As a result, the Model S refresh will be considerably more costly than its ancestor. While these figures are extraordinary, Tesla claims the Plaid+, while having the same top speed as the Plaid, will be able to accelerate from a resting state to 60 mph in under 1.99 seconds (an exact value has not been confirmed), and will have a range that far outstrips even the Long Range at over 520 miles, all available at £130,980.
The refresh of the Model X is built on a similar module to that of the Model S that supports the same pack thermal, performance enhancing architecture, and offers a dual-motor in the form of the Long Range, and tri-motor in the form of the Plaid. The 670 horsepower Long Range Model X, like the Long Range Model S, has a top speed of 155 mph, but a lower range at 360 miles and a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of 3.8 seconds. As with the Model S refresh, the Plaid version of the Model X will be more powerful with 1020 horsepower, a top speed of 163 mph, a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of 2.5 seconds, and a range of 340 miles.
Evidently, with the new Model X and Model S, Tesla seeks to revolutionise travel by electric vehicles, with some of the most powerful and technologically sophisticated production cars ever made, and Tesla, when revealing the specifications, have not taken interest in being seen as modest. While there have been changes to the the exterior in terms of styling, aerodynamics, and the type of tyres used to improve performance, efficiency (the Model S now boasts the lowest drag coefficient of any production vehicle), and aesthetic for both models, the interior is where the bulk of transformation has occurred.
As would be expected from an SUV, the Model X has a greater boot capacity than the S and up to 7 seats, however, both possess Tesla’s new 17 inch “cinematic” screen that is horizontal and no longer vertical that has a processing power, resolution, and image quality that rivals even the newest generation consoles and allows both films to be viewed and games to be played, with both the larger screen attached to the dashboard and the smaller screen between the front seats being compatible with wireless controllers. Adding to this is the 22-speaker, 960 Watt audio system that features active noise cancellation capabilities, as well as both models’ abilities to provide Bluetooth connection for several devices, wireless and USB-C charging for mobile devices, and even fast charging for laptops and tablets. Both models also contain tri-zone temperature control, HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filtration) and ventilated front seats, as well as the latest autonomous technology and strengthened bodies and various safety features to ensure the wellbeing of the driver and the passengers. The mentioned autonomous software allows for automatic lane changing, acceleration, braking, and steering, perpendicular and parallel parking on command, and for the vehicles to be summoned from a mobile device, although Tesla will actively provide software updates to add to autonomous capabilities and make any changes to user interface, which already allows a destination to be selected and a route containing superchargers will be instantly calculated.
So not only does Tesla attempt to pioneer the future of electric vehicles by making the Model X and Model S refreshes groundbreaking in a plethora of categories concerning performance, efficiency, and range, but also in terms of autonomous technology, which is increasingly assimilating into the automobile industry. These vehicles exemplify Tesla’s ambitions to be at the forefront of electric vehicle technologies and development, while standing testament to their disposition to go further than any other competing manufacturers.
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