2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan

MSRP $121,190 - $141,190

Ranked #19 in Midsize Sedan

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2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 23, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Tesla Model S has introduced a long time ago but continues to be one of the best-selling models in the all-electric sedan segment. It is still the most expensive car in the automaker’s lineup and has managed to stay relevant in the market with timely updates as well as an unparalleled electric range. The new Tesla Model S Plaid is the latest variant that also happens to be the most powerful so far.

See detailed review »

Pros

Excellent ride quality

Range is excellent

Good amount of cargo space

Cons

Luxury features not great

Small dealer network

No Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

What's New?

Updated interior

New driver information display and rear-passenger entertainment display

Revised model line-up


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$141190

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

horsepower

1020 hp

transmission

1 speed automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent front double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension wanti-roll bar

capacity

cargo volume

60.2 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

3.5 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

13.3 sec.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

powertrain warranty

8 yr./ unlimited mi.

corrosion warranty

12 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$121,190 onwards

Plus$141,190 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan in Pearl White Multi-Coat color
Pearl White Multi-Coat

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide


Being an all-new variant, Tesla introduced the Model S Plaid at MSRP $139,990 and the competition has now caught up in terms of the technology. It competes with the best of the all-electric luxury sedans in the market that includes the Porsche Taycan Turbo, Lucid Air Dream Edition, as well as the soon-to-be-launched Mercedes-Benz EQS.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Front Angle View
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Rear Angle View

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Features

The Tesla Model S is available in a wide variety of trims and the Plaid is the highest trim level out of them. It is equipped with the most powerful battery and has 1,002 hp. Prices start from $139,990 without options. It comes with a plethora of features that include convenience features, infotainment features, and safety features as standard and houses the best of technology from the tech-company-turned-automobile-manufacturer.

Model

Plaid

MSRP (AWD)

$139,990

Key Features

Three electric motors

 

In house manufactured battery pack

 

Tesla Autopilot

 

Heated seats and steering

 

Adaptive Cruise Control

 

Standard all-wheel-drive system

Which trim should you buy?

Since there is only one trim on offer, one is saved from the confusion of picking between various trim levels. On top of this, since it is very well loaded, one need not equip it with an option. There are some options like 21-inch wheels but that reduces the vehicle range by a small amount. So considering all this, we recommend that you buy the car as it is.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Engine and Performance

When it comes to the performance of the Tesla Model S Plaid, it is promised to be the most powerful road-going sedan ever. The car is powered by three induction electric motors that will produce about 1,002 hp. It is also claimed to accelerate the 0 to 60 mph time of 2.0 seconds and provide 390 miles of range which is way more than we have ever heard.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Hits 0-60 in 2s

Tesla is sure to release over-the-air updates that might make the car even more powerful but this is way more than we can take already. The transmission is a one-speed direct-shift transmission and a car comes with all-wheel drive as standard. Overall, one can never complain about the performance of this car.

Model

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Electric

2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition (Expected)

2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 (Expected)

MSRP

$139,990 

$169,000

$152,250

$185,000

Engine

Three Induction Electric Motors

Dual BLDC (Brushless DC) Electric Motors with 113 kWh Battery Pack

Two Permanent - Magnet Synchronous Motors with 93.4 kWh Battery Pack

Two Permanent - Magnet Synchronous electric motors

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

1 - speed Direct Shift transmission

1 - speed Fixed Gear transmission

2 - speed automatic transmission

1 - speed direct drive transmission

Power (hp)

1002 hp

1080 hp

671 hp

516 hp

Torque (lb-ft)

N/A

N/A

627 lb-ft

611 lb-ft

0 - 60 MPH (seconds)

2.0 secs 

3.0 secs

2.4 secs

4.1 secs

Quarter Mile (seconds)

9.0 secs 

10.8 secs

10.5 secs

NA

Top Speed MPH

200 mph

168 mph

162 mph

NA

One can see that among the competitors, four-digit horsepower numbers are nothing new. However, Tesla manages to absolutely trash its competition with its 0 to 60 mph and quarter-mile timings and also embarrass a lot of supercars and hypercars in the process. However, the Mercedes is touted to be the most expensive as it is set to provide luxury that is never seen before.

How well does the 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid handle?

When it comes to handling, the Tesla feels very planted. The all-wheel-drive system gives it a distinct advantage as well in terms of how planted the car feels. The steering also feels very direct and requires very little effort even though it is devoid of religious feedback. There is definitely somebody roll but nothing that drops you of much confidence.

It also has exceptionally good ride quality due to the suspension setup that Tesla has incorporated in this car. One is definitely made to feel comfortable inside the car. The lack of noise, vibration, and harshness in the car also adds to its luxury capability and makes one sure that only electric cars can perform this way. Overall, it makes one feel enthusiastic to drive.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Braking Performance

The braking hardware in the Tesla has been extremely potent but one has to really work to keep the car slow. The fact is that the car performs so well in terms of its acceleration figures that braking has to work a lot.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Wheel

This is facilitated due to 14-inch rotors up front and 14.4-inch rotors in the rear which even though sounds a lot on paper is not a lot considering the car weighs nearly 5000 pounds.

Model

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Electric

2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition (Expected)

2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 (Expected)

Front Brake Rotor (in)

14

NA

16.4

NA

Rear Brake Rotor (in)

14.4

NA

14.4

NA

Curb Weight

4941 lbs

5070 lbs

4960 lbs

5600 lbs

60-0 MPH (ft.)

NA

NA

NA

NA

As we have observed in terms of performance, the rivals manage to have caught up again. All the cars are very heavy in the segment and the Tesla is the lightest. However, the performance is not too different and the brake rotors are similarly sized, if not larger than its competition. We do not have the 60-0 mph stopping distance of any car and hence cannot make a conclusive statement regarding the braking performance.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Fuel Economy

Unfortunately, we do not have the MPGe ratings classified by the mph for the Model S Plaid. This is because details in the battery pack are not exactly public yet. But according to real-world tests, the Tesla has better efficiency than many of its competitors. The battery pack is certainly the largest that a seven has been fitted to any of the brand’s cars and hence we expect a lot from it.

Model

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Electric

2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition (Expected)

2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 (Expected)

MPGe (City)

N/A

N/A

92

100

MPGe (Highway)

N/A

N/A

105

93

MPGe (Combined)

N/A

N/A

98

88

Battery Pack (kWh)

N/A

113 kWh

93.4 kWh

107.8 kWh

Charging Time (minutes)

N/A

20 minutes / 300 miles range

93 minutes / 300 miles

15 minutes / 320 miles

Range(City/Hwy/Combined)

520 miles

517 miles

225 miles

478 miles

As we can see, all cars except the Porsche Taycan offer nearly 500 miles of range. All of them have fast-charged as well and will turn out to be pretty practical in the long run. We can observe that the Mercedes-Benz and the Porsche Taycan also offer excellent fuel-efficiency ratings according to the EPA. Tesla has generally outperformed all of its competitors and we expect the same for the new car.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Interior

When it comes to the interior, the Tesla may be a bit plain for many buyers. The seats are excellent and supportive, without being too hard. The noise insulation is also nice and the ride is plush. The material quality is where some of its more luxury rivals offer better packages. There is also abundant space inside the cabin and the driving position is also nice.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Rear Seats

Most of the controls are through the massive touchscreen display that takes up the entire dashboard. This is something that people have to still get used to as tactile feedback is completely missing. However, ingress and egress are slightly harder than some of its competitors. One of the only disadvantages is that there is a lack of physical buttons on the cabin and touchscreen controls dominate the space. Cargo capacity is on a league of its own at 30 ft.³.

Model

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Electric

2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition (Expected)

2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 (Expected)

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row Space (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.8 / 57.7 / 42.7

N/A

N/A

N/A

Rear Row Space (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

35.3 / 55.0 / 35.4

N/A

N/A

N/A

Cargo Capacity (cu ft)

30.0 cu ft

10.0 cu ft

15.7 cu ft

22.0 cu ft

The cabins of all cars in this category are quite spacious but the exact dimensions of most cars are unknown. All cars seat five passengers with ease. In terms of cargo capacity, the Lucid has the least while the Tesla has the most. The Mercedes and the Porsche offer decent cargo capacity as well. Some standard features include:

  • Heated and Power adjustable front seats with driver seat memory
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle
  • Sport Cloth/Leather/Nappa Leather upholstery for seats
  • Keyless Access with Push-Button Start and PIN-code vehicle access
  • Auto-dimming rearview compass mirror with HomeLink
  • Dual front and rear USB input ports
  • Dual-zone climate control with CFC-free air conditioning system

What’s there to keep you entertained?

When it comes to infotainment options, there is plenty on offer. The infotainment screens and a driver information display are some of the best we have ever seen. The displays are crisp and the response is snappy.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Infotainment Display

The sound system was also decent but the infotainment system does not offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. There are plenty of features but the interface is a bit hard to get used to. Some features of the infotainment system include: 

  • Multimedia Touchscreen
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Bluetooth
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • USB Ports and AUX
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Exterior

The Tesla Model S was designed in 2012 and hence has aged a little bit. Although it is not the design that is extremely polarizing and hence does not offend anyone, it definitely has turned out to be a bit bland especially in 2021. Its competitors now offer much better looking and much more modern looking cars and hence this is a weak point of Tesla.

Model

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Electric

2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition (Expected)

2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 (Expected)

Curb Weight

4941 lbs

5070 lbs

4960 lbs

5600 lbs

Length

196.0 in

195.6 in

195.4 in

205.4 in

Width

77.3 in

76.7 in

77.4 in

75.8 in

Height

56.9 in

55.5 in

54.3

59.5 in

Ground Clearance

4.6 in

N/A

5.0 in

NA

Wheelbase

116.5 in

116.5 in

114.2 in

126.4 in

The Mercedes Benz EQS is a larger but heavier car than all of its competitors but offers the kind of strengths that its rivals don’t. The Tesla, Lucid, and the Porsche offer similar dimensions in almost every aspect. It also offers the best ground clearance in the segment and is the only car that can handle some rough terrain and slippery weather conditions. We have generally been impressed with the space offered in the car. Some standout features include:

  • 20/21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with all-season tires
  • LED Headlights
  • LED fog lights
  • LED Taillights
  • Windshield wiper de-icer and heated side mirrors
  • Power tilt/sliding glass moonroof
  • Flush door handles

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Safety

When it comes to safety, Tesla has always kept up a standard of its own. Its autopilot system is the best that is currently available in the world but it also has a lot of features that include forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, Lane-keeping assist and automatic high beams control. It has also scored an overall five-star rating in the NHTSA crash tests and is also a good performer in the IIHS tests. Some of the standout safety features include: 

  • PIN to Drive
  • Sentry Mode
  • Tesla Autopilot
  • Attention Assist
  • Active Blindspot Assist
  • Radar Cruise Control
  • Required Manual Entry

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Competition

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Vs. 2022 Lucid Air Dream

The Lucid Air has been one of the toughest rivals for the Tesla. However, this car fails to offer the service network or charging infrastructure that the Tesla has offered so far.

2022 Lucid Air Dream

In terms of practical aspects, the Tesla is still the car to go for. We are yet to see how good the Lucid is while the Tesla remains a bankable option.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid vs. 2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo

The Porsche Taycan Turbo is the most technology-loaded car that is offered by the German manufacturer.

2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo

It has managed to catch up in terms of all aspects to the Tesla but does not have the same kind of range that the Tesla offers. However, it has much better interior quality and builds quality than Tesla.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Vs. 2022 Mercedes Benz EQS 580

The Mercedes-Benz EQS 518 will be a real game-changer. As such it does not offer much in terms of performance, or interior space but will be the most luxurious pick of the segment.

2022 Mercedes Benz EQS 580

Tesla has had several reliability issues over time but Mercedes is a manufacturer that is much better equipped to solve these kinds of issues.

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Sedan Final Verdict

The new Tesla Model S Plaid has a lot riding on it due to the tall claims made on it by the company. It is supremely capable mechanically, while also providing the best of technology features that are available in the world today. It also provides excellent space in the interiors, a good amount of cargo space, and so on. Its safety and infotainment features are also the latest ones can expect and hence makes for an excellent buy in 2021.