The media has been so focused on Tesla's cash cows, the Model 3 and Model Y, that we didn't think Elon was planning on refreshing the pricier Model S and Model X anytime soon. But surprise, surprise, they've just been unveiled. Although not much has been done to the exterior, there are some big changes inside. The S hasn't been changed much since 2012 (with the exception of power and range and some minor fascia tweaks), and the Model X also looks pretty much the same as it did when it bowed in 2015.
While there appear to be no major changes to the exterior of both the S and X, our guess is that the introduction of the high-performance Plaid trims for each model will bring more aggressive bits to the bodies. These more powerful versions will take the already quick S and X and make them track-worthy monsters. Some prototypes have been seen testing with big wings and rear diffusers, as well as nifty front brake vents.
There will actually be two Plaid trims, the Plaid and Plaid+. The first will cost $119,000 (with 390 miles of range), and the Plaid+ starts at $139,000 (with an astounding 520 miles of range). The Plaid and Plaid+ have not two but three electric motors good for a total of over 1,000 horsepower. The S will do 0-60 mph in under 2 seconds and hit a top speed of 200 mph. Those are shocking numbers, folks. Acceleration faster than a Bugatti Chiron, and it'll top out a tad less than the current Porsche 911 Turbo. The dual-motor Long Range version of the Model S starts at $79,990 (with 412 miles of range) with a top speed of 155 mph.
The Model X Plaid won't be quite as quick, but it's still no slouch. The three-motor SUV will possess 1,020-horsepower, 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds, and a top speed of 163 mph. The Plaid’s price will start at $119,990, and the two-motor Model X Long Range will cost $89,990.
The more drastic changes occur inside both vehicles. They take on the styling cues from the lesser Model 3 and Y, namely the big center touchscreen and minimalist dashboard. Perhaps the most interesting change is the departure from the traditional round steering wheel in favor of a square, Formula 1-style steering wheel that looks like it was pulled out of a spaceship. Thankfully, unlike the Model 3 and Y, the new interiors actually have instrumentation in front of the steering wheel.
Both models get a massive 17-inch central screen and a big 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Passengers in the back even get a center-mounted 8-inch screen. For those who care, Elon Musk recently announced that occupants will get to play the much-maligned but also much-anticipated Keanu Reeves-inspired Cyberpunk 2077 video game (when the vehicle is stopped, that is), as well as enjoy streaming video.
The interior of Plaid models receives sportier carbon fiber trim inside, while the Long Range models get wood features. You can also opt between black, cream, black/cream, black/white interior upholstery. The drastic change to the cabins of the refreshed vehicles might be the most significant one we've seen in a long time, especially without major exterior changes. We'll wait to see if the crazy steering wheel actually makes it to production, and if so, how customers will take to it.
The Model S Plaid will be delivered next month, but the Model X Long Range and Plaid with the updated interior won't be available until April. There is no more Model X Performance variant in light of the new Plaid trim.