Tesla Model S and Model X get their first major redesign, updated powertrains and a yoke steering wheel
Tesla’s long-overdue refresh for the Model S and Model X has finally arrived. Both vehicles have received a major interior overhaul that replaces the old portrait-style center touchscreen with a new 17″ landscape display and adds a new 8″ screen for rear passengers. The main highlight, however, is the yoke steering wheel that should excite aviation enthusiasts but may be tricky for drivers (and Tesla) to use on actual public roads.
The new Model S and Model X may be difficult to spot from the outside, considering subtle changes to the front bumper, rear diffuser, and the addition of new wheel designs and sizes. Things get much more interesting in the interior, which is now even more minimalistic than before and comes with a redesigned dashboard and center console in the front, while rear-seat passengers get an 8″ widescreen display of their own, a new fold-down armrest, and revised seats.
Tesla has upped the screen resolution on the main console from 1900 x 1200 to 2200 x 1300 pixels and rotated it to landscape mode. The new orientation, combined with that yoke steering, may take some getting used to for existing Model S/Model X owners, but more importantly, the infotainment system packs 10 teraflops of processing power that Tesla says is “on-par with today’s newest consoles.”
There’s also support for wireless controllers to play games, including titles like The Witcher 3, as these press shots suggest, and apparently, even Cyberpunk 2077.
In terms of powertrain, both the Model S and Model X come in the standard dual-motor AWD ‘Long Range’ spec, good for up to 412 miles in the $79,990 sedan and up to 360 miles in the $89,990 SUV (excluding potential savings). They’re also available in the tri-motor ‘Plaid’ version that packs 1,020 hp and torque vectoring for face-melting acceleration, better traction, and higher top speeds.
The $119,990 Model S Plaid has a 390-mile range and can go from 0-60mph in under 2 seconds with a top speed of 200mph. The Model X, meanwhile, carries the same price tag and has slightly lower performance figures. It takes around half a second more than the sedan to reach 60mph (2.5 seconds), has a 163 mph top speed, and 340 miles of range. Both updated EVs are now available in Long Range and Plaid spec, with deliveries expected in March.
Finally, there’s the ‘Plaid+’ powertrain that’s only available on the Model S. This model costs $139,990 and packs 80 more horsepower than the standard ‘Plaid’ version. Tesla says that the Model S Plaid+ is the most aerodynamic and fastest accelerating production car in the world, which also boasts an impressive range of over 520 miles.
Although Tesla is currently taking orders for the Model S Plaid+, customers will have to wait until late 2021 for delivery.