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EVolution (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Tesla's Model S all-electric luxury car is frantically quick in top Plaid all-wheel drive guise. Jonathan Crouch reports.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 69
The Tesla Model S is arguably the most practical electric car on sale today, but to create something very special, its American manufacturer has added more power to create this top Plaid version - a Model S that has gained extra capability without really sacrificing anything. It has 1,020hp, goes 200mph, gets to 62mph in under 2 seconds and costs nearly £120,000. The best electric car yet? Quite probably.
Backgroundword count: 190
When Tesla launched its first electric car, the Roadster, in 2008, it was met with a fairly lukewarm reception. By the time the Model S arrived in 2014, however, the world was far more accepting of Tesla's pure-electric creations. By then, electric vehicles (EVs) were becoming almost commonplace, with the Nissan LEAF leading the way while less successful attempts like the Renault Twizy and Peugeot iOn were also on sale, although all were spoiled by one fundamental flaw: range. When the Model S came along with its 300-plus-mile striking distance, as well as seven seats and two boots, the industry was a little bit stumped. Here was an electric car with the space of a medium-sized MPV, the performance of a supercar and the range of a petrol-powered citycar. Latterly, the brand has added a Dual Motor four wheel drive system to this car's proposition and based this drive system's development around the needs of an astoundingly quick Model S flagship variant, this Plaid variant. It's the car we're going to look at here, which features the range of visual exterior and interior updates most recently made to this design.
Driving Experienceword count: 200
This Plaid Model S derivative gets a massive 1,020hp, split roughly 30/70 between the front and rear axle. There's a 421bhp motor at the front and two 414bhp motors at the rear. All that power gets this top Model S to 62mph in just 1.99 seconds - faster than the mental Porsche 911 Turbo S. It'll beat most of the Germans at full chat, too, with a 200mph top speed. Even the electric car's Achilles heel, WLTP driving range, is addressed, with the Model S Performance managing 396 miles between trips to the plug. Provided by using one electric motor on each axle, the four-wheel drive system increases traction but let's be clear here; the inclusion of four-wheel drive does not make this Model S into any kind of SUV. The ride height is no greater than that of the standard car, and there's no rugged-looking body cladding as found on soft-roading estate cars like the Volvo V90 Cross Country. Instead, the Model S Plaid variant's four-wheel drive is there for performance and traction purposes, in much the same way that all-wheel drive is offered in the Jaguar F-Type range - a fact highlighted by the sport button marked 'Insane'.
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Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen
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