Musk unveils Model S Plaid, Tesla’s fastest car to date


Elon Musk bills Tesla’s latest vehicle, the Model S Plaid, as a Halo product proving the superiority of electric cars.

Elon Musk billed Tesla Inc.’s latest vehicle, the Model S Plaid, as a Halo product, proving the superiority of electric cars at an event marking the start of deliveries to customers.

“Why make this really fast car that’s blazing fast?” The chief executive asked rhetorically outside Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California. “That’s something that’s quite important to the future of sustainable energy, which is we have to show that an electric car is the best car, hands down.”

The new flagship will likely provide an incremental boost to Tesla’s deliveries, but the high-end S and X models remain a niche business compared to its larger market 3 and Y cars, said Dan Levy, an analyst at Credit Suisse, with a neutral rating. . the stock said in a research note on Friday.

“While the introduction of Plaid deliveries provides some excitement on the product front, we believe Plaid is secondary to Tesla’s aspirations in the Model 3/Y.”

Tesla shares fell 1% to $604.09 as of 9:50 a.m. in New York. They fell 14% through Thursday’s close, trailing the S&P 500 index’s 13% gain.

disappointing start

Tesla’s share price surged eightfold last year making the company the world’s most valuable automaker and helped fuel investor interest in the wider electric-vehicle space. But the EV market leader has had a disappointing start this year.

At a Plaid debut late Thursday, Musk attempted to showcase Tesla’s engineering prowess when his company’s lineup faces competition from battery-powered vehicles including Ford Motor Company’s Mustang Mach-E and the Porsche Taycan. was falling

They touted the sleek sedan as being able to go from zero to 60 mph in less than 2 seconds, although the initial roll forward is not included at the time, according to the company’s website. The car offers an estimated 390 miles of range, reaches a top speed of 200 mph and is priced at $129,990 in the US

“This is what I call the limits of physics engineering,” said Musk, wearing a black leather jacket with a plaid logo on the back.

The Model S was Tesla’s breakthrough sedan, with initial deliveries beginning in 2012. While the older models S and X dwarf the newer and cheaper 3 and Y, the higher prices they command contribute significantly to the company’s profitability. The first 25 plaid cars were delivered to customers on Thursday, and Musk said he expects the company to deliver 1,000 per week by next quarter.

During the presentation that lasted less than 30 minutes, Musk touted the improvements, including a new battery pack, carbon-wrapped rotors, and a tri-motor powertrain. The name Plaid is a reference to a high-speed space travel scene from the 1987 comedy film “Spaceballs”.

Changes in the exterior design made the car more aerodynamic. Inside, the front seats have been pushed forward to increase space for rear passengers, which now have a second touch screen.

home theater-like

Musk compared the car’s entertainment system to the performance of the Sony PlayStation 5, saying its 22-speaker sound system delivers a home theater-like experience.

“If you think about where the future of the car lies, often in autopilot or self-driving mode, entertainment is becoming increasingly important,” he said. “You want to watch movies, play games, use the Internet.”

The incident lacked “one more thing” surprising about other vehicles in Tesla’s product pipeline, such as the Semi or Cybertruck. Musk also didn’t provide any updates about the new battery cells the company is developing in-house or discussing a decision to kill off a longer-range Plaid+ version of the Model S.

Tesla typically holds one or two splash events per year to keep customers excited and reduce deposits on products. They also serve an important promotional purpose, as the company avoids spending on traditional advertising.

(Update with analyst comments from third paragraph.)

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