Refreshed Tesla Model S/X: Everything We Know, Plus Comparisons

If you are looking for a summary of the Tesla Model S/Model X refresh, here it is.

Tesla recently announced a new, deeply refreshed Model S and Model X, including new top of the line “Plaid” versions (that replace the “Performance” versions). Production should start soon (the new Model S is expected in March, while the new Model X in April), after a period of a break to upgrade the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California. The Model S Plaid+ version will appear a little bit later, in “late 2021.”

According to Tesla, the new Model S/ Model X are equipped with a new powertrain (including battery modules, battery packs and drive units shared with Model 3/Model Y), an entirely new interior, exterior updates and “other improvements”. Those other improvements are, for example, a lithium-ion 12V auxiliary battery, heat pump (all new Tesla models have one now).

Tesla explains that both the battery pack and modules have been fully redesigned. Together with other changes, it improved energy efficiency and allows Tesla to increase the number of high-speed quarter-mile runs by 5-times, compared to the prior architecture.

There is no word about change in the cells, which means that both models are still equipped with cylindrical 18650 type, compared to 2170 in Model 3/Model Y, and upcoming 4680.

The Model S Plaid and Plaid+, as well as the Model X Plaid, are equipped with three electric motors with high speed, high-power, “carbon-sleeved rotors (one in the front for the front axle, and two separate for the rear wheels with torque vectoring system).

Thanks to three electric motors and higher system output, the Plaid versions will become the quickest production cars ever introduced.

In terms of interior, some changes were quite surprising, including the yoke steering wheel, lack of a typical gear selector or turn signal lever. Others, like the new 17” center display (horizontal) and an additional 8” second-row display, are kind of cool. The entire interior looks more modern, but remains minimalist.

We would like to note a few of the features:

  • Heated seats for every passenger, heated steering and heated windshield
  • Ventilated front seating
  • Tri-zone Airwave cabin conditioning
  • Premium 22-speaker audio with active noise canceling
  • Gaming computer with 10 teraflops of processing power
  • New front center console with sliding cupholders and storage
  • Second-row stowable center armrest with integrated storage and wireless charging

Prices

The prices of the new Model S and Model X are higher than before by about $10,000 (Long Range version).

The Plaid and Plaid+ Model S are more expensive than the outgoing Model S Performance by respectively: $28,000 and $48,000. The Model X Plaid is $20,000 more expensive than the outgoing Model X Performance.

ModelBase PriceDest. ChargeTax CreditEffective Price
2021 Tesla Model S Long Range (AWD) 19″$79,990+$1,200N/A$81,190
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid 19″$119,990+$1,200N/A$121,190
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid+ 19″$139,990+$1,200N/A$141,190
2021 Tesla Model X Long Range (AWD) 20″$89,990+$1,200N/A$91,190
2021 Tesla Model X Plaid 20″$119,990+$1,200N/A$121,190

Model S options include:

  • color other than white: $1,500 (black, grey, blue) and $2,500 (red)
  • 21″ Arachnid Wheels: $4,500
  • interior other than black: $2,000 (black and white; cream)
  • Full Self-Driving Capability: $10,000

Model X options include:

  • color other than white: $1,500 (black, grey, blue) and $2,500 (red)
  • 22″ Turbine Wheels: $5,500
  • interior other than black: $2,000 (black and white; cream)
  • Full Self-Driving Capability: $10,000
  • Seats: 5 (standard); 6 ($6,500); 7 ($3,500)

Specs

Here is a quick look at the specs, but most of the numbers are not confirmed (the battery capacity is only our guess):

ModelDriveBattery
(kWh)
EPA
Range
0-60
mph
(sec)
Top
Speed
2021 Tesla Model S Long Range (AWD) 19″AWD100*412 mi*
(663 km)
3.1155 mph
(249 km/h)
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid 19″AWD100*390 mi*
(628 km)
1.99200 mph
(322 km/h)
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid+ 19″AWD140*520+ mi*
(837 km)
<1.99200 mph
(322 km/h)
2021 Tesla Model X Long Range (AWD) 20″AWD100*360 mi*
(579 km)
3.8155 mph
(249 km/h)
2021 Tesla Model X Plaid 20″AWD100*340 mi*
(547 km)
2.5163 mph
(262 km/h)

The new Model S is expected to replenish up to 200 miles of range in 15 minutes at a Supercharger, while the new Model X will replenish up to 175 miles of range in 15 minutes.

Comparisons

Model S Plaid vs Model S Long Range

The Plaid version is 50% more expensive, has three electric motors and much stronger acceleration.

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model2021 Tesla Model S Plaid 19″
[A]
Difference
[A] / [B]
2021 Tesla Model S Long Range (AWD) 19″
[B]
DriveAWD AWD
Battery100 kWh*0%100 kWh*
EPA Range
Combined390 mi*
(628 km)
-5.3%412 mi*
(663 km)
Specs
0-60 mph1.99 s-35.8%3.1 s
Top speed200 mph
(322 km/h)
29%155 mph
(249 km/h)
Peak power760 kW52.3%499 kW
Prices
MSRP$119,99050%$79,990

Model S Plaid+ vs Model S Plaid

If you are willing to pay a little bit more, the performance will be even better, but more importantly, the range will be a third higher.

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model2021 Tesla Model S Plaid+ 19″
[A]
Difference
[A] / [B]
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid 19″
[B]
DriveAWD AWD
Battery140 kWh*40%100 kWh*
EPA Range
Combined520+ mi*
(837 km)
33.3%390 mi*
(628 km)
Specs
0-60 mph<1.99 s0%1.99 s
Top speed200 mph
(322 km/h)
0%200 mph
(322 km/h)
Peak power760 kW0%760 kW
Prices
MSRP$139,99016.7%$119,990

Model X Plaid vs Model X Long Range

In the case of Model X, the price difference between the Plaid and Long Range is about 33%, so is the acceleration.

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model2021 Tesla Model X Plaid 20″
[A]
Difference
[A] / [B]
2021 Tesla Model X Long Range (AWD) 20″
[B]
DriveAWD AWD
Battery100 kWh*0%100 kWh*
EPA Range
Combined340 mi*
(547 km)
-5.6%360 mi*
(579 km)
Specs
0-60 mph2.5 s-34.2%3.8 s
Top speed163 mph
(262 km/h)
5.2%155 mph
(249 km/h)
Peak power760 kW52.3%499 kW
Prices
MSRP$119,99033.3%$89,990

New Vs Old

Model S Long Range vs old Model S Long Range

As we can see in comparison with the outgoing Model S Long Range, the range improved just slightly. The biggest change is quicker acceleration and the price.

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model2021 Tesla Model S Long Range (AWD) 19″
[A]
Difference
[A] / [B]
2021 Tesla Model S Long Range Plus
[B]
DriveAWD AWD
Battery100 kWh*0%100 kWh*
EPA Range
Combined412 mi*
(663 km)
2.5%402 mi*
(647 km)
City  416.2 mi*
(670 km)
Highway  384 mi*
(618 km)
Specs
0-60 mph3.1 s-16.2%3.7 s
Top speed155 mph
(249 km/h)
0%155 mph
(249 km/h)
Peak power499 kW  
EPA Energy Consumption (including charging losses)
Combined  117 MPGe: 288 Wh/mi (179 Wh/km)
City  121 MPGe: 279 Wh/mi (173 Wh/km)
Highway  112 MPGe: 301 Wh/mi (187 Wh/km)
Prices
MSRP$79,99015.2%$69,420
Dest. Charge+$1,200 +$1,200
Tax Credit   
Effective Price$81,19015%$70,620

Model X Long Range vs old Model X Long Range

The range of the new Model X Long Range is actually a bit lower than the outgoing Model X, but the car is slightly quicker and more expensive.

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model2021 Tesla Model X Long Range (AWD) 20″
[A]
Difference
[A] / [B]
2021 Tesla Model X Long Range Plus
[B]
DriveAWD AWD
Battery100 kWh*0%100 kWh*
EPA Range
Combined360 mi*
(579 km)
-3%371 mi
(597 km)
City  382.2 mi
(615 km)
Highway  356.3 mi
(573 km)
Specs
0-60 mph3.8 s-13.6%4.4 s
Top speed155 mph
(249 km/h)
0%155 mph
(249 km/h)
Peak power499 kW  
EPA Energy Consumption (including charging losses)
Combined  105 MPGe: 321 Wh/mi (199 Wh/km)
City  109 MPGe: 309 Wh/mi (192 Wh/km)
Highway  101 MPGe: 334 Wh/mi (207 Wh/km)
Prices
MSRP$89,99012.5%$79,990
Dest. Charge+$1,200 +$1,200
Tax Credit   
Effective Price$91,19012.3%$81,190

* estimated/unofficial values

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