Tesla Model S Plaid Car Review

Tesla’s Model S: Still a Force to be Reckoned With, but Only in Left-Hand Drive

Tesla, the California-based electric vehicle (EV) pioneer, made a significant impact on the automotive industry when it introduced its first mass-market all-electric car, the Model S, back in 2012. Since then, advancements in battery technology have propelled EVs to new heights, but the Model S still remains a formidable contender. In this article, we explore the Model S’s unique features and why it continues to be a favorite among EV enthusiasts.

The Remarkable Model S

The Tesla Model S boasts a four-door, five-seat saloon design, which may seem conventional at first glance, but its technology sets it apart. Powered by two electric motors drawing energy from a 100kWh battery pack, the Model S delivers power to all four wheels through a single-speed transmission. Its battery pack, residing in a skateboard-like structure, keeps the center of gravity low, providing excellent handling and ample cabin storage space.

The Plaid Track Package variant of the Model S impressively churns out 1,020bhp and 1,050lb ft of torque, far surpassing the standard model’s 661bhp.

A Setback for UK Buyers

Unfortunately, the Model S, along with the Model X SUV, is no longer available for purchase in the UK since early 2021. In May 2023, Tesla confirmed that this situation would persist “for the foreseeable future,” leaving UK buyers with only the option of Model 3 and Model Y.

The Unrivaled Acceleration

Tesla’s Model S Plaid, the range-topping variant, is recognized for its outstanding acceleration. With 1,006bhp, it claims to be the fastest production car, going from 0 to 60mph in less than two seconds. The instant and immense torque of 1,420Nm allows for effortless overtakes and exhilarating acceleration experiences, leaving slower-moving traffic far behind.

Impressive Handling and Autopilot

Despite its powerful performance, the Model S Plaid handles corners with remarkable poise, earning it a Nürburgring lap record. The vehicle’s all-wheel-drive system and superb grip ensure a secure connection with the road. Additionally, Tesla’s Autopilot system remains one of the most advanced driver assistance technologies, providing a smooth and stress-free experience on the motorway.

Interior Tech and Build Quality

Tesla’s dedication to interior tech is evident in the Model S. The 17-inch main screen is sharp and functional, offering a comprehensive infotainment system and connectivity features. While the lack of physical controls for indicators and wipers may initially challenge the user experience, the high-definition instrument cluster compensates by providing excellent visibility of surrounding vehicles and obstacles.

Regarding build quality, Tesla has made significant strides in improving it with the 2023 Model S. The cabin materials and overall ambiance have elevated the luxury feel, while the option to angle the main screen towards the driver enhances the driving experience further.

Real-World Range and Supercharger Network

The Model S Plaid boasts an official range of up to 373 miles, supported by Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network. Quick charging capability of up to 250kW allows for a rapid 10-80% charge in just 30 minutes. Tesla’s Supercharger network remains one of the key reasons why Tesla owners can embark on long journeys with confidence, accessing a reliable and high-speed charging infrastructure.

Limited Availability and Pricing

While the Model S is back on the price lists in the UK, there’s one significant catch: it’s now available only in left-hand drive. This change may deter some potential buyers. However, Tesla offers a full refund to those who had previously placed deposits and are unwilling to proceed with a left-hand drive purchase. For those undeterred, the Model S Plaid is priced at £113,480, offering remarkable performance and cutting-edge technology.


Though the Model S is no longer available in right-hand drive for UK buyers, its powerful performance, impressive handling, and advanced technology make it an enticing option for those comfortable with left-hand drive. Tesla continues to lead the way in the EV market, setting standards for interior tech and build quality. The Model S Plaid’s jaw-dropping acceleration and extensive real-world range, coupled with Tesla’s Supercharger network, make it a compelling choice for EV enthusiasts seeking a blend of performance and practicality.

Model: Tesla Model S Plaid
Price: £113,480
Powertrain: 100kWh battery, 3x e-motors
Power/torque: 1,006bhp/1,420Nm
Transmission: Single-speed auto, four-wheel drive
0-60mph: 1.99 seconds
Top speed: 200mph
Range/charging: 373 miles/250kW, 10-80% in 30 mins
On sale: Now

Author Profile

Michael P
Los Angeles based finance writer covering everything from crypto to the markets.

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