EVs don’t sit on the lower end of the price bracket in the car industry. Unless it’s a Chevy Bolt, most EVs are more expensive than gasoline-equivalent vehicles by a significant margin. When you start looking at the top end of the spectrum, the prices can seem astronomical: For example, a Rivian R1S with all the bells, whistles, and four motors starts at $92,000. A Lucid Air Pure, the lowest base trim, “only” has 480 horsepower and starts at $87,400.
Tesla’s offerings aren’t exactly bargain basement either. The least-expensive Model 3 is a not-unreasonable $40,390, but that’s still not a drop in the bucket for the average consumer. The falcon-winged Model X Plaid tops out at $130,590. For that price, you get a car that can go from 0-60 miles per hour in a scant 2.5 seconds, and generates 1,020 horsepower from its three motors. Not to be outdone, the Tesla Model S Plaid sports a price tag of an eye watering $135,990 to buy it outright, without any incentives or discounts. Despite being well into six-figure territory, the Model S Plaid might be worth the price of admission for those looking for the best performance.
The Plaid’s speed justifies the price
It’s an understatement to say that Tesla is a controversial company — a trait that tends to follow its CEO’s business ventures. Elon Musk’s Twitter hijinks don’t help matters much, and neither do the seemingly endless delays on the Cybertruck. That being said, one thing is for certain: The Tesla Model S Plaid is ridiculously fast. No number of embarrassing headlines or wacky statements from the company or its founder can change the outrageous performance figures of the Plaid model.
According to Tesla, the Model S Plaid will top out at 200 miles per hour, but cars have been breaking 200 mph for decades, so that’s not too impressive. Where the Tesla really shines is pure acceleration. From a dead stop, the 1,020 horsepower trimotor Tesla will accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 2.1 seconds, according to real world testing by Hagerty. It only loses out to the $249,000 Lucid Air Sapphire by a hair. A 0-60 time of 2.1 seconds means that the Plaid officially beats out just about every production car that has ever existed. That includes every Bugatti, Hellcat variation, everything Ferrari has ever come up with, and the entirety of Lamborghini’s existence. The $135,000-plus price doesn’t seem too bad in comparison to the multimillion-dollar supercars the Plaid can melt in a drag race.