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'Quickest production car ever'! New Tesla Model S Plaid 2021 resets performance benchmarks with three electric motors

The Model S Plaid is claimed to be the quickest series-production car yet.

Tesla has taken the Model S large sedan to a whole new level with the reveal of its eagerly anticipated Plaid flagship, which is claimed to be the quickest series-production car yet thanks to its tri-motor powertrain.

Available in Australia late next year, the Model S Plaid features three electric motors, with one up front and two at the rear for all-wheel drive. Together they develop more than 820kW (1100bhp) of power.

This combination helps the Model S Plaid sprint from a standstill to 100km/h in less than 2.1 seconds, while its quarter-mile (0-402m) time is less than nine. Tesla says both acceleration figures are records for a series-production car.

Meanwhile, the Plaid’s top speed is 320km/h, 70km/h faster than the Model S' previous flagship, the Performance, manages. For reference, it makes do with a 615kW dual-motor powertrain that helps produce a zero-to-100km/h sprint time of 2.5s.

That said, the Plaid isn’t all about straight-line performance, as Tesla claims it has the longest driving range of any Model S, at more than 840km. The Performance, on the other hand, produces 671km on the NEDC cycle.

The Plaid is priced from $189,990 (excluding luxury-car tax and before on-road costs) in Australia, which equates to about $223,718, including luxury-car tax and before on-road costs.

Either way, the Plaid is positioned above the Performance ($158,718, including luxury-car tax and before on-road costs) in the local Model S line-up.