Tesla Model S Plaid Plus is officially cancelled — what you need to know

tesla model s plaid
(Image credit: Tesla)

Tesla has cancelled the more powerful of the Tesla Model S Plaid’s two variants, the Plaid Plus, because the standard version is “just so good.”

That’s according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who announced the news on Twitter. In an official statement (via Electrek), Musk explained that the standard Model S Plaid's range was the main factor, claiming that it already offers enough for most people.

As good as the Model S Plaid might be, the Plaid Plus was always marketed as the more powerful option, with Tesla positioning the car as having more horsepower (1,100), faster acceleration (0-60 in under 1.99 seconds) and longer range (520 miles). 

The standard Model S Plaid, meanwhile, has 1,020 horsepower, 390 miles of range, and can hit 0-60 in exactly 1.99 seconds.

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While the standard model's stats are still impressive, the Plaid Plus' range marked it out as something special — it was set to outdo even the 500-mile Tesla Cybertruck on that front. Tesla also claimed the car would have the fastest 0-60 and quarter-mile acceleration of any production car ever made.

But in his official statement, Musk claimed that the Plus' extra range was unnecessary for most people. 

“What we are seeing is that once you have a range above 400 miles, more range doesn’t really matter," he said. "There are essentially zero trips above 400 miles where the driver doesn’t need to stop for restroom, food, coffee, etc. anyway.”

That's probably true for most people, and the fastest charging cars out there don't necessarily need much more than 10-15 minutes to add 100-plus miles to their range anyway. The standard Model S Plaid is supposed to recoup 200 miles of range, almost 50% of its total, in that time.

Still, range is good, and there are going to be times when people want to go as far as possible without a recharge break, especially if they're on a route without many compatible chargers.

It’s also not clear why Tesla would cancel the car after promoting it so heavily. It doesn’t matter how good the Model S Plaid is going to be, the Plaid Plus was always expected to be better. 

While still visible on the Tesla Model S sales page, the Plaid Plus option has been greyed out ever since Tesla announced the standard Plaid model would be arriving in June rather than in August/September.

At the time, it was assumed Tesla was shifting focus to the standard Model S Plaid ahead of its early launch, rather than pushing a variant of the car that wasn’t due until the middle of next year. Now it seems the company had other plans in mind. 

If we were to guess, we'd assume the Tesla Roadster would have something to do with the decision as well. The $200,000 car is due sometime next year, with a top speed of over 250 miles per hour, 0-60 in 1.9 seconds, and a range of 620 miles on a single charge. Those stats, especially the range, blow the $144,490 Plaid Plus out of the water.

Whatever the reason for the decision, the Plaid Plus is no more. So RIP, Tesla Model S Plaid, we hardly knew ye.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.