Tesla tweaked its product line-up at the beginning of 2021 by replacing its old Performance trim-level Model X with a decidedly better alternative. The Tesla Model X Plaid is still the same beefy SUV that was available before but with some core improvements — especially when it comes to performance.
Release date: Early 2022
Power: 3 motor, AWD
Battery Range: 340 miles
0 to 60 mph: 2.5 seconds
Smarts: Autopilot, optional FSD upgrade, AAA gaming, Tesla Premium connectivity
The Tesla Model X uses the same three motor Plaid powertrain that was initially developed for the Model S saloon. Seeing as the Model X is based on the same platform the Californian automaker has done the decent thing and added that trio of motors to the Model X Plaid, which means you can now get the SUV as a 1,020bhp monster, with a zero to 60mph time of just 2.5 seconds. Read on for more details on this stunning SUV.
- These are the best electric cars you can buy right now
- Everything you need to know about the Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla Model X Plaid: Price and release date
All that performance comes at a price, with the Tesla Model X Plaid costing considerably more than the Long Range, dual motor, all-wheel drive edition. That costs $89,990, whereas the Tesla Model X Plaid edition, which features the tri motor, all wheel drive setup has a price tag of $119,990.
What’s more, while it is certainly possible to order the Tesla Model X Plaid edition right now, the production version of the car is not likely to arrive until sometime in early 2022.
Tesla Model X Plaid: Power and performance
If you’ve already been impressed by the Long Range edition of the Tesla Model X, with its 0-60mph time of 3.8 seconds and 670 horsepower, then the power and performance of the Model X Plaid is next level.
The Plaid edition of the Model X features a tri-motor, all-wheel-drive setup that delivers 1,020 horsepower and propels you from 0-60mph in just 2.5 seconds. That’s blisteringly fast for an SUV that can seat seven people in comfort
Adding to the appeal of the decidedly lively Tesla Model X Plaid car is its top speed, which is 163mph, compared to the Long Range edition, which can reach 155mph. However, the Long Range car is just that as it can go farther on a charge with 360 miles of range compared to 340 miles from the Plaid model.
Tesla Model X Plaid: Battery and range
The Tesla Model X Plaid car certainly features plenty of range capability, with 340 miles possible from one single charge. And, thanks to the Tesla 250 kW Supercharger network it’s possible to replenish the car’s battery rapidly, with up to 175 miles added to it within the space of 15 minutes.
Tesla Model X Plaid: Design and interior
While the exterior revisions of the Tesla Model X aren't particularly dramatic, the subtle design flourishes do give the SUV an extra touch of zing. The most notable feature are the redesigned air vents in the front bumper, which follow the same theme as those seen on the latest Tesla Model S.
There’s also the option for switching the car’s chromework with more moody back trim if you prefer. New wheels complete the imposing look of the car and will be available as either 20 or 22-inch options.
Central to the arrival of the Model X Plaid has been a makeover of the seven-seat interior, which is now more striking than ever. Perhaps the most noticeable feature is the steering wheel, which isn’t your average circular affair. Instead, there’s something that looks like it should be in an aircraft, with Tesla also doing away with the stalks that are normally present for lights and wipers.
Meanwhile, if your eyes are firstly drawn to the yoke-style steering column they'll soon be heading in the direction of the 17-inch infotainment display. This beefy screen can be adjusted to suit the front seat occupant who’s using it.
Rear seat passengers also get catered for in the infotainment department, with another 8-inch screen located in the back of the car. Tesla has designed the system to let occupants enjoy wireless gaming from wherever you’re sat in the car.
There’s also Bluetooth, wireless and USB-C charging and a 22-speaker, 960-watt audio system. Seating-wise, the Tesla Model X Plaid can have a configuration that caters for five, six and seven people depending on your requirements.
Tesla Model X Plaid: Additional highlights
While the Tesla Model X Plaid offers a premium driving experience it’s also got a dazzling array of the automakers tech and safety features. The new and improved interior boasts that screen, with its 2200x1300 resolution but, before that, remember this is the car that comes with automatic front doors, which open and close using power. Meanwhile, rear passengers get the benefit of Falcon Wing doors, which lift up allowing easier entry and exit.
There’s also been a lot of care an attention put into the environment within the cockpit. Tri-zone temperature controls, ventilated front seats and HEPA filtration means that whichever one of the five, six or seven seats configurations you’ve got the tech should ensure you get a premium experience.
Thanks to the size of the SUV you also get 91ft³ of storage space. Plus, there’s a trailer hitch as standard, and with all that power you get the benefit of 5,000lbs towing capacity.
Tesla Model X Plaid: Outlook
Although the Tesla Model X Plaid is not set to appear until next year there have been recent sightings of a refreshed car. Video footage in circulation on the web show the model in question to have the distinctive yoke steering wheel, a new instrument cluster and infotainment display too. Externally, the car also appears to sport the new design wheels and black trim elements.
While Tesla continues to struggle to keep up with demand there’s every possibility that the Model X Plaid arrival date could slip. U.S. orders are now looking likely to start happening from October or November, but the reality could well be that pre-ordered cars will start appearing at the beginning of 2022.
- More: Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model Y: What's the difference?