Autos

New Tesla Model S: what are the differences with the old one?

The iconic Tesla Model S is aging. To remain the benchmark large electric sedan, it radically changes its style and updates its technologies. Here are the most notable evolutions of the Model S 2021 compared to the old generation.


Unveiled by Tesla on January 27, the 2021 Model S goes upmarket. The change is hardly noticeable from the outside. The electric sedan is satisfied with a new more refined shield, new rims and a new more rounded diffuser. But the metamorphosis is much more obvious in the cabin, under the hood and… in your bank account.

Minimalist design

The new Tesla Model S manages to keep its ultra-technological interior by offering more comfort. Two-tone, the interior becomes warmer than the previous generation, in particular by integrating typical walnut wood inserts. The aerators fade as on the Model 3 and favor the vanishing lines which provide a greater impression of space. The upholstery of the seats seems much more accomplished. A set of developments that reinforce the limousine aspect, which should satisfy the clientele of taxis, VTC and business of the Model S.

Especially since the passengers seated in the back now have a small 8-inch screen, placed low enough between the two front seats. Dedicated to entertainment, but also to multi-zone air conditioning settings, it may however disturb those most sensitive to motion sickness.

The Yoke wheel to amaze

If the old Model S generated an effect of surprise thanks to its giant vertical screen, the 2021 version should be amazed by its “Yoke” steering wheel. Its presence remains to be confirmed, particularly in Europe, for approval reasons. Cut in half, it improves the field of vision towards the instrumentation and reduces the size of the passenger compartment. The driver is relegated to the post of simple automatic supervisor, which may not appeal to everyone.

The famous vertical infotainment screen is swapped for a horizontal model of 17 inches and 2200 × 1300 pixels of resolution, barely higher than full HD. Previously, the Model S had a screen of the same size, but less a little less detailed with 1920 × 1200 pixels.


Insane powers

Comfort and aesthetics are not the only aspects to evolve. The “Performance” versions of the Model S change their names to “Plaid” and “Plaid +”. They announce some technical advances, such as the appearance of a 3rd engine on this variation. It enables them to be propelled to insane powers: 1,020 hp for the “Plaid” and 1,100 for the “Plaid +”, instead of 598 hp at best in the past. The maximum speed is increased to 320 km / h, it was limited to 261 km / h previously. No huge advance in acceleration, which tops out at 2.1 s for 0 to 100 km / h (Plaid + version), against 2.5 s (Performance).


A range that is close to 1,000 km

Despite a gain in power, the autonomy is not impaired. On the contrary, the Model S “Plaid +” claims an insolent range of 840 km EPA. Never seen. The more accessible version “Plaid” however loses 11 short kilometers to reach 628 km of autonomy. At the entry level, the “Grande Autonomie” version gains 23 km and can cover 663 km on a full tank.

This surge in performance is accompanied by a logical increase in prices. From 84,990 €, the new Model S “Grande Autonomie” goes up to 89,990 €. The “Plaid” version shows a strong increase: 119,990 € against 101,990 € for the ex-Performance. Finally, the “Plaid +” is sold for € 139,990, the highest list price excluding option of all Tesla.

Already available to order, the new Model S should be delivered from September 2021. The “Plaid +” version will arrive later, around the end of the year.

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