As widely expected, Tesla presented revised versions of its two premium electric cars Model S and Model X at the end of January, including the option of a new plaid drive with two motors on the rear axle. Both models were available to order immediately, and according to CEO Elon Musk, the new Model S should be shipping in the US from this February. So far it doesn’t seem to have reached any customers, but some copies are probably already on the way for testing. Even now, Tesla showed a short video of plaid accelerating on snow, and an observer photographed a Parked Model S plaid in California.
Six seconds of Model S in the snow
Tesla’s on Friday Video posted on Twitter is as short as its description: it is subtitled “Plaid winter test” and you can see for six seconds how a gray Model S accelerates on a surface covered with snow. As expected, it goes quickly, and the new Super-Tesla (according to CEO Musk the fastest production car in the world) rushes behind a train of blown snow.
In addition, the short video enables a look into the cockpit of the Model S – and it can be seen that this model is also equipped with a conventional round steering wheel. Instead, Tesla had shown Model S and Model X with a rectangle called a yoke, like in an airplane or racing car. Unlike in Europe, its approval in the USA does not yet seem to have been clarified. And maybe that’s why another new Model S discovered in California over the weekend featured a normal steering wheel.
The vehicle with the manufacturer’s license plate was on a street in the Californian city of Carmel on Sunday, as @nickrgeorge reported on Twitter. Of course, he did not miss the opportunity to photograph one of the first new Tesla Model S. In his interior pictures, the round steering wheel can be seen very clearly, as in another sighting last week with Tesla lettering instead of the earlier logo in the middle.
Tesla continues to do without levers
It can also be clearly seen that this Model S is also missing the levers on the side of the steering wheel, which were previously used to operate the indicators, windshield wipers and headlights (left) and to engage the gear steps. Tesla definitely seems to want to implement this part of the modernization. Instead, there are now small touch areas in the steering wheel spoke for flashing, which can be operated with the left thumb. According to CEO Musk, artificial intelligence is used to decide whether Model S and Model X should drive forwards or backwards or go into parking position. This can, however, be overridden using additional touch sensors in the center console.