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Tesla updated Model S with rectangular steering

Tesla introduces updated Model S: 520-mile option, Plaid performance, rectangular steering. Plus, there’s a 1,020-horsepower Model X Plaid, too.

Tesla announced updates to its aging Model S sedan Wednesday during its Q4 earnings call, showing off the first significant design overhaul the electric flagship has received since its introduction way back in 2012.

In addition to announcing new high-performance “Plaid” variants, which are clearly aimed at Porsche’s Taycan and other EV newcomers, Tesla showed some renderings of the sedan’s updated styling. Outside, not much has changed, and we suspect some of the more aggressive-looking elements will end up being exclusive to the Plaid model.

Inside, the Model S cabin gets a little help from some of Tesla’s newer products. The touchscreen here leans heavily toward the Model 3/Model Y’s letterbox-style execution, rather than the vertically oriented “waterfall” style of the existing Model S.

And the car features an impractical-looking yoke-style steering wheel that for safety’s sake we hope doesn’t make it into production.

The dual-motor Long Range variant of the redesigned sedan starts at $79,990, and that’s good for 412 miles of range. The basic Plaid model will set you back $119,000 (with 390 miles of range) and the Plaid+ with 520 miles starts at $139,000.

The Plaid and Plaid+ are your enthusiast picks. Tesla claims these triple-motor, 1,000-horsepower-plus models will top out at 200 mph, and says the Plaid+ is capable of a 0-60 run in under 2 seconds. The lowly Long Range model tops out at just 155. 

The eagle-eyed folks over at BusinessInsider note that Tesla snuck a Model X Plaid variant onto its website as well, listing a 1,020-horsepower configuration with a 163 mph top speed and 2.5-second 0-60 time. 

All of these new variants are live on Tesla’s shopping tool at the time of publication; as to when deliveries will start, well, we take any Tesla timeline with a grain of salt, so we’re going to go ahead and say “when they’re ready.”

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