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2021 Model S Plaid Is Tesla Closest to Its EPA Range in Our Test

2021 Model S Plaid Is Tesla Closest to Its EPA Range in Our Test
view photos marc urbano car and driver
  • the tesla model s plaid traveled 280 miles in our real-world 75-mph highway test.
  • that result is 80 percent of its 348-mile epa-estimated range, which makes it the tesla that's closest to the epa's rating in our testing.
  • it's also tied with the porsche taycan as the ev with the second-most range in our 75-mph test, trailing the model s long range plus, which went 320 miles.

    the 1020-hp tesla model s plaid impressed with its acceleration performance results in car and driver testing, and despite all the extra go-fast hardware and sticky tires, its driving range delivered, too. it reached 80 percent of its epa-estimated range in our real-world 75-mph highway test, the best of any tesla we've tested.

    we traveled 280 miles at 75 mph on the highway, which is 68 miles less than the model s plaid's 348-mile epa-estimated range. it's also tied with the porsche taycan as the ev with the second-longest range result we've ever tested, coming in behind the model s long range, which is epa estimated at 402 miles and traveled 320 miles in our test, the only ev ever to crest 300 miles.

    it's difficult for electric cars to match their epa-estimated range, and that's especially true for tesla, which uses the epa's adjustment factor (you can read more about that here) in its favor to score big results. only two evs have ever exceeded the epa's estimates in our range test: the 2020 audi e-tron sportback (220 miles), which traveled another two miles, and the base-model 2021 porsche taycan (280 miles), an additional 55 miles.

    the model s plaid has three electric motors (the model s long range uses two motors) producing 1020 horsepower, and a 99.3-kwh lithium-ion battery pack provides the juice. the model s long range uses a 103.9-kwh pack. an additional factor in the plaid's result is that tesla claims its heat pump uses 50 percent less energy to heat the cabin. and it weighed in at 4828 pounds, which is only four pounds heavier than the model s long range and an impressive 175 pounds lighter than the last model s performance we tested, despite having an additional electric motor on the rear axle.

    we were also impressed that the plaid was able to achieve such a long-range result even though our test car was equipped with the optional michelin pilot sport 4s tires, which helped provide a staggering 1.08 g of grip on the skidpad. it was also able to recharge its battery significantly quicker than the previous model s we tested on tesla's 250-kw superchargers.

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    source:caranddriver.com