Tesla plans to ship Mannequin S Plaid in June after months of delays
Elon Musk said in a tweet Thursday that Tesla will hold a “delivery event” on June 3 at the company’s factory in Fremont, California for the long-delayed Model S plaid.
Specifically, he wrote, “Tesla Model S Plaid delivery event June 3rd at our California facility. Fastest production car ever 0 to 60 mph in less than 2 seconds.”
The Model S Plaid is an updated version of the company’s flagship battery-electric sedan, which has been in production since 2012.
Musk and Tesla first advertised and promised plaid versions of the Model S, Model X SUV and Tesla Roadster in September 2019. At this point, the CEO told his tens of millions of Twitter followers that a plaid powertrain was about a year away from production.
Tesla was criticized when it revealed the interior of the Model S plaid in a results update back in January this year. The design includes a steering yoke option instead of a round steering wheel. Steering yokes are better suited for the racetrack than everyday vehicle use, partly due to the steering ratio and because average drivers often have to reposition their hands on the steering wheel.
During that quarterly earnings call, Musk said the Model S plaid was already in production. In February, he said on an episode of the popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” that the Model S plaid would ship in February. He talked about the wider wheelbase and acceleration and called the car “uncomfortably fast”.
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Following those promises, Tesla announced in its first-quarter vehicle production and deliveries report that it had not produced a single Model S or Model X in the first three months of the year.
The delays have frustrated Tesla loyalists, but not all of them.
Barry Stuppler, a longtime Tesla owner who ordered his first Model S in 2014, spoke to CNBC about his long wait for the new version of the Model S.
He ordered a Model S plaid in January 2021 with a plan to give his older Model S to his son. Tesla’s sales and delivery teams initially told him to expect delivery by the end of March.
The month was getting closer and without warning, Tesla updated its expected delivery date several times, telling it to expect the Model S plaid to arrive in July. His son has now rented a vehicle.
Stuppler said he loved his old Tesla Model S and never used gas. At the same time, he admits that Tesla is fortunate to have extremely patient customers.
Stuppler runs a rare coin and precious metal wholesale business, Stuppler & Co., and said he has developed an appreciation for value for money but also strong customer service. If the battery-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS were already available, he would have ordered one instead of the Tesla.
Tesla faces increasing competition as other automakers move into the battery-only segment. The competition for the S Plaid model today includes the Porsche Taycan and the Audi E-tron as well as the upcoming Lucid Air and the Mercedes EQS.
Tesla has not yet said when shipments of the plaid version of its Model X SUV or the redesigned Tesla Roadster will begin. Musk previously said these vehicles, but not the Model 3 and Y, would have the Plaid powertrain.