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Tesla Model S refresh revealed with Plaid+ version, weird steering wheel

The Tesla Model S has been around since 2012, and while it has been updated throughout the years, it’s only now a more significant refresh is being rolled out. That being said, the exterior design hasn’t been changed all that much as other than the revised front and rear fascias and new wheels, it’s largely the same.

The most significant modifications have been made inside the cabin where the first update you’ll notice is the totally redesigned steering wheel. Well, perhaps “wheel” is not the right word to use since it looks more along the lines of a joystick similar to what the KITT car had in Knight Rider. Putting it into different words, it’s a three-spoke steering wheel with a flat-bottomed design and the upper half sliced off. You’ll find the same setup on the Model X refresh, too.

Another radical change is the adoption of a new infotainment system with a landscape orientation to eschew the portrait-style display of all previous Model S models. Tesla also changed the window switches and door-release buttons to look like those fitted to the smaller Model 3 and Model Y. Eagle-eyed readers will also notice the center console has been revised to have a cleaner one-piece design.

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If you thought the interior couldn’t get any more minimalistic, Tesla has managed to pull it off by hiding the air vents of the tri-zone climate control system controllable through the big display. The 2022 Model S refresh will be offered with a full glass roof to make the cabin feel even more spacious, while passengers sitting in the back will get to enjoy a center display to play games.

Going forward, Plaid+ will serve as the range-topping version with a tri-motor setup providing a combined output of 1,020 horsepower. Tesla says the flagship Model S does 0 to 60 mph in only 1.99 seconds and completes the quarter-mile in 9.23 seconds at 155 mph. With the right tires, the high-performance electric sedan will top out at 200 mph.

The Model S Plaid+ kicks off at $139,990 and offers 520 miles of range. Settle for the regular Plaid model – which replaces the old Performance trim level – and you’ll pay $119,000 for an EV that’ll cover 390 miles before running out of battery juice while having virtually the same performance chops as the Plaid+ variant.

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Customers interested in getting behind the wheel of the Model S Plaid should know Tesla’s site says the estimated delivery is in March while the full-blown Plaid+ will be rolled out in late 2021. As far as the base Long Range model is concerned, it costs from $79,990 and has the following specs: 412 miles of range, 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds, 670 horsepower, and a top speed of 155 mph. Deliveries start in March.

Source: Tesla