Tesla Model S and Model X get radical new interior, plus faster Plaid variants

Changes to Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X include all-new dashboard, upgraded tech, and high-performance Model S Plaid+ with 520-mile range and more than 1000bhp...

On sale 2022 | Price from £83,980

They say there's no need to reinvent the wheel, but that hasn't stopped Tesla from having a go as a part of major updates to its Model S luxury car and Model X luxury SUV.

Pictures revealed last night show both cars with a steering wheel that has no upper section, presumably to give the driver a better view of the digital instrument panel behind. The design was apparently inspired by aircraft controls, with Tesla describing the new-look wheel as a "stalkless steering yoke".

Unfortunately, it seems likely that Tesla will have to come up with a different design before UK sales begin, because the yoke approach wouldn't currently be legal here.

Tesla Model S 2022 front

Elsewhere, the portrait-orientated touchscreen infotainment system of today's cars has been ditched in favour of a 17in landscape unit that looks to be better integrated into the dashboard.

This runs new software with the processing power of 10 teraflops (yes, that's really a thing), meaning the in-car games that you can play are comparable with those on modern gaming consoles. Plus, there's a new an 8.0in touchscreen mounted at the back of the centre console, giving rear-seat passengers access to various entertainment functions.

A 22-speaker, 960-watt audio system is standard, and new microphones have been fitted to offer active noise-cancelling, which should improve refinement.

Tesla Model S 2022 rear screen

Beyond their new interiors, the big news is the introduction of Tesla Model S Plaid and Model X Plaid variants, which use three electric motors to produce a whopping 1006bhp. In the Model S this is said to be enough for 0-60mph in 1.99sec – faster than all but the most outrageous supercars.

The larger, heavier Model X Plaid isn't quite as rapid, requiring 2.5sec, but that still makes it around a second quicker than the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid.

There will also be a Model S Plaid+, which increases the range from an estimated 390 miles to more than 520 miles (on the official US EPA test) and cuts the 0-60mph time still further.

Tesla Model X 2022 front

Finally, Tesla claims that all variants benefit from new battery technology, which gives "more power and endurance in all conditions".

UK deliveries of the revised Tesla Model S and Model X will begin in 2022, with prices starting at £83,980 and £90,980 respectively. This rises to £110,980 for the Plaid versions of each, while the Model S Plaid+ will set you back £130,980. 

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