Though it looks similar ten years since inception, the 2022 Tesla Model S has gone to Plaid with over 1,000 horsepower and 400 miles of range.
Tesla doesn’t denote their vehicles with model years as clearly as most automakers, so annual updates are not as cut and dry. The company emphasizes their vehicles’ constant evolution via over-the-air updates and occasional hardware improvements instead. So, the 100% electric, 2022 Tesla Model S can be included in the refresh that started appearing in mid-2021. Outside, front fenders are more muscular and chrome trim has been deleted while inside, a new yoke-style steering wheel is in use and the huge infotainment screen now features landscape orientation versus the previous portrait layout. Under the “hood”, a 1,020 horsepower tri-motor setup brings the new Plaid model to life with blistering performance.
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Still the standard-bearer after 10 years
17″ front infotainment and 8″ in back
Sub-2 second runs to 60mph in Plaid
Full Self-Driving capability
Minimalistic interior approaches bland
Still a highly desirable EV
The new 2022 Tesla Model S Plaid model owns the limelight for good reason. The 1,000+ horsepower produced by its triple-motor setup is good for a 1.99 second launch to 60 mph, top speed of 200 mph, and quarter-mile sprint in 9.23 seconds at 155 mph – all per Tesla. Long Range versions aren’t exactly poky with 670 horses on tap from their dual electric motors, good for an advertised 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds.
In both configurations, front and rear axles feature an electric motor to provide full-time AWD with the power transmitted via a 1-speed automatic. There is no need for added gear ratios as an all-electric vehicle like the 2022 Model S generates 100% of its available torque right out of the gate. Adaptive air suspension is fitted that can alter ride height and adjust damper response hundreds of times per second to provide a comfortable ride. With this latest model, the transmission shifter is replaced with cameras that infer when to be in drive or reverse, though drivers can override the selection.
Tesla notes the 0.208 coefficient of drag figure makes the Model S the “lowest-drag car on earth.” This assists with the maximum driving range of 405 miles in the Long Range or 396 miles for the Plaid, but note that the optional 21” wheels reduce that range. Further improving efficiency, regenerative braking is used to reduce energy consumption and improve brake life.
There are three ways to put electrons back into the battery pack of the 2022 Tesla Model S. A mobile 110-volt connector will work with a household connection and add about 2 to 3 miles of range per hour. Installing Tesla’s Wall Connector at home offers 220-volt charging that will add up to 44 miles or range per hour, but the best bet is tapping one of the 25,000 global Tesla Supercharger stations to add range at the rate of 200 miles in 15 minutes.
In line with the corporate mission, all 2022 Tesla Model S upholstery is of the animal-free, synthetic fiber variety. Black is the standard color, but cream or a two-tone scheme with accompanying walnut trim is available. All five seats are heated and the front two are also ventilated. The entire roof is made of glass so the Cabin Overheat Protection feature, which keeps the interior cool on a sunny day, is helpful. Rear occupants can charge their phones with the Qi pad integrated into the stowable armrest and cargo volume is ample at 28 cubic feet. As well, the front trunk can handle a full-size suitcase and there is some under floor storage in the cargo hold.
Tesla makes entertainment a priority in the 2022 Tesla Model S as evidenced by the 17” infotainment screen and 10 teraflops of processing power, putting the system on par with the latest gaming consoles. A secondary, rear 8” screen keeps back seat passengers happy and though Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available, Tesla touts its multi-device Bluetooth connectivity.
Streaming Netflix, YouTube, and the like is part of the 1-year premium connectivity subscription and is sure to sound incredible pumping through the 22-speaker audio system. A clever Trip Planner feature maps your destination with Supercharger stations called out and fun Easter eggs like Santa Mode, enabled by exclaiming “Ho, Ho, Ho!”, help the Model S stand out from the competition.
All 2022 Tesla Model S versions come with Tesla’s Autopilot technology that will steer, accelerate, and brake the car automatically in concert with automated emergency braking, collision warning, and blind spot monitoring. For an extra $10,000, Full Self-Driving Capability enables the Model S to navigate, change lanes, and park on its own. It also adds the Summon feature allowing owners to “call” their car from its parking spot and have it drive over to pick them up. There is also a Sentry Mode, which uses external cameras to detect and protect against potential threats when your Tesla is parked.
The base 2022 Tesla Model S Long Range comes with a white paint job and 19” wheels, but other colors tack on $1500-2500 and the big 21” Arachnid-style rims add $4500. Only offered with the dual-motor powertrain, Long Range models feature an auto open and close liftgate and location-aware automatic garage door opener. Triple-zoned climate control with HEPA filtration ensures an easy-breathing cabin while the tinted, full glass roof with embedded UV and infrared protection keeps the sun shining, safely.
Behind the steering yoke, a 12.3” digital gauge cluster displays vehicle info and abuts a 17” wide infotainment touchscreen display. A third, 8” screen is mounted behind the center console to keep rear occupants happy. Wi-Fi and Qi charging are standard tech but there is no Apple CarPlay or Android, Tesla instead equips the Model S with multi-device Bluetooth connectivity. SiriusXM and Internet Streaming Radio should sound incredible playing through the standard 22-speaker audio system with 960-watts of power.
The main difference with the 2022 Tesla Model S Plaid is its 1,020-horse tri-motor that is sure to leave drivers speechless under hard acceleration. Otherwise, the same exterior options found on the Long Range are in use here like side view mirrors with auto-dimming, power-folding, and heated functionality. Inside, the trim similarities continue with features like heated seating for all occupants and ventilation for those up front.
A black interior color scheme is the standard look though there is the option for a two-tone black and white style that includes walnut trim for $2000. Custom driver profiles save preferred vehicle settings and a 1-year connectivity subscription is included that allows content streaming from the likes of Netflix and YouTube.
Tesla notes that their motors and powertrains require no scheduled maintenance over the ownership lifetime, which makes sense considering the roughly 17 moving parts in their motors versus nearly 200 in a typical internal combustion engine. The 2022 Tesla Model S has a limited warranty period that runs for 4 years or 50,000 miles, while battery and powertrain components are covered for 8 years with unlimited mileage.
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Though Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, can be a polarizing figure, there’s no denying his 2022 Tesla Model S is an impressive car. Responsible for shoving the legacy automotive industry into the EV world, this sedan continues to deliver astounding performance with personality to boot.