How much does Model S weigh? The car that kickstarted the EV revolution is starting to show its age. While the 2023 Tesla Model S falls behind newly developed rivals with more over-the-top features and longer driving ranges, the sedan-like hatchback continues to be competitive.
After all, the Model S offers up to 405 miles of range on a single charge. Plus, the 1020-hp tri-motor Plaid performance model leaps to 60 mph in just 2.1 seconds, which is as quick as a multimillion-dollar hypercar.
However, cutting-edge competitors such as the BMW i7 and Lucid Air have taken much of the Tesla’s spotlight. The Model S also has a six-figure price tag that just doesn’t jibe with its mid-luxe interior, especially compared with the Lucid and BMW’s deluxe cabins.
We think the Tesla’s odd yoke-style steering wheel compromises the driving experience, too, but at least a regular wheel is once again available. Still, the 2023 Model S remains the brand’s flagship, offering access to its most up-to-date software and Tesla’s advanced—albeit somewhat dubious—AutoPilot hands-free driving mode.
How Much Does Model S Weigh?
Introduced in 2012, the Tesla Model S is the second oldest among its Tesla siblings and also the second largest. It has two trims: the dual-motor Long Range and the tri-motor Plaid. The number of motors affects the weight of the vehicle.
The Long Range trim with its dual motors weighs in at 4,561 pounds, while the Plaid trim with its tri-motor setup tips the scale at 4,766 pounds.
The dual-motor Long Range produces 670 horsepower, accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, and has a range of 405 miles. The tri-motor Plaid trades off its range for performance, producing 1,020 horsepower and reaching 60 mph in 1.99 seconds, but with a reduced range of 396 miles.
The Model S was updated in 2021 to include the tri-motor Plaid trim, and both trims offer all-wheel drive.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
This year, the Model S adds a new key card that replaces the previously standard car-shaped key fob. A regular steering wheel also returns as a no-cost option (a $700 retrofit is also available for current owners). Since Tesla is known for making changes to its cars throughout each model year, be prepared for more changes to the Model S to pop up down the line.
We’d stick with the base model, which carries an estimated range of 405 miles per charge. The ultra-high-performance Plaid model sounds compelling, but its nearly $138k starting price represents diminishing value—unless you absolutely must have a car with the quickness reminiscent of a Top Fuel dragster.
EV Motor, Power and Performance
With an electric motor dedicated to each of the front and rear axles, the Model S offers full-time all-wheel drive no matter which version you choose. The acceleration of the various models ranges from outstanding to unbelievable.
Our 2020 Model S test vehicle delivered a blistering 2.4-second sprint to 60 mph and proved endlessly entertaining thanks to its immediate power delivery. The Plaid version boasts a third electric motor, which boosts combined output to 1020 horsepower—enough to send it to 60 mph in just 2.1 seconds.
The standard Model S has proven itself an agile sports sedan with well-controlled body motions and direct steering. Two different settings allow drivers to choose heavy or light steering effort, but neither of them enables more feedback from the road.
Unfortunately, the available yoke-style steering wheel is poorly integrated and diminishes the driving experience; a regular steering wheel is a no-cost option. The ride comfort is good, handling is adroit, and it’s confident and almost tranquil on the highway.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
Under the Tesla’s floor lies a battery pack that yields a low center of gravity and evenly distributed weight from front to rear.
Driving range and acceleration performance varies from model to model, with the base version’s battery providing up to 405 miles of range while the Plaid model offers up to 396. The Lucid Air is the current high-water mark with its 517-miles estimate; the BMW i7’s maximum range is by far the shortest at 318 miles.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
While EVs such as the Chevy Bolt and Polestar 2 deliver serviceable driving range, the Model S remains an impressive alternative to gas-powered vehicles when it comes to long-distance travel. The base model has the highest MPGe ratings at 124 city and 115 highway.
In our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, a 2020 Model S posted a 222-mile result, which is still considerably shorter than its 326-mile EPA range rating at the time. The Plaid managed 280 miles of its claimed 390 miles of range. For more information about the Model S’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
With Model S prices starting over $100,000, it’s reasonable for buyers to expect a certain amount of luxury inside the car. The cabin’s atmosphere is nice enough, but it’s not nearly as plush as those of our favorites such as Mercedes-Benz E-class and Volvo S90—both of which cost significantly less.
The Model S’s sloped roofline cleverly hides a rear liftgate that opens to reveal a huge 26-cubic-foot trunk. We managed to stash eight of our carry-on-size cases without folding down the rear seats. Paltry small-item cubby stowage throughout the interior—especially in the back seat—is offset by a large underfloor bin in the rear cargo area.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Fans of modern minimalism will adore the Model S’s cabin, which comes standard with a giant infotainment screen that controls almost all the vehicle’s functions. Technophiles will be in heaven, but we’re not completely sold.
The screen’s positioning on the dashboard will require some drivers to lean forward in their seat to reach certain icons, particularly those near the top-right of the display. Unlike the less expensive Model 3, the Model S provides a secondary display for the gauge cluster and a small touchpad in the rear seat as well.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Although the Model S has sparked a nationwide conversation about the safety of partially autonomous vehicles and has been reported to catch fire after certain types of high-speed impacts, its safety credibility is buoyed by decent crash-test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the knowledge that car fires aren’t uncommon, either in electric- or gas-powered vehicles.
For more information about the Model S’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Available adaptive cruise control with a hands-free driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Tesla offers a comprehensive warranty package to protect the Model S’s powertrain and hybrid components but lacks the lengthy bumper-to-bumper coverage and complimentary scheduled maintenance packages of the Jaguar I-Pace.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers eight years and unlimited miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
How much does a Model S Tesla weigh?
Tesla Model S Plaid – 4,766 pounds. Tesla Model S Long Range – 4,561 pounds. Tesla Model Y Long Range & Performance – 4,416 pounds.
Is Tesla Model S heavy?
Yes. The longest-running Tesla model, the Model S, is slightly heavier than its rival, the Lucid Air Pure, by a few pounds. While the tri-motor equipped Model S plaid weighs 4766 pounds, the Air Pure weighs 4630 pounds.
Why are Teslas so heavy?
The extra weight that EVs typically carry stems from the outsize mass of their batteries. To achieve 300 or more miles (480 or more kilometers) of range per charge from an EV, batteries have to weigh thousands of pounds. Some battery chemistries being developed have the potential to pack more energy into less mass.
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