You Must Be Yoking: Tesla Model S Refreshed

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
you must be yoking tesla model s refreshed

The next Tesla Model S is here. And the steering wheel is no wheel at all, but a yoke.

That’s the feature that’s getting all the attention – and all the Knight Rider jokes on the tweet machine – but it’s not the only thing at play. The infotainment screen shifts away from a portrait layout to a horizontal one, and a screen gets added for rear-seat passengers.

Other interior items of note include wireless device charging, heated seats at all positions, cooled front seats, and tri-zone climate control.

Exterior changes are minor, with a standard glass roof perhaps being the most notable item.

Also of note – an available uplevel powertrain promising 520 miles of range and 0-60 acceleration un under two seconds.

The price of entry for a dual-motor Long Range Model S with 412 miles of range is now $79,990 (unclear if that includes D and D fees). A Plaid trim gives 390 miles of range and that 0-06 run of under two ticks for $119,000, while $139,000 gets you Plaid+ and 520 miles – and what is Tesla is claiming is 1,100 horsepower.

Tesla claims this car will be the “fastest accelerating production car ever made.”

Plaid and Plaid+ cars have claimed top speeds of 200 mph, although CEO Elon Musk says the cars need the “right tires” to achieve that speed. The Long Range car is claimed to top out at 155. Tesla has claimed the new Model S will be able to do up to five times as many trips down the dragstrip, thanks to the new powertrain and the use of the heat pump from the Model Y.

Meanwhile, the Model X gets the same new interior and some minor outside changes. Pricing for a Long Range Model X (dual-motor, 360 miles of range, 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, 155-mph top speed) is $89,900, while a Plaid Model X (340 miles of range, 163 mph top speed, 0-60 in 2.5 seconds) is $119,000.

The new infotainment system has a chip with the capacity for up to 10 teraflops of processing power, which means it can play video games that were meant to be played on PCs or consoles. The car even supports the use of wireless controllers.

Back to that steering “wheel” – it’s definitely a departure from the norm. And that’s no yoke.

[Images: Screenshots via Tesla]

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  • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Jan 29, 2021

    The Model S used to be the only car from Tesla that was appealing. Now with this, none of their cars are. The S is still handsome on the outside though where the 3 is off in its proportions. An electric would work for us as a commuter and may replace the sedan we have and keep the minivan for road trips. Tesla has always been about electronic gimmicks and gee wiz factor. The electronic adjusting vents and so forth. It is all about the cool factor and not about efficiency or convenience.

    • See 2 previous
    • Rudiger Rudiger on Feb 01, 2021

      @ajla ^This. Whatever foibles a Tesla model might have relative to another EV, or whatever goofy crap Musk might throw in, their ace-in-the-hole is the Supercharger network. Until a competitor comes up with something near as comparable (and it won't be some lame third party supplier like Electrify America, either), it will be a while before Musk has anything to worry about.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Jan 30, 2021

    Here I thought the steering wheels that need to do some squats looked stupid. Just put a tiller in already so either front passenger can aim the car.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Drove a rental Cherokee for several days at the beginning of this year. Since the inventory of rental cars is still low, this was a 2020 model with 48k miles and V6. Ran fine, no gremlins, graphics display was easy to work, plenty of power, & very comfortable. Someone must of disarmed the lane assistance feature for the steering wheel never shook (YES!!!!!!!!). However, this woman's voice kept nagging me about the speed limit (what's new!?!?!?!).I was impressed enough to consider this a prime candidate to replace my 11 yr old Ford Escape. Might get a good deal with the close out of the model. Time will tell. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Bullnuke One wonders if this poor woman entered the US through Roxham Road...
  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.