What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Tesla Model S? What does it compare to?
The Tesla Model S is an electric sedan that offers supreme performance and a large interior. It competes with a slim set of luxury electric cars including the Mercedes-Benz EQS, Lucid Air, Audi E-Tron GT, and BMW iX.
Is the 2022 Tesla Model S a good car?
Review continues below
The Model S has been a mainstay of the Tesla lineup and even though it’s now about 10 years old, it’s been updated at several points and it still offers plenty of delights. While the yoke threatens to put a damper on the whole experience, its incredible acceleration and impressive technology carries the Model S to a TCC Rating of 8.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What’s new for the 2022 Tesla Model S?
This is our first time covering the Model S in a couple of years and while changes for 2022 are minimal, 2021 saw a series of large updates including the elimination of the steering wheel, a new horizontally oriented touchscreen (a la the Model 3 and Y), and the introduction of an exciting new variant: the Model S Plaid. Yes, that’s another Spaceballs reference meant to reflect a new level of speed beyond the “Ludicrous” speed of previous Model S trims.
Even with all of these changes the Model S’ exterior styling holds constant. The fastback design has aged well and remains instantly recognizable despite its simplicity. This design also has impressive aerodynamic efficiency with a coefficient of drag of just 0.208, putting it within a hair of the Mercedes-Benz EQS without having to go with the awkward egg shape of that sedan. Wheel options measure 19- and 21-inches, with the larger wheels having a detrimental effect on range.
As of this writing, only a pair of Model S variants are currently available for order from Tesla: a dual-motor AWD variant (the Long Range designation appears to have been dropped) and the Plaid, which has tri-motor AWD. Both models feature the same 100-kwh lithium-ion battery pack, but the Plaid has extra cooling capacity that enables it to perform its high-speed tricks better (more on that later). The dual-motor vehicle is far from a slouch, it produces 670 hp and sprints from 0-60 mph in just 3.1 seconds, making it faster than the vast majority of performance cars.
But the Plaid turns those numbers silly: 1,020 hp, a top speed of 200 mph with the right wheels equipped, and 1.99 seconds from 0-60 mph. That 1.99 second figure is up for some debate, it requires an initial rollout to be taken out of the calculation and a prepped surface (aka a dragstrip) to post that kind of time, but even if it turns out to be 2.1 seconds on the street that’s faster than nearly anything short of a dragstrip racer.
Range tops out at 405 miles for the dual-motor car with the smaller wheels dropping that estimate to 375 miles. In the Plaid, those numbers drop off slightly to 396 and 348 miles respectively.
Inside, there are two very noticeable changes up front: the screen has been tilted 90-degrees on its side and there’s no more steering wheel, just a racing-car style yoke. The 17.0-inch screen serves as a hub for nearly all of the vehicle’s functions and doing most things (like adjusting the yoke position for example) requires use of the screen even if the actual adjustments are done via the steering wheel controls. Orienting the screen in this way seems to have increased its usability but the opposite could be said of the yoke, which is an answer to a problem that nobody asked for.
Tesla’s Autopilot suite comes standard, it includes automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot monitoring. An enhanced system is optional that adds automatic lane changes, summon features for parking lots, and an automatic parking feature. And finally, there’s Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving Capability” package that doesn’t include self-driving, but does include traffic-light and stop-sign recognition, along with some future features that haven’t been released yet.
How much does the 2022 Tesla Model S cost?
The dual-motor version starts at $106,190 (including a $1,200 destination charge), while the Plaid starts at $137,190, though the base Plaid doesn’t achieve the same top speed in base form.
Where is the 2022 Tesla Model S made?
In Fremont, Calif.