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Elon Musk Confirms New Tesla Model S Seats 7, But These Questions Remain

Elon Musk has confirmed the new Model S will be able to seat up to 7. However, there is so much we still have to learn about the new vehicles. Here are all the questions in one place.


After announcing a major refresh to the Model S & X back in January, Tesla is currently in the process of final vehicle validation before the first deliveries begin. However, given all the new features coming with the new Model S & X, there is still a lot we have to yet find out.

Some lingering confusions out in the Tesla community are: First, if Tesla plans to ship the vehicles with a yoke steering wheel why are most of the vehicles photographed up to now have a normal steering wheel?

Does that mean Tesla has changed their minds on the yoke steering wheel? or do they plan to make it an option? or are they going to deliver the vehicles with a yoke steering wheel in some areas and a regular steering wheel in others? Or is it cause these are just test vehicles and the final versions will all have a yoke steering wheel?

Related news: Video Of Refreshed Tesla Model S Showcases New Features, UI, and Insane Mode Rebirth

Second, if Tesla plans to replace the gear shifter and windshield wipers with autonomous systems run by neural networks how does that work? Will there be an option to control the gear shift and wipers from the steering wheel? Or will it just be the autonomous system plus the touch screen?

Third, Musk has been saying the Plaid Model S will be able to sit 7 starting with the initial sighting of the Plaid Model S testing at Nurburing back in 2020. And by reiterating his point so close to the launch of the vehicles he has confirmed Tesla hasn’t changed their minds on that option.

However, if Tesla will be offering 7 seat variant why is it not available as an option in the online configurator? Also Musk always specifically refers to Plaid Model S when discussing 7 seats. does that mean the 7 seats apply only to the plaid Model S or will the long-range variant also have the option?

And drone footage of refreshed Model S parked at Tesla’s Fremont factory has shown the vehicle with front-facing 6th and 7th seats. However, since the picture was taken from a distance the image is not clear. So we are left asking if the 3rd row in the Model S will be front-facing, or like how Tesla used to do in the past seats will it be rear-facing?

Fourth, when are the vehicles coming? According to Tesla, the vehicles were supposed to have begun deliveries already. Also, is the Plaid Model S coming after the Long Range Model S? And what about the Long Range and Plaid Model X? When will they be shipping?

Tesla Refreshed Model X

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Fifth, The new Model S and X come with incredible performance numbers. The none performance Long Range variant of the Model S now has the same performance as P85D with the Insane Mode. And images of the UI of the new Long Range Model S show Insane Mode and Drag Strip Mode. does that mean Insane Mode is back? And what is Drag Strip Mode?

Sixth, the Plaid variant of the Model S now goes from 0 to 60 in 1.99 seconds and has a top speed of 200 miles per hour. These numbers would be beyond incredible for a 2 door sports car and coming in a door sedan, that can seat up to 7, makes them out of this world.

Tesla Model S New Interior

The performance numbers of the Plaid Model X are equally bonkers. So few questions about this. Did Tesla incorporate the new 4680 battery cells to get these numbers? Also, will the vehicles have the company’s structural battery pack? If not, what changes did Tesla do to the powertrain to achieve these numbers?

Elon Musk speaking at Tesla’s Q4 2020 earnings call about the new Model S and X said he will be holding a call with journalists to explain all the new features and performance numbers. However, that call never happened. Not sure if Tesla and Musk no longer plan to give more clarification about the new vehicles but still hoping for the call here.

And these are some of the questions I personally want to get more clarifications on. But, I’m sure there are more questions out there. Do you have anything else you wish Tesla clarified about the refreshed Model S and X? Let me know your questions down in the comments below.

For more information check out: Tesla To Use Local Inland Port To Ship from Giga Berlin Also, see Here is How ARK Invest And Cathie Wood’s New Research Gives Tesla A $3T Market Cap

Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.


DeanMcManis (not verified)    March 24, 2021 - 2:59AM

I think that the round steering wheel will be an option. Most pics that show the round wheel are on prototype cars. I have a friend who has a Raven Model S Performance, and he said that when his car first shipped, not all of the performance modes were shown initially, and that came with a later software update. Plus of course the even later update came with the Cheetah stance and an extra 50HP, for free. Given that the new, tri-motor, Plaid chassis will have over 1,000 HP, it doesn't seem like an amazing feat to shave off 5/10ths of a second off of the current 0-60 time. I really do not think that the structural battery pack or 4680 batteries will be in the regular Plaid models of the Model S and Model X. Otherwise who would pay $30K more, and wait several more months for the Plaid+ model. I cannot imaging how Tesla would fit in the extra 2 seats facing forward with any leg/foot room, so I think that it will be just like the previous back seats. I think that Tesla's discussion about the details of the new Model S, including performance and modes, will be only after the cars get out to new owner's hands, which I am hoping will happen before April 1st.