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Musk Delivers First Tesla Model S Plaid

High-performance electric sports sedan seen as move to fend off increasing competition at top end of market.
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Tesla Inc.  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report CEO Elon Musk delivered the first Model S Plaid, a high-end, ultra-speedy version of its sports sedan, in a live-streamed event Thursday, driving the car flat-out along the company's test track and onto the event stage for his presentation.

Tesla made the Plaid "to show, hands down," an electric car can be the best, the fastest, safest and sustainable, Musk said. 

The $123,000 model, which drew its name from the 1980s film comedy “Spaceballs,” does 0-60 mph in under two seconds, according to Tesla’s specifications. It offers a 390-mile range, a 200-mph top speed and up to 1,020 horsepower. The acceleration has been compared with that of a catapult-launched roller coaster.

Musk said improved charging allow 187 miles of range in 15 minutes.

For more of reaction and analysis, check out the latest from Tesla Daily's Rob Maurer.

The Model S was the first widely sold Tesla model, laying the groundwork for the company’s lower priced Model 3, which has dominated electric vehicle sales in recent years. 

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Tesla is facing increasing competition in the electric vehicle space from startups and established car makers, notably Ford Motor  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report, which is launching an electric version of its F-150 pickup truck, routinely the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. Tesla's own pickup truck is expected to start volume deliveries in 2022.  

The Plaid model S is seen by some as a move to fend off high-end offerings from Mercedes Benz and Porsche who are also making moves in the electric vehicle space.

The delivery, at a Silicon Valley Tesla test-track facility, was attended in person by dozens of Tesla fans, as well as being streamed online.

Musk, has tweeted frequently in recent months, notably about cryptocurrencies. Tesla briefly undertook to accept bitcoin payments before reversing course with Musk blaming the carbon emissions tied to the heavy computing needed to mine additional bitcoins. He also emerged as a supported of Dogecoin, another cryptocurrency first established as a joke, but which has since become an accepted means of transfer among many online.

The SEC has reportedly called out Musk for violating a tweet settlement reached with the agency in 2018 requiring that his tweets about the company be vetted by Tesla lawyers.

Real Money's Chis Versace recently commented on Tesla and when he would buy it.

A former NYSE Trader also recently offered comments on levels to watch for Tesla shares.