When Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded Tesla in 2003 their aim was to be a car manufacturer that was also a technology company. Almost 20 years on, the original founders are long gone, but Tesla’s dominance in the electric car space is a direct result of that original aim. 

In much the same way as technology company Apple disrupted the music industry with the original iPod, and then the mobile phone industry with the iPhone, Tesla has made technology – not the driving experience – the disruptive force behind the company’s meteoric success. It has forced the rest of the car industry to accept that, just like the iPhone, it’s not about the calls – it’s about the technology. 

And it’s this approach to technology that has made the electric vehicle – thanks to Tesla – not only viable but, more importantly, desirable. 

The Model 3, now the most popular electric car in the world, has cemented Tesla’s position as the global leader in electric vehicles. And where they lead, all other manufacturers now follow. 

What makes Tesla, Tesla? 

What, then, is Tesla’s formula for success? Technological ambition and ability obviously, but there’s another key ingredient: excitement. 

Musk has taken a leaf from the Steve Jobs’ playbook and turned product launches into an art form. Would Volkswagen have had the bravery to unveil a weird looking truck straight off the set of a cheesy 70s TV sci-fi show only to deftly announce it had a 500-mile range and that its tri-motor AWD drive could rocket it from 0 to 60mph in less than 2.9 seconds? 

You just couldn’t see it happening. Traditional manufacturers are not the showmen in this new technology-driven age. Ultimately, news of the Cybertuck’s whacky design resulted in a 6% drop in Tesla stock, but a quarter of a million pre-orders later, it’s clear that it’s the technology – not the truck – that gets the buying public going. 

And that’s Tesla’s secret formula right there: make it bonkers and people will want it. 

The Model S Plaid 

And that brings us to Tesla’s latest, wildest product yet – the Model S Plaid. Let’s get started with a few Plaid stats: 


0-60 mph in just 1.9 seconds 

Top speed of 200 mph 

Aeroplane flight-yoke in place of a traditional steering wheel 

Fully-autonomous driving capability 

An infotainment system that is more powerful than a PlayStation 5 

A 17-inch cinematic display 

A 22 speaker, 960-watt sound system 

The list above is the recipe for Tesla’s secret formula: a feature set of insane tech specs that makes the car a mouth-watering proposition. It doesn’t have the cachet of a Ferrari, but it’s a hugely exciting, headline-grabbing car. 

The Model S Plaid is an order of magnitude cheaper than some supercars, yet it offers comparable performance and is a bonafide family car.  

The Model 3 

While £118k is a lot cheaper than most other exotic cars, it’s hardly pocket change. But don’t worry – Tesla has you covered there, too. The Model 3 Performance offers equally mind-bending specs for almost half the cost. 

The Model 3 is the world’s bestselling electric car and is incredibly swift, yet to all intents and purposes, it’s part of Tesla’s entry-level range. 

That’s, well…you’ve guessed it: bonkers! Tesla bonkers.

For the full article including a performance comparison between the Model S Plaid and two of the world’s fastest super cars, plus an analysis of how the Model S Plaid and Model 3 Performance compare, check out the full article on the ICL Blog. And if you fancy a Tesla as your next car, check out our latest Tesla leasing deals

This article was brought to you in association with Intelligent Car Leasing