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Tesla Model S gains range, performance and £51k entry version

By / 5 years ago / Latest News / No Comments

The latest additions to the electric luxury car's line-up begin with a single motor 70kWh version, priced at £50,800 after the Plug-in Car Grant. This is £4,200 less than the dual-motor 70D introduced in April, and carries a slight drop in range from 275 to 260 miles (NEDC figures)

For the 85kWh Model S, there are two upgrades. New battery chemistry, which uses more silicone in the anodes, has enabled the capacity to be increased to 90kWh with an improvement in range as a result.

Customers can upgrade from 85kWh to 90kWh for an extra £2,500, which offers a 6% increase in the car's electric range. This now totals 310 miles on the new Model S 90 kWh, 330 on the 90D and 305 on the new P90D.

Existing owners can also purchase the pack upgrade, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company will be targeting an average 5% improvement in capacity each year, advising customers to wait for larger gains before swapping their battery pack.

The new 90kWh battery has also enabled a high performance upgrade for the range-topping P85D. Customers can now opt for a 'Ludicrous Mode', which reduces the sprint to 62mph from 3.1 seconds for the standard 'Insane Mode' to 3.0 seconds.

Musk said this is the result of upgrading the 'smart fuse' in the battery, plus the use of Inconel super-alloy in the main contractor instead of steel, which can cope better with heavy current. Maximum output is raised from 1,300 amps to 1,500 through a component the size of a fingernail.

Ludicrous Mode is offered as a £8,600 option for new P85D orders or an upgrade for existing owners, but requires the upgrade from the 85kWh battery to the new 90kWh unit.

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.