Tesla increases the power and price of Model S entry with the AWD 70D
Since launching back in 2012, the Tesla Model S has gotten more powerful, more capable and more expensive. That trend continues with the all-new 70D all-wheel-drive trim, which replaces the rear-wheel-drive 60 trim as the entry-level model in the lineup, adding US$5,000 to the lowest price of Tesla ownership while increasing performance across the board.
The new Model S 70D isn't as potent as its AWD big brothers, the 422-hp 85D and 691-hp P85D, but with 329 hp on tap, the new dual-motored model is more powerful than the 302-hp Model S 60 it replaces. That power translates into a 5.2-second 0-60 mph time, and the car's larger 70-kWh battery pack offers up to 240 miles (386 km) of range, up from 208 miles (335 km) on the 60. Top speed is 140 mph (225 km/h).
An added motor and increased battery size aren't the only features the 70D boasts over the outgoing 60. The car also comes standard with access to Tesla's Supercharger network, which was only available as a $2,000 option on the 60. It includes standard navigation, and Tesla's new Autopilot suite is available as a $2,500 add-on. Tesla plans to gradually roll out Autopilot automated driving features by way of software updates, as in the one released several weeks ago.
With all the upgrades, the new 70D, and by virtue of its role as base trim, the Model S range in general, prices at around $5,000 higher, starting at $76,200 after destination fee and before any government tax incentives. The Model S 70D is available for order now with deliveries to begin in May. Those who prefer the idea of a single-motor rear-driven Model S will have to pony up a bit more for the last such model standing: the $81,200 Model S 85.
Tesla also announced this week that it will offer the 70D, and all other Model S variants, in three new colors: Ocean Blue, Obsidian Black and Warm Silver.
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I would point out that the car is out of most peoples price range already but they are getting orders faster than they can build cars to meet demand so demand isn't the current problem they need to solve.
I kind of wish I could afford one. The total cost of ownership is probably closer to my SUV than the initial sticker price would imply but I drive relatively few miles so gasoline isn't that expensive for me yet. It may be the Model III or something after it but at some point I'm sure I will own a Tesla :)
The Model S is history in the making and we will probably look back on it the same way people look at the early sports cars like Corvette Stingray, Shelby Cobra, GTO etc. now.
Give us an affordable, practical car that most people will love for it's reliability, safety, price, and cost of ownership.
I'd rather see Tesla stick to making cars that are good. Prices will come down as battery prices fall. The difference between $500/kWh batteries and $300/Wh batteries will shave about $15k off the price of the model S.
That alone will put the base cost of the 70D at $60k in a few years even with no other cost reductions. Subtract the federal $7,500 tax credit and it's $52,500. If you factor in the $2k/year in fuel savings the cost of ownership of the Model S will soon catch up with my pretty average SUV and it offers almost as much room but out accelerates Ferraris.
It's already cost competitive with the cars it should be getting compared against which are premium luxury sedans like the AWD 5 series BMW.
The Model X will probably be cost competitive to the BMW X5 or X6 and the Model 3 will compete with the BMW 3 series but it won't be available until battery prices fall and Tesla starts getting manufacturing ramped up enough to keep up with demand.
I think their roadmap if they can execute it is solid. The next 3-4 years are going to be pretty interesting for the auto industry.