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.

Source: Tesla

View gallery - 7 images