Earlier this week, Tesla rolled out a change to its online vehicle configuration tool for the Model S and Model X. As Tesla CEO Elon Musk implied last year, the company has done away with any mention of the battery size in the vehicle name or description. Instead, they are describing the vehicle options in terms of the thing we care about — range. As a special bonus, the pricing on every build in the lineup has been dropped a bit, giving buyers a bit more bang for their buck across the board.
The change has been rumored ever since the company dropped mention of battery capacity when it first took the wraps off the Model 3, announcing its Standard Range and Long Range configurations and listing the miles but not the battery capacity in kilowatt-hours.
However, Tesla has opted for a slightly different approach now with Model S and X. There are no longer batteries of different sizes put in these vehicles based on the trim you pick. The two range options are simply controlled by software.
Tesla Model S Updates
The base build of the Model S, which has no special name, is now $85,000 in the US for a dual-motor build that can travel 310 miles on a charge. Remember, though, since that’s a software-limited range, an owner who decides they want more range can, at any time, opt to bump the range up from there. All that’s needed is a bit more cash and some over-the-air magic.
The Model S Extended Range bumps the price up $8,000 for an 8% increase in range, up to 335 miles per charge. Neither the top speed of 155 miles per hour or the 0–60 mph time of 4.1 seconds changes with the Extended Range software update, so all that cash is going straight to extra range in the battery.
For those who need a bit of adrenaline with their morning coffee, the Model S Performance tips the scales at a clean $112,000 for a car that will travel 315 miles per charge. That comes with the same battery pack as its less spritely siblings, but it sports upgraded performance hardware in the car that allows it to go from 0–60 mph in just 3.0 seconds.
For those looking for the proverbial nitrous boost, Ludicrous Mode can still be stacked on top of that for an extra $20,000, which translates to a mind boggling 20% more performance — perhaps that’s where the $20K figure comes from. In terms of hard data, you’ll fly from 0–60 mph in just 2.4 seconds, which gives me flashbacks just thinking about. Not to shy away from the numbers, the Ludicrous Tesla Model S Performance will set buyers back $132,000 for the whole platform, and that’s not including any of the other options downstream, like paint, rims, and the like.
Tesla Model X Updates
The Tesla Model X nomenclature has also been recalibrated based on a standard battery pack for all configurations. Its new base price is $88,000 in the US. That configuration provides 270 miles of range on a full charge.
For those who like pushing the boundaries, an Extended Range build unlocks an additional 25 miles, boosting the range per charge up to 295 miles for an extra $8,000, or a total price of $96,000. Because it’s just a software update that unlocks the extra capacity, the Extended Range option can again be purchased with the car or after the fact as a simple update.
The Model X is no sports car, but it is the fastest and safest SUV out there. However, that speed comes at a price. Bumping the car up to the Performance build drops the 0–60 mph time from 4.7 seconds in the base configuration to 3.5 seconds. Getting to the grocery store for a gallon of milk that much faster might be fun, but it comes at the expense of efficiency as well, as the range of the Model X Performance drops from 295 miles to 289 miles per charge. (I know — 6 miles makes all the difference in the world … almost never.)
Finally, we have the peel-your-eyeballs-off-the-seat Ludicrous Model X Performance. Just like on the S, the Ludicrous upgrade will set buyers back $20,000 for 20% more performance. The real question at this point is not the money — it’s about going 0–60 mph in 2.8 seconds — because let’s be real, buyers who are dropping $137,000 on a Model X aren’t really worried about efficiency. They just want to go fast and look good doing it.
Tesla Model Update Summary
These naming recalibrations come as no surprise and put Tesla’s two premium vehicles back at price points that give buyers more options for balancing range and price. Either way, speed is still going to cost you, but at least you can get into a Model S or X at more approachable prices than last week. These changes are live in the Model S and Model X configurators right now, so head on over and configure your dream car. Whether you click that little blue order button or not at the end of the build is up to you.
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