Some of the things Tesla Motors does are bizarre. It is either shouting about new developments from the highest rooftop and creating as much media buzz as possible — as it did when it introduced the upcoming Model 3 to the world earlier this year — or it is slipping them in the back door during the night shift. Such is the case with the latest Model X news.
Tesla’s version of a sport utility vehicle, was originally supposed to come with a 60 kWh battery in the base model. But before any of those cars got built, it upgraded its smallest battery to 70 kWh and then to 75 kWh. Last night, the Model X 60 quietly appeared without fanfare on the Model X Design Studio page of the Tesla website. The new model lists for $9,000 less than the previous entry level version, the Model X 75.
Last month, Tesla did the same thing with its sedan. It introduced a new base model called the Model S 60 priced $8,500 less than the Model S 75, but with a twist. The car actually has the 75 kWh battery installed, but it is software limited to 60 kWh. The owner or subsequent purchaser can choose to have that electronic lock removed for an additional fee of $9,000 after the car is manufactured. Presumably, Tesla will use the same strategy with the new Model X 60.
Performance of both Model X cars is identical — 130 mph top speed, 0-60 in 6 seconds. The towing capacity of 5,000 lbs is the same. The only difference is 200 miles of range versus 237 miles of range. Having an extra $9,000 in your wallet at the end of the day may take away some of the pain of knowing you have an extra 37 miles of range available under the floor boards that you can’t access.
The Model S 60 is available with dual motors and all wheel drive for an extra $5,000. Having a dual motor option for the company’s all electric SUV would seem a choice many buyers would like to have, but there is no mention of dual motors for the 60 kWh version on the Tesla website….. yet. Check back tomorrow. With Tesla, you never know what might happen overnight.
Both the 60 kWh and 75 kWh versions of the Model X are available for delivery in late September, according to the Tesla website.