Tesla just raised the standard for its base-level sedan, scrapping the rear-wheel drive Model S 60 for the new, all-wheel drive Model S 70D. With prices starting at around $75,000, the 70D is $5,000 more expensive than the 60, but adds a second motor at the front of the vehicle and a bigger, 70 kWh battery pack that bumps up the car's range to an EPA-rated 240 miles.
0-60 in 5.2 seconds and supercharging as standard
The 70D is also more powerful than its predecessor, offering a combined 514 horsepower, a top speed of 140mph, and a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds. In addition to this speed bump (no, not that kind), the 70D comes with access to Tesla's Supercharging network as standard — something that was previously an expensive extra for the Model S 60. Keyless entry and Tesla's Autopilot hardware are also included (although the latter will still need a software update before it's enabled), and customers have the choice of three metallic colors: ocean blue, obsidian black, and warm silver.
Tesla chief Elon Musk says the Model S 70D represents a "slight price increase, but [a] huge value increase." According to a report from Reuters, Musk said that fewer than 10 percent of Tesla's sales were of the rear-wheel drive Model S 60, and although the company was retaining the single-motor Model S 85, it was happy to make the switch to dual motors for its entry-level sedan. "Customers wanted something that had more range and they really wanted all-wheel drive," said Musk. The Model S 70D goes on sale today and will begin shipping to customers in late May.
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