More changes are afoot in the Tesla lineup after the partial demise of the $7,500 federal tax credit prompted the electric automaker to cut prices and further simplify the model range. The new naming and pricing structure for the Model S and Model X will give buyers an easier way of buying extra range, or extra performance.
The changes concern only the Tesla Model S and Model X: 75-kWh battery versions of both vehicles are no longer offered, making the 100-kWh battery pack the sole option for these cars. This means that the base versions of the Model S and the Model X will have the longer-range 100-kWh batteries, but their battery capacities will be locked through software. Tesla will simply lock out the extra range, like that radio in your 1990s car for which you didn't have a dealer code. There is a method behind this madness: One battery type will further simplify production for Tesla, following similar variety-cutting efforts on the Model 3 months prior.
This means that the base Model S will have a range of 310 miles, while the base Model X will have a range of 270 miles. If you want to unlock the extra range (that you already have in your battery pack) you'll have to pay an extra $8,000, which will bring the range of the Model S up to 335 miles and the range of the Model X up to 295 miles. And you won't be able to buy this extra range over the phone if you're stranded in your car and need a few extra miles — that juice won't magically appear.
The base battery-locked Model S will start at $86,200, while the Model X will start at $89,200, respectively. Performance versions of the Model S (which will now be called Model S Performance) and the Model X will start at $103,950 and $118,200, respectively. Performance with Ludicrous Mode will offer even quicker launches for an extra $20,000: 0-60 mph in 2.4 seconds for the Model S and 2.8 seconds for the Model X if you really need to get to work quicker.
The good news is that Tesla is cutting another $1,000 off the base prices of all trim levels, following $2,000 cuts instituted earlier this year. You have the upcoming demise of the federal tax credit to thank(?) for this; even though these price cuts won't compensate for the complete disappearance of the tax credit, it's a little something to soften the blow.
Overall, the lineup naming changes for the Model S and Model X will mirror the naming scheme of the Model 3, making the lineup ladder a little easier to visualize. Tesla has already updated the configurators for both models.
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