Tesla has announced the introduction of a new entry-level variant for its luxury sedan range, the Tesla Model S 70D.
The news might not be quite on the scale of Tesla's non-automotive announcement, which is scheduled for May 1, but the new Model S 70D may well turn out to be the more important piece of info.
Taking the place of the now-superseded Model S 60, the 70D consequently becomes the range's entry-level model.
As its name suggests, the 70D is equipped with a larger 70kWh battery pack and an all-wheel-drive dual-motor setup. The upgraded battery pack is said to endow the 70D with a range of 442 kilometres between charges, while the new drivetrain delivers a total of 245kW to all four wheels via an electric motor on both the front and rear axles.
Tesla claims the 70D can complete the 0-100km/h dash in 5.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 225km/h. Unlike the 60, the 70D features access to the company's Supercharger network as standard.
The new Model S 70D is priced at $110,508 before on-road costs, dealer and statutory charges.
This pushes the price of entry into Tesla's electric sedan range well beyond the $100,000 mark. The superseded Model S 60, which was launched in Australia just 10 months ago, was priced at $96,208.
By way of comparison, the outgoing Model S 60 featured a 60kWh battery pack and a single 225kW electric motor powering the rear wheels. This was good for a 0-100km/h time of 6.2 seconds, a top speed of 190km/h and a driving range of 390km, giving the 70D an advantage of 0.8 seconds, 35km/h and 52km, respectively.
Current and future Model S sedans recently gained a slate of new features, including range assurance, blind spot monitoring and automated emergency braking, as part of software update 6.2.