Just when you think Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] can’t make any more updates to its award-winning Model S electric sedan, the automaker goes out and introduces a new variant. The new variant is the 70D, with the “D” in the name signifying that it packs the automaker’s dual-motor all-wheel-drive system.
The 70D serves as the new entry point for the Model S, as it replaces the rear-wheel-drive 60. That means the Model S lineup now consists of the 70D, 85 (the last remaining rear-wheel-drive variant), 85D and P85D, the latter of which has 691 hp and will outrun pretty much anything but the world’s top supercars to 60 mph.
Pricing for the 70D starts at $75,000, which is slightly higher than the 60’s $71,000 sticker, but the car is much more powerful, has a better range and is better equipped. In addition to the added traction of its all-wheel-drive system, the 70D has an impressive 514 horsepower on tap, which is enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in just 5.2 seconds. By comparison, the 60 had 380 hp and needed 5.9 seconds for the 0-60 run. Top speed on the 70D is also 140 mph.
The 70D also gets a 70-kWh battery pack, which affords it a 240-mile range, according to Tesla. The 60 had a 60-kWh battery and 208-mile range. On top of this, there’s also Tesla’s Supercharging DC fast-charger built in, as well as Tesla's navigation system and the Autopilot semi-autonomous feature. The car also comes with automatic keyless entry, a GPS-enabled Homelink system and some new colors like Ocean Blue shown above.
CEO Elon Musk says he introduced the car as customers were demanding more range from the base Model S as well as the all-wheel-drive system. Interestingly, he still plans to offer the 85, even though the 70D provides more power, quicker acceleration and a higher top speed for less money.
The news comes just a week after Tesla announced that it delivered a record 10,030 Model S sedans to customers in the first quarter of 2015, and that it expects to deliver 55,000 vehicles all up this year, including its new Model X SUV which is due in the coming months.
For an in-depth look at the Tesla Model S 70D, head over to our sister site Green Car Reports.