Tesla punches up battery life, range and speed for new Model S, Model X

'I think this is going to send a great message to the public that sustainable transport is the future,' says Tesla CEO Elon Musk

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 August, 2016, 3:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 August, 2016, 11:52am

Tesla's new battery pack is all about going the distance, and going faster than any mass-produced car has ever gone.

Tesla announced new versions of its Model S sedan and Model X crossover, with substantially faster acceleration and longer battery range.

The company claims its Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode is the fastest production car in the world, in terms of acceleration. Tesla compared it to the likes of the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder, which were faster, but were limited-run cars, while the Tesla will factory-produced for the general public. The Model S has a 100 kilowatt hour battery, with a 315 mile EPA range.

"I think this is going to send a great message to the public that sustainable transport is the future," CEO Elon Musk said.

However, after the announcement, shares of both Tesla and SolarCity gave up earlier gains of 2.49 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively. At market close, both stocks were up slightly.

The Model X P100D, which also has Ludicrous mode — a performance mode that allows an increase in acceleration through electronics — is built to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds and will be able to travel 289 miles on a single charge.

The battery will also be available as an upgrade to P90D Ludicrous owners of both models. Ludicrous mode originally debuted as a US$7,500 hardware upgrade to the P85D, that boosted the current from the battery and delivered more power to the motor.

"This has been a very difficult development," Musk said, "going from roughly 90 to a 100" was "more like a 50 per cent increase in difficulty."

Musk said that production volume will be "quite low because of the challenge of making such a complex pack."

The Model S P100D will start at US$134,500 and the Model X 100D will start at US$135,500.

"It is a very expensive car," Musk said,"but it is important to bear in mind that this is what is paying for the Model 3" both in terms of cash flow, and in terms of research and development.

The Model 3 is a smaller, more affordable electric car currently in development.