Tesla’s announcement today wasn’t about the Model X or Model 3, not even about the Autopilot mode. The California-based EV-maker has announced that it will take the discontinued Roadster to second generation in four years. The 2020 Tesla Roadster will have a speed of more than 155 mph (250 km/h). “There is of course one speed faster than ludicrous (detailed below), but that is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid,” CEO Elon Musk said.
The company has also announced a series of driving range and performance upgrades for the Model S.
Inreased driving range:
For an additional US$3k, Model S buyers now get an option of upgrading the battery pack from 85 to 90 kWh. The new battery pack provides up to 15 miles (24 km). The 85D model offered the highest range till now – 295 miles (475 km). Unfortunately, this model gets additional range of only 5 miles (8 km), bringing the total range figure to 300 miles (483 km).
New Model 3 buyers can opt for the new battery pack, while existing can owners can also purchase the pack upgrade but CEO Elon Musk himself doesn’t recommend doing so unless the current usage is on the edge of current range. Current customers can wait for further upgrades, as the company expects to increase the battery pack capacity by roughly 5% per year.
The company has also introduced a new ‘Ludicrous Mode’ optional upgrade for more performance. The pure-electric automaker has developed a fuse with its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery, which constantly monitors current at the millisecond level. It is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty. The standard fuse melts past a certain amperage and so, the driver can’t be exactly sure when it will or won’t melt or if it will arc when it does.
That was combined with upgrading the main pack contractor to use a space-grade superalloy called ‘Inconel’ which is capable of withstanding high temperatures, so that it sustains the heat of heavy current. The battery generates 1,500 Amps of power, 200 more than standard (1,300 Amps).
Leave the technical and mechanical stuff aside. Opting for this upgrade gives the Model S a 10% performance improvement, with an ability to complete a 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) speed run in just 2.8 seconds and a quarter mile (0.4 km) in 10.9 seconds. The dual motor Model S will reach the top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h) 20% faster with this upgrade.
New buyers will need to pay US$10k for this upgrade. However, existing P85D owners will be offered the upgraded pack electronics for the next six months at US$5k plus installation labor.
Model S 70D price-cut:
The Model S 70D is now US$5,000 cheaper, with a revised price of US$70,000. However, the price-cut of the model comes at the cost of ditching all-wheel drive which was standard before, for a rear-wheel drive layout. AWD can be had optionally for US$5,000, bringing the total price to the same US$75,000 as before.
Announcements in brief:
- Second generation Roadster arrives in 4 years
- 90 kWh battery pack option for US$3k
- 2.8 sec 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) upgrade to “Ludicrous Mode”
- 70 kWh rear drive Model S for US$70k