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Tesla re-energises Model S range with 70D

Honourably discharged: The new Model S 70D is now the cheapest Tesla in the country, replacing the superseded Model S 60, but comes loaded with more goodies such as satellite navigation and an all-­wheel drive dual motor drivetrain.

New entry-level Tesla Model S 70D gets all-­wheel drive and dual motors

9 Apr 2015

TESLA has released a new entry-level model in the form of the Model S 70D, which adds more standard features, a bigger battery and comes with all­-wheel drive as standard.

Tesla's cheapest all­-electric sedan now starts at $102,400 before on-road costs, a $6900 price jump from the outgoing Model S 60, which was priced at $95,500 before on-road costs.

However, to justify the price hike, Tesla has equipped the 70D with a larger 70kWh battery – 10kWh up on the 60's 60kWh battery – which increases the car’s reach by 50km. The 70D will, claims Tesla, travel up to 442km on a full charge.

Although no weight figures were released, the Model S 60 weighed in at a hefty 2005kg, while the dual motor-equipped 85D tips the scales at 2188kg, 80kg heavier than its single motor 85 sibling.

Tesla Australia marketing and communications manager Heath Walker said the new base­-level Model S represents much more value for customers looking at getting into a Tesla.

“I think it's a pretty compelling offer, especially with supercharging included, which for the 60 used to cost money to put in the car,” he said.

“It's not an exact comparison anyway, because you are getting so much more in the car, such as navigation and lane departure, plus you are getting the dual motor and an extra 50km of range.”

The 70D also has the benefit of all-­wheel drive, thanks to a second electric motor that powers the front axle. It is similar to the all-­wheel drive set­-up found in the higher­-spec 85D and the supercar-toppling P85D.

Combined power output now sits at 245kW – up from the 60's 225kW – which is enough to give the 70D a claimed 0-100km/h time of 5.4 seconds, 0.6 seconds faster than the outgoing Model S 60.

Each new 70D also includes satellite navigation, lane departure warning, parking sensors and automatic emergency braking as standard.

The 70D also has the ability to utilise Tesla's ever­growing supercharging network, which was an option on the Model S 60, meaning all new Teslas sold in Australia have access to quick-charge stations free of cost.

By using the supercharging station, a Model S can go from empty to fully charged in about an hour, while a half-charge will take about 20 minutes.

Currently, the only supercharging stations in service are in Sydney, with Tesla offering quick charging points at its dealership and The Star casino, despite the American brand opening a store in Melbourne's Chadstone shopping centre late last year.

However, plans are underway to link Melbourne and Brisbane by building stations within 200km of one another all along the east coast.

Without the use of a supercharger, a standard 240 volt outlet can recharge the Model S in about nine hours.

Tesla has recently announced a number of over­-the-­air updates for its Model S range, adding new features such as maps to recharging stations, and boosting performance via a simple software update.

All Australian Model S' come with a 3G SIM card, allowing access to these updates from almost anywhere in the country. Tesla covers the cost of data for four years.

Tesla Model S pricing*
70D (a)$102,400
85 (a)$109,400
85D (a)$115,800
P85D (a)$141,600
*Excludes on-road costs.

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