Revised Tesla Model S boasts quicker acceleration

Tesla is touting the new models as it faces a wave of bad publicity about self-driving capabilities in its electric vehicles.
Tesla is touting the new models as it faces a wave of bad publicity about self-driving capabilities in its electric vehicles. PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO • Tesla unveiled on Tuesday speedy new model electric cars capable of travelling more than 483km before needing to be recharged.

A Model S P100D with "Ludicrous mode" was billed by Tesla founder Elon Musk as one of the fastest accelerating production cars ever made, capable of going from zero to 100kmh in 2.7 seconds.

That is only slower than the LaFerrari Bugatti Veyron and the Porsche 918 Spyder two-seaters.

In contrast, the Model S P100D sedan has four doors and seats five adults, two children and some cargo. A 100-kilowatt battery increases the range to an estimated 507km by United States regulatory standards, or 613km by a European Union standard, making it the first electric production vehicle to break the 483km barrier, according to Tesla.

The new Model S had a starting price of US$135,000 (S$182,575 before taxes and COE). "While the P100D Ludicrous is obviously an expensive vehicle, we want to emphasise that every sale helps pay for the smaller and much more affordable Tesla Model 3 that is in development," the carmaker said in a blog post.

The larger battery pack is also available on the Tesla Model X, making the world's fastest SUV even quicker and giving it a range of up to 465km on a charge.

Early this month, Tesla Motors reported a larger second-quarter loss than expected as it worked to speed up production in the face of strong demand for its electric cars.

Tesla reported a net loss of US$293.2 million, or US$2.09 a share, in the quarter ending on June 30, up from a US$184.2 million loss in the same period a year earlier. Revenue at the California-based company climbed to US$1.27 billion in the second quarter from US$955 million a year ago.

Tesla is touting the new models as it faces a wave of bad publicity about self-driving capabilities in its electric vehicles.

A fatal accident in the US and other less serious incidents in China prompted concerns about the safety of autonomous driving systems, but Tesla remained devoted to improving the technology.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2016, with the headline 'Revised Tesla Model S boasts quicker acceleration'. Print Edition | Subscribe