Audio From Tesla’s Ludicrous Press Conference – Video


Here’s full audio from Tesla’s recent press conference with CEO Elon Musk (media phone-in call) via YouTube Tesla Motor News in which Tesla announced a 90 kWh option, Ludicrous Mode and a cheaper base model.

As a quick recap, Tesla introduced 3 new options for the Model S:

The "Fine Print" On 90 kWh Battery

Depending On The Model S Configuration, These Extra 5 kWh Brings The Total Range Of The Car To 300 Miles (driven at 65 mph avg)

* – New 90 kWh battery pack upgrade option for new customers (a cost of $3,000)

* – New base model introduced, the S 70, which is a single motor 70 kWh S, which retails for $5,000 cheaper than the 70D, starting from $70,000.  (Of note:  This is also roughly the same price than the outgoing S 60 which was discontinued in April and had a MSRP of $71,070)

* – New top-of-the-line performance P90D with “Ludicrous Mode” .  Pricing increases by $10,000 for the “Ludicrous” feature (or $5,000 + install for current P85D owners over the next 6 months); this gives the sedan a 0 to 60 mph time-slip of 2.8 seconds. The new mode also brings up the quarter mile in 10.9 seconds.

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20 Comments on "Audio From Tesla’s Ludicrous Press Conference – Video"

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I wonder why the ordering site still does not reflect the added range if you go from 85d to 90d.

No official EPA data yet?

Given the contradictory and confusing claims for efficiency/range ratings of the “D” dual drive Tesla Model S vs. the older, single-drive models, perhaps this time Tesla has decided to wait until there are official EPA ratings before it announces anything.

Scratch the “perhaps”. That’s exactly what Musk says in the audio heard in that “video”.

Those numbers are EPA ratings and the new 90 kWh pack hasn’t been tested yet by the EPA.

“(Of note: This is also roughly the same price than the outgoing S 60 which was discontinued in April and had a MSRP of $71,070)”

This is really the more important news. Yeah, we all like the super-car fast Ludicrous Speed stuff for fun . . . but this shows they are making some progress on pushing down costs so they can sell the cars for less money.

Long way to go to get to $35K though. But . . . steel instead of aluminum, smaller, decontent a bit, 20KWH less battery . . . it may be doable.

The $35k mark will be achieved through economies of scale, particularly by battery costs being driven down by the gigafactory. The mainstream car will also be produced in larger quantities, and be smaller than the Model S overall, further reducing costs.

Primarily, savings will be down to the gigafactory. It is the Tesla long-term plan, following basic economics, and this plan has been outlined for years now, numerous times on this site and at Elon Musk speeches.

I think that’s an overstatement. Sure, economies of scale, reducing the size of the car, and using cheaper Gigafactory batteries will help reduce the cost of the Model ≡. But too many people posting to InsideEVs seem to think the Model ≡ will be more-or-less just a smaller version of the Model S.

The Model ≡ will be a new and considerably less expensive design from the ground up. You can’t make a car for half the price of an existing model by trimming bits and pieces off the much more expensive model; you have to take a wholly different approach. Many upscale and luxurious parts of the Model S simply won’t be present in the Model ≡, which will not be a “luxury” car.

GM doesn’t make a new model of Chevrolet by taking a Cadillac and trimming off bits and pieces. It designs a car to be a Chevy from the ground up. Now that’s not to say the Model ≡ will be as cheaply equipped as the average Chevy, but hopefully you get the point.

Dana Pearson, aka Vastman

Steel is heavy…carbon fiber superior. Process will continue to drip without backward moves

CF will also bring the cost up pretty quick as it stands today. Steel will be the material of choice until they come out with a cheaper to make CF.

Yep. Although BMW does seem to have something interesting with their Carbon Fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) material.

Getting to 35k is pretty easy when you look at all the fluff that can be trimmed out of the base MS. Trade out the dash for a cheaper plastic, body in steel/smaller as well, tone down all the motors and batteries. Doing that will get you really close to that 35k mark I bet.

Brian, the term “pretty easy” is really called into question here. I think it will be a monumental task to deliver Model 3 under a base price of $39k. Base for something like a 20% smaller, steel, 50kWh car with supercharger access not included.

Also consider that supercharger access was an expensive option on the S60 while it is standard on the S70.

The cross pollination and innovation from combining aerospace tech, silicon valley and the automotive industry is paying off in interesting ways. For example, the “Smart Fuse” is brilliant. The downside might be having to keep that little battery accessible and easily serviced as it ages. I admire Tesla’s dogged determination to kill the “EVs are Golf Carts” stereotype, with these drivetrain innovations and refinements. This is tech that their high end cars are paying for now, and everyone can benefit from in the near future. This is the SECOND battery pack size increase just this year for Tesla. Nissan and everyone else needs to move on copying that, soon. Model X will likely force yet another (probably more substantial than 5%) pack increase, due to its increased weight and towing requirements. Expecting battery pack announcement number THREE in 2015. Also, Tesla clearly wants to keep providing updated batteries to current owners, for years after the sale. There are hints that the new, thinner liquid cooled cables at Super Chargers can carry even more current, to provide power to larger pack sizes and further reduce charge times. The statements that X is only using about 30% of the same parts… Read more »
Anon said: “The statements that X is only using about 30% of the same parts as S, is a bit concerning from a cost control standpoint, however…” Indeed, it seems like a repeat of what happened with taking the Lotus Elise and turning it into the Telsa Roadster. When they should have been tooling up to start manufacturing the car, Musk kept demanding significant changes in the design, even to the basic body shape, such as demanding the door sills had to be lowered; changes that essentially meant starting over from scratch for much of the design of the car. That’s certainly part of the reason, perhaps most of the reason, that the date for beginning Roadster production had to be pushed back two or three times. The original plan was to build the Model X off the Model S platform. Yet even the front view of the cars shows noticeable differences in the headlight areas. Is there an actual engineering reason for those changes? Or is it just change for the sake of style? Elon Musk should certainly be praised for staying true to the original vision of the founders of Tesla Motors: Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. The… Read more »


You know Larry the Cableguy is actually a contrived character and the guy was a northern stand-up comedian prior to building the character… right?

Thanks, for this. It’s good to hear Musk have to repeat answers questions that drive at “what about when it isn’t going straight”. Maybe we haven’t seen the end of different suspension hardware, and one-size-fits-all Traction Control.