Surprise Model S/X upgrades bring big improvements and the return of the entry level Standard Range model.
As the newest entry on Tesla Gallery floors, the Model 3 had been stealing the thunder of the Model S and Model X. Earlier this month, rumors abound that Tesla was about to roll out updates to their premium vehicles. It was only a matter of time before Tesla integrated technology and lessons learned on the Model 3 into its existing lineup.
Now, Tesla has formally announced their improvements to the Model S and Model X. According to a Tuesday evening post on Tesla's blog, the all-electric sedan and SUV will travel 370 and 325 miles on a charge, respectively. This is a pretty significant improvement from the current long range packs. This also better differentiates the Long Range Model S from the higher trim Model 3 offerings.
Tesla says they are able to do this on the existing 100 kWh battery pack primarily due to efficiency upgrades. The vehicles will receive upgrades to their drive unit that combine a "permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor, silicon carbide power electronics, and improved lubrication, cooling, bearings, and gear designs." These improvements reportedly result in greater than 93% efficiency.
Along with this, getting your charge will take less time than ever before. Plugged into the new Supercharger V3, the vehicles will feed on that sweet electro-juice at a peak rate of 200 kW. On older, existing Supercharger stations, the vehicles can now utilize 145 kW charging. According to Tesla this accounts for a 50% improvement in charge speeds.
The suspension is also being updated with "fully-adaptive damping, giving it an ultra-cushioned feel". Tesla says the new upgrades will constantly adapt to driver behavior and road conditions "automatically softening for more pronounced road inputs and firming for aggressive driving".
The Model S and Model X Standard Range is also back in action, and will receive the same drivetrain and suspension updates as the Long Range models. For any existing Model S or Model X owner who has been considering an upgrade to their vehicle, Tesla has a deal especially for you. Existing owners buying a Performance model "will get the Ludicrous Mode upgrade, a $20,000 value, at no additional charge."
The Longest-Range Electric Vehicle Now Goes Even Farther
For more than a decade, Tesla engineers have been obsessed with making the world’s most efficient electric vehicles. As a result, Tesla vehicles already travel farther on a single charge than any other production EV on the market. Today, we’re making changes to Model S and Model X that allow them to travel unprecedented distances without needing to recharge, beating our own record for the longest-range production EVs on the road. And we’ve accomplished this without increasing the cars’ battery size, proving that our expertise in system-level design can make our cars dramatically more efficient.
Beginning today, Model S and Model X now come with an all-new drivetrain design that increases each vehicle’s range substantially, achieving a landmark 370 miles and 325 miles on the EPA cycle for Model S and Model X Long Range, respectively. Using the same 100 kWh battery pack, these design and architecture updates will allow drivers to travel farther than ever before, charging less frequently and getting more range out of every dollar spent on charging.
We’re also introducing a brand-new adaptive suspension system for Model S and Model X, along with a few other improvements for the best range, acceleration, and ride comfort ever, plus a Ludicrous Mode upgrade for our most loyal customers. Here’s what’s new:
More Efficient Design
All Model S and X vehicles now benefit from Tesla’s latest generation of drive unit technology, which combines an optimized permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor, silicon carbide power electronics, and improved lubrication, cooling, bearings, and gear designs to achieve greater than 93% efficiency. Pairing a permanent magnet motor in the front with an induction motor in the rear enables unparalleled range and performance at all times. The net effect is a more than 10% improvement in range, with efficiency improvements in both directions as energy flows out of the battery during acceleration and back into the battery through regenerative braking. In addition to adding range, power and torque increases significantly across all Model S and Model X variants, improving 0-60 mph times for our Long Range and Standard Range models.
Paired with the new more efficient drivetrain design, Model S and Model X are now capable of achieving 200 kW on V3 Superchargers and 145 kW on V2 Superchargers. Together, these improvements enable our customers to recharge their miles 50% faster.
Fully Adaptive Suspension
We’ve also upgraded our air suspension system for Model S and Model X with fully-adaptive damping, giving it an ultra-cushioned feel when cruising on the highway or using Autopilot, and a responsive, exhilarating confidence during dynamic driving. Unlike other manufacturers, our suspension software is developed completely in-house, using a predictive model to anticipate how the damping will need to be adjusted based on the road, speed, and other vehicle and driver inputs. The system constantly adapts by sensing the road and adjusting for driver behavior, automatically softening for more pronounced road inputs and firming for aggressive driving. We’ve also improved the leveling of the system while cruising, keeping the car low to optimize aerodynamic drag. As with all of Tesla’s in-house software, the adaptive suspension can receive over-the-air updates, allowing us to enable all Model S and Model X customers to have the most advanced suspension technology at all times.
To complement these changes, we’ve also re-engineered several other components of Model S and Model X in keeping with our philosophy of continuous improvement. These updates include new wheel bearings and a few new tire designs for certain variants to improve range, ride, and steering. While these changes may seem minor, together they have a meaningful impact when it comes to EV design.
In addition to our Long Range and Performance variants, we’re also re-introducing a lower entry price for Model S and Model X by bringing back our Standard Range option, now available for an even greater value with the new drivetrain and suspension updates. We also want to emphasize the critical impact each of our early Tesla owners has had on advancing our mission, so as a thank you, all existing Model S and Model X owners who wish to purchase a new Model S or Model X Performance car will get the Ludicrous Mode upgrade, a $20,000 value, at no additional charge.
These changes will go into production at our factory in Fremont, California this week, and can be ordered today at Tesla.com.