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Has CARB Accidentally Revealed There'll Be a New Entry-Level Tesla Model S?

Tesla is getting ready to welcome the new addition to its range, the brand's first venture into the mass-market segment and the car that is supposed to turn Tesla from a niche manufacturer into one of the most important out there.
Pre-facelift Tesla Model S 1 photo
To do that, it needs to shuffle its offerings a little. Since the Model X is an SUV, it's very unlikely the new Model 3 will step on its toes in any way, so the only one whose marketing needs some rethinking is the Model S. Even though it is clearly a larger, more luxurious sedan, the possibility of people making a very cold, rational choice and going for the more affordable Model 3 is there.

The Model S, then, needs to differentiate itself from the smaller model, and an increase in maximum range is a good way to do that. Today, the California Air Resource Board included an unannounced Tesla Model S in its list of vehicles that can request a single occupant carpool lane sticker. It is dubbed the Model S 75D and currently, CARB's website is the only place where there's a mention of it.

Last month, Tesla released the new entry-level Model X that used the same moniker - standing for a 75 kWh battery pack. However, there was no official information from Tesla regarding a similar move for its electric sedan, even though it would have made sense. The word on the street is that Tesla will quietly pull the plugs on the Model S 70 and 70D, and replace them with the new and improved 75 version.

The rear-wheel-driven Model S 70 is now rated at 234 miles maximum range, with the all-wheel-drive 70D gaining six more. With the new battery pack, these numbers should be slightly increased to just under 250 miles for the RWD version and a little over that mark for the AWD version.

So the Model S 75 should become the new entry-level model for Tesla's larger sedan, but we wouldn't be surprised if these extra miles added to the maximum range also came with a price bump. Tesla has been regularly doing that recently with last month's update, so it shouldn't come as a surprise. It would also set it apart even further from the upcoming Model 3 concerning both range and price, which is good news for Tesla. We'll probably hear more about it during the following weeks - that is, if it doesn't all prove to be just a big mistake on CARB's part.


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