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Tesla Buffs Performance Significantly Across Range, as If Needed

When Tesla introduced the Model S P100D last year, the electric sedan became the fastest accelerating production car of the moment. It was quicker to the 60 mph mark than all your Italian supercars or German abominations (yup, that would be the Bugatti Chiron).
Tesla range 1 photo
The EVs were fighting back, and they were winning. After years of being called boring and uninspiring, a battery-powered vehicle was the weapon of choice for everyone interested in off-the-line acceleration who didn't want to bother with modifying their car.

The Model S P100D had a zero to sixty time of two point thirty four seconds, and then a few months later, that was cut even further to under 2.3 seconds. It wasn't teleporting, but it was damn near close. If that acceleration caught in any other position than lying in your seat with your head pressed against the headrest, you risked getting your neck snapped.

Of course, this meant the Model S became a regular at amateur drag competitions, and it proved a more than decent weapon over the shorter distance of one-quarter of a mile. But it's not like any of this came as a surprise: the P90D wasn't exactly a slouch either.

Well, in a logic that only Tesla can understand, the company decided that quick wasn't quick enough. Granted, it didn't do anything to the P100D's acceleration time, but most of the other versions of the sedan - and the Model X SUV as well - had their 0-60 times cut short. And quite significantly.

For instance, the base Model 75 gained 1.2 seconds - from 5.5 to 4.3 seconds. The dual-motor version of the 75 kWh battery pack, the Model S 75D, is only 0.1 seconds faster than the single motor now, but it used to reach the benchmark speed of 60 mph in 5.2 seconds.

Unlike Tesla's usual modus operandi which involves over the air updates, this increase in performance isn't all software-generated, so it will only apply to new vehicles that are built from now on. So imagine the disappointment of those who got their cars just a few days earlier.

The list of enhancements doesn't end there. The Model S 100D also gets a slight boost - from 4.2 to 4.1 seconds, which means only 0.2 seconds are now separating the Model S 75 from the Model S 100D, which makes the difference in maximum range all the more important.

The Model X also received some love, with the 75D version now posting a 4.9 seconds 0-60 mph sprint time (down from 6.0 seconds) and the 100D also dropping 0.5 seconds for a new time of 4.7 seconds. New for the SUV as well is a seven-seat configuration that allows the second and third rows to fold completely flat, maximizing cargo space for those trips back home from the gardening store with the missus.

It may seem like Tesla is doing all this simply because it can, but things should always be put into context. And what happens toward the end of this month? That's right, the Model 3 starts production, and even though Musk said the new, cheaper sedan would have a 0-60 time of "less than six seconds," but we suspect this update is primarily aimed to make room for the new EV, at least in its more powerful versions.


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