Such is the excitement surrounding Tesla Motors (TSLA) product announcements that the company gains huge amounts of media attention at short notice.
During the call, which was announced at the last minute, Musk made three key announcements before taking questions from the floor. Upgrades to the high-performance Model S sedan dramatically improve acceleration, an improved battery pack extends vehicle range, and a discount for the cheapest version of the Model S was also announced.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announces “Ludicrous Mode”
Musk announced a new “Ludicrous Mode” upgrade which will propel the dual-motor Model S from 0-60 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds. The upgrade means that the car will now reach 155 miles per hour in 20% less time than before.
New buyers will have to shell out an extra $10,000 for the upgrade, which improves the vehicle’s acceleration by 10% to 1.1 Gs.
Ludicrous Mode will also be offered on the Model X, and it is thought that it will get from 0-60 in 3.3 seconds. Musk claims “that’s mad for an SUV.”
Upgraded battery improves vehicle range
Other improvements concern range, an ever-present issue for electric cars. Model S buyers can now order their car with an upgraded 90 kwH battery pack for an extra $3,000. The improvement is due to improved cell chemistry, including the use of silicon in the anode.
The upgrade will allow up to 15 miles of extra range, which means that the longest-range 85D will now be able to travel nearly 300 miles on a highway without stopping to recharge. Such a distance is an important milestone for an electric vehicle.
Improvements to the battery are also important for the upcoming Model X crossover vehicle, which is bigger and heavier than the existing Model S.
Discount announced for cheapest Model S
Musk also announced a discount on the cheapest Model S 70D, which will now sell for $70,000, a discount of $5,000 over the original price. The news is sure to be welcomed by investors.
Investors and prospective buyers will have been pleased by the announcements, but existing owners were expecting to hear more about the planned software upgrade to version 7.0, which will include autonomous driving features. Musk claims that testing is being carried out every day.
Musk also announced that a new Roadster model, to be known as “Maximum Plaid,” will be unveiled in 4 years.