Electric car pioneer Tesla Motors has announced its new P100D version of the Model S and Model X are the 'quickest production cars in the world' and will break existing range records for e-cars.
Tesla's new Model S P100D would go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds - that's 2.7 seconds from zero to 100km/h - the Palo Alto, California-based company said on Tuesday, claiming the vehicle was the world's fastest car in production.
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said that only the LaFerari and the Porsche 918 Spyder with gas engines were faster, adding that the limited-run two seaters were million-dollar speciality cars that could no longer be bought.
The P100D upgrade consists mainly of a new 100 kilowatt-hour battery pack and comes under the name of "Ludicrous Mode."
Musk said the battery cell chemistry was the same as in previous Tesla models, but the battery pack was reconfigured to store more energy in the same space and handle increased cooling requirements.
Ludicrous Mode already debuted as an add-on for $10,000 last year and will take the price for the Model S to $134,500. For all that money, customers also get extended range of 315 miles (506 kilometers), with Tesla saying the e-car was the first in the world to go beyond 300 miles before it needed to be recharged.
The Model X gets a similar treatment. With the Ludicrous Mode option, the SUV would cost $135,500, the company said, and would make the car the fastest SUV currently in production. The new larger battery will also give the vehicle a 289 mile range.
In a statement, Tesla said the P100D Ludicrous was "obviously an expensive vehicle," which, however, would help pay for the smaller and much more affordable Tesla Model 3.
"Without customers willing to buy the expensive Model S and X, we would be unable to fund the smaller, more affordable Model 3 development," the statement said.
Customers had been able to place orders for the P100D versions since Tuesday, with delivery expected as early as next month, the carmaker said.
Tesla has been under pressure to increase production after years of losing money. The news may help to reinvigorate Model S and Model X pre-orders as customers are looking toward Tesla's promised affordable Model 3, due to hit the market in 2018.
uhe/hg (dpa, AP, AFP)