Tesla revamps pricing, naming system for Model S and Model X

top tech stories of the week 10 4 15 tesla model x 1v2 1500x1000

Tesla is reorganizing its Model S and Model X electric car trim levels. The automaker is ending its long-standing practice of using battery-pack capacity to designate trim levels, opting for a different naming scheme instead. Tesla is also introducing new entry-level versions of the Model S and Model X.

With the discontinuation of the 75-kilowatt-hour battery pack, all Model S and Model X trim levels now use a 100-kWh pack. That likely explains why Tesla dropped battery-pack capacity from trim-level names. Tesla currently offers 100D and P100D performance versions of the Model S and Model X. Going forward, the P100D will be called “Performance.” Vehicles equipped the optional, performance-enhancing Ludicrous Mode will be called “Performance with Ludicrous Mode.”

New base models, simply called Model S and Model X without anything else tacked on, are also being introduced. These cars have the same 100-kWh battery pack as the Performance versions, but capacity is limited by software. Buyers can opt to have the software block removed to gain additional capacity and increased range.

The base Model S and Model X are rated at 310 miles and 270 miles of range, respectively. For $8,000, buyers can unlock more battery-pack capacity and increase range by 8 percent. In the Model S, that means a total range of 335 miles, while the maximum range of the Model X can be increased to 295 miles.

Prices for all Model S and Model X trim levels are also getting cut by $1,000. That’s on top of the recent $2,000 price cut on all Tesla vehicles. This should help compensate somewhat for Tesla’s loss of the full $7,500 federal tax credit for electric cars. That credit is now phasing out because Tesla hit 200,000 electric car sales, the limit for automakers to qualify for the full amount. Effective January 1, Tesla electric cars only qualify for a $3,750 federal credit. The amount will shrink to $1,875 beginning July 1, and disappear altogether January 1, 2020.

The new naming scheme for the Model S and Model X brings the two senior members of Tesla’s vehicle lineup in line with the newer Model 3, which never used the kilowatt-hour-based naming system. Tesla has updated its online configurators to reflect the changes.


The 2020 Subaru Outback wants to take you to (and teach you about) the outdoors

The Outback is one of Subaru's most significant models, so the Japanese firm couldn't afford to make a mistake when it overhauled the model. The sixth-generation Outback is still rugged but more user-friendly than ever before.

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show brought it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe traveled to the 2019 show to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.

2020 Ford Escape gets sleeker styling, greener powertrains, more tech

The 2020 Ford Escape gets redesigned for the first time since the 2013 model year. Ford brought back the hybrid powertrain, and is adding a plug-in hybrid option for the first time.

Tech meets old-school craftsmanship in the Mercedes-Benz GLB concept

The long-rumored Mercedes-Benz GLB debuted as a prototype at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show with a design that borrows styling cues from the G-Class. The seven-seat compact model is already on its way to becoming a production model.

Mercedes-Benz gives the tech-savvy 2020 CLA more power at New York Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation CLA during CES 2019, and it will expand the lineup when it unveils a midrange model named CLA 35 at the upcoming 2019 New York Auto Show.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.

More tech and more space make the Mercedes-Benz GLS the S-Class of the SUV world

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation GLS at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The company's biggest and most luxurious SUV gains more tech features in its quest to become the S-Class of the SUV world.

Would you buy the Tarok compact pickup truck? Volkswagen wants to know

The Volkswagen Tarok pickup truck concept will make its United States debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The truck first appeared at the 2018 Sao Paulo Auto Show, and VW wants to see what U.S. buyers think of it.

Sick of civilization? Volkswagen’s Atlas Basecamp concept lets you get away

Volkswagen revealed the Atlas Basecamp concept ahead of its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. Built for overlanding, this family-hauler was upgraded jointly by Volkswagen and aftermarket manufacturers.

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo sheds weight, uses racing tricks to stay sharp

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo isn't dramatically different from the 2019 model, but Nissan made changes where it counts. The updated GT-R Nismo is lighter and offers better aerodynamic performance, according to Nissan.

Nikola previews $80K NZT off-road EV speedster with 590 horsepower

Nikola Motor is taking reservations for the NZT, a high-performance, all-electric off-highway vehicle (OHV). The $80,000 NZT has 590 horsepower, 775 foot-pounds of torque, and reaches 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.

21 charged in Chicago carsharing heist; 100+ cars stolen, many still missing

More than 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles belonging to carsharing service Car2Go were stolen in Chicago. Police are still working to recover all of the cars, which are equipped with GPS, and 21 people have been charged.

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.