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PHOTO CAPTION: Tesla Model S 70D boosts 240 miles range and all-wheel drive with 0-60 in 5.4 seconds.

Tesla's New Base Model S 70D Is a Bargain

All things considered, even at $76,200USD, this reviewer considers the 70D a 'bargain' well worth the extra $5,000 Tesla added to the base sticker price.

Published: 16-Apr-2015

"Given that the new car also has improved performance, a longer driving range, and extra standard features, the 70D's price tag is actually a bargain," writes Automobile magazine in its review of Tesla's new entry level replacement for the S 60.

How improved, you ask? Those ten extra kilowatt hours energy storage comfortably makes the 70D a 200+ mile range EV. Where the 2014 S 60 was rated at 208 miles of range, the 70D now promises 240. Acceleration, courtesy of its dual front and rear electric motors, rated at 329 hp, is a brisk 5.4 seconds, 5/10th of a second quicker than the S 60. Top speed has also be upped from 120 mph to 140 mph: either way, that's serious speeding citation country.

For this you'll pay an extra $5K over the model it's replacing. The new base sticker price is now $76,200USD. As Automobile points out, you'd pay that extra five grand just for the daul motor option.

Interestingly, there may be some very brilliant strategizing behind this move on Tesla's part, as Siddharth Dalal conjectures on Seeking Alpha. In an article entitled, "Genius Of The Tesla 70D: Sell More Cars, Use Fewer Batteries," he theorizes that Tesla's decision to terminate the 60kWh model, replacing it with the 70D actually allows them to free up more batteries for use in either more cars or in even more profitable home energy storage units sold by Solar City.

Dalal reasons that buyers who might have opted for the 85kWh model may decide that the added range and performance of the 70 over the 60 meets their needs and at a lower price point. He developed a table to show how shifting percentages of buyers impact battery availability. The more buyers shift to the 70, the more batteries become available for other models or uses. Additionally, the Model X will likely use the same 70kWh pack so that it can stay above Tesla's self-imposed minimum range of 200 miles per charge for all its models.

The Model S 70D is available now for order, assuming, of course, you're in the top 10 percent of income earners.

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