Cheaper Tesla Model S Returns

Courtesy of Tesla Motors
Tesla Model S 60

Tesla reintroduces the Model S 60 at a lower price with a bigger battery, faster zero-to-60 time and Autopilot.

Citing demand for a lower-priced version of its iconic Model S, Tesla Motors said Thursday that it was relaunching the the Model S 60, priced at $66,000. An all-wheel-drive version, the 60D, will be available for $71.000. 

The new Model S 60 has a range of more than 200 miles, a top speed of 140 mph and accelerates from zero to 60 of 5.5 seconds. Tesla estimates that, after fuel savings and federal and state tax incentives, the car has an effective price of about $50,000 and includes the latest Model S enhancements, including a restyled fascia and Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system. The battery in the 60 and 60D can be upgraded to 70kw via a software update.  

Since the original Model S 60 was discontinued in 2015, the cheapest Model S had been the 70, which starts at $70,000. In practice Model S customers — Hollywood devotees include Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Jon Favreau — add options like sun roofs that can quickly push up the price of the car to $100,000 and beyond.

The Model S 60 arrives as Tesla is ramping up production of its Model X SUV — which has received raves for its performance and features but has been plagued by production and quality control problems on early cars including defective windshields and malfunctioning falcon wing doors and seats — and finalizing the design of the Model 3, a $35,000 sedan due in 2017 for which Tesla has received more than 400,000 preorders.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has pledged that the company will build 500,000 cars annually starting in 2018.