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Tesla launches two cheaper Model S cars starting at $66,000

by Jacob Kleinman | June 9, 2016June 9, 2016 4:00 pm PDT

Tesla is set to launch the Model 3, its cheapest car ever, in 2018. But, in the meantime, the company is bringing back a less expensive version of the popular Model S.

The Model S 60 and Model S 60D (which adds all-wheel-drive) are available now on Tesla’s website for $66,000 and $71,000, respectively. The company also packed in a bunch of new technology, including Autopilot and extra battery capacity, but you’ll have to pay extra to unlock those features.

Both cars are capable of driving at up to 130 miles per hour. The Model S 60 can hit 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds and has a range of 210 miles per charge. The S 60D accelerates slightly faster (60 mph in 5.2 seconds) and has a range of 218 miles.

The new cars feature Tesla’s refreshed Model S design, which includes a sleeker front grille, LED headlights, faster charging, and the powerful air filtration system introduced with the Model X. The S 60 and S 60D even ship with the hardware necessary for self-driving features, but you’ll need to pay $3,000 once you get the car to switch them on.

You can also pay an extra $9,000 after delivery to unlock the car’s full battery capacity. The new S 60 and S 60D actually ship with a 75kWh battery, but Tesla limits that to 60kWh with software. If you decide you need a bigger battery, you can simply cough up the extra cash at any point.

Tesla is essentially limiting the car’s capabilities with software to offer it at a cheaper price up front. Then, if customers want to upgrade down the line, they can pay to unlock extra features that are already built into the vehicle. It’s a pretty clever sales strategy, and it should help move more Model S units even with the Model 3 on the horizon.

Tesla The Verge

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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