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Tesla Changes Naming Scheme

Electric Car

It's also dropping prices to further compensate for the lost tax credits.

Automakers have been moving away from designating their vehicles according to the size or output of their engines. Mercedes-AMG's 63 models, for example, don't pack 6.3-liter engines anymore. And Audis wear badges like 55 TFSI (instead of 3.0T). Now Tesla is abandoning output-based naming, too.

CNET's Roadshow reports that Tesla is dropping designators like 75D and P100D from the Model S and Model X – trim levels that alphanumerically identified the vehicles according to their batteries' kilowatt ratings. Instead, they'll now follow a more straightforward hierarchy, similar to how Tesla identifies each version of the newer, smaller Model 3.

The base models of each will now be known simply as the Model S or Model X (instead of 75D). Those with bigger batteries will be called the Model S or Model X Extended Range. The P100D will now be called the Performance model. And at the top of the heap will be branded as "Performance with Ludicrous Mode.”

Along with the change in nomenclature, Tesla is also adjusting its pricing. Having already cut $2,000 off the sticker price to make up for the end of federal tax rebates, the electric-vehicle manufacturer is now cutting another $1,000 off all versions.

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Possibly the best part is that the difference between each version isn't mechanical, electrical, or otherwise physical in any way. Since they all pack the same hardware, the difference from one version to another comes down strictly to software. That could mean you'd be able to buy a cheaper model and have it reflashed in the aftermarket, but we couldn't speak to what that might do to your warranty. It does mean, however, that you'll be able to pay the premium later on to upgrade your EV for more range and power, which could make the initial purchase price easier to swallow.