This thing has a truly ludicrous 0-60 mph time.
After plenty of speculation and evidence dug up by everyone from a hacker to YouTube's own DragTimes, Tesla has finally confirmed that a 100 kWh battery for the Model S and Model X is available for purchase. The most practical of benefit of a larger battery is an increased driving range. The max range for the Model S is now 315 miles (a 45 mile increase) and for the Model X it's 289 miles (a gain of 39 miles). Gearheads will be happy to learn that there are performance benefits as well. Tesla now touts the Model S P100D as the fastest car currently in production.
With a new 0-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds, the previous time was 2.9 seconds, it’s hard to argue with that claim. Car fans will be quick to point out that the official records for the Porsche 918 Spider and Ferrari LaFerrari top the Tesla’s time, but Elon Musk’s brand refuted that argument by saying that those cars are no longer in production and must be bought used. Still, the feat is no less impressive given that the Tesla is not a million dollar hypercar. Despite the bargain, the Model S P100D is still pricey for a sedan, coming in at $134,500. The Model X P100D is just a bit pricier at $135,500 for the Model X P100D. All told that's $15,000 more than the previous top-spec Model S and $10,000 more over the cost of the P90D SUV.
It may sound easy to stuff a few extra cells into a battery pack, but Tesla's engineers actually took the hard route. During a conference call which CNET was on, Tesla mentioned that the 100 kWh pack has the same number of cells as the 90 kWh pack but is designed and cooled more intelligently. This means that the battery came to fruition through painstaking efforts and re-engineering and not just by making it larger. Tesla knows some customers who recently ordered P90D models may feel put out by this announcement. Luckily those on the wait list can opt to have the 100 kWh battery and its kit of upgraded wiring harnesses added for $10,000. Already have a P90D in the driveway? Then it’ll cost you an extra $20,000 to upgrade.
Despite announcing that the product is on sale, Tesla will not deliver the first P100Ds for at least a month. Musk expects an initial output of about 200 of the batteries per week with an increase in production coming later on. As of now, the 100 kWh battery is only offered on the P100D with Ludicrous mode, but once production has gotten underway we should see standard 100D models with longer ranges. The Tesla blog noted that while the cost for the P100D models is high, each purchase will go towards funding the enormous undertaking that is the Model 3's production. The higher cost is slightly more justified on the Model S because all cars that have a "D" in the name now offer Premium Seats as standard.