What just happened? Tesla EVs are expensive, there's no arguing about that, but the company has now revealed cheaper versions of its Model S and Model X. The caveat is that they both have shorter ranges than the standard base and Plaid options and aren't as quick.
Tesla calls the new variants the Standard Range options, both of which are $10,000 cheaper than their base model counterparts.
Tesla's website lists the Model S Standard Range at $78,490, while the base version is $88,490 and the Tri-Motor Model S Plaid costs $108,490.
That lower price comes at the cost of a shorter range and less acceleration. The usual 405 miles in the base Model S is reduced to 320 miles, while the 3.1-second 0-60 mph acceleration time increases to 3.7 seconds, which is still blazing fast, of course.
It's the same story with the Model X. The $98,490 non-Plaid model drops to $88,490 for the new EV, while the range sees a significant decrease from 348 miles to 269 miles. The 0-60 mph time is also increased, from 3.8 seconds to 4.4 seconds.
The top speeds of both vehicles are unchanged, and prices don't include any applicable EV tax credits or optional extras like Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-Driving Capability.
As noted by Electrek, it's unclear if Tesla is creating a new battery pack for the new trims or if it is software-locking capacity in the Long Range battery pack. If it is software-locked, Tesla might allow owners to unlock the full capacity and range through a paid-for software update at some point in the future.
Tesla's configurator lists the estimated delivery dates for the new EVs as September to October this year.
The quiet arrival of the new Teslas comes less than a month after a report from Reuters claimed that the manufacturer has used overly optimistic range estimates and instructed staff to divert range-related complaints. Sources said Tesla at one point employed algorithms to give customers exaggerated estimates for the maximum driving range of its EVs and dedicated an entire office to silencing complaints on the issue.