Following Customer Feedback, Tesla Reintroduces Model S 60, Adds Model S 60D, Removes Model S 70, 70D

Ever since the Tesla Model S luxury sedan hit the roads back in 2012, we’ve seen Tesla gradually improve the specifications of its flagship long-range electric car. These improvements have not only added desirable features such as an improved charging station-aware navigation system and advanced range prediction algorithm via over-the-air software updates but also improvements to the car’s design such as the introduction of larger battery packs, a more efficient dual-motor drivetrain and of course Level 2 autonomous driving thanks to the Autopilot hardware and software first introduced in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

The Tesla Model S 60 is back!

The Tesla Model S 60 is back!

Generally, when Tesla introduces a better-specced model to its lineup it quietly retires that model’s obvious predecessor. The original flagship Tesla Model S P85 was replaced by the Tesla Model S P85+, which was then replaced by the Tesla Model S P85D and more recently, the Tesla Model S 95DL as Tesla’s fastest car. Similarly, the Tesla Model S 40 was replaced by the Tesla Model S 60 as Tesla’s entry-level model, followed most recently by the Tesla Model S 70, each model offering improved performance and longer range than its predecessor.

Along with those improved specifications have come an increased price tag, slowly lifting the entry-level Model S sticker price up over the past few years, essentially making the dream of a Model S less achievable for thousands of would-be owners. And that’s left some Tesla fans to complain bitterly to the California automaker.

Drivers will be able to unlock the full potential of the 75 kWh pack via an OTA software update.

Drivers will be able to unlock the full potential of the 75 kWh pack via an OTA software update.

Which is why Tesla says, it’s breaking with tradition today and reintroducing a previously discontinued model in the form of a new Tesla Model S 60 and Tesla Model S 60D — and halting production of the Tesla Model S 70 and Model S 70D altogether.

In an official announcement made earlier this morning, Tesla conceded that the slow price hike over the past few years for Model S had locked some buyers out and, consequently, it was launching a refreshed Model S 60 with better specification than its previous Model S 60 starting from just $66,000 before state or Federal incentives.

“We’ve heard from a number of people who would like to buy a Model S, but can more easily afford it only at a lower price point. To respond to these requests, on Thursday June 9 we’re introducing two new variants of Model S – Model S 60 and 60D, offering a compelling feature set and a great value at a new low price,” the press release details. “The new Model S 60 delivers more than 200 miles of range, a top speed of more than 130 mph, and a zero-to-60 acceleration in 5.5 seconds, starting at $66,000. The all-wheel drive option brings even more range and performance, beginning at $71,000.”

Hardened Tesla fans will note that the performance of the new Model S 60 is 0.4 seconds faster to 60 mph than its predecessor, and has a 10 mph increase on its top speed. But those tweaks aren’t the result of any major re-engineering of the original Model S 60. They’re there because the Model S 60 and 60D are actually Tesla Model S 75 and Tesla Model S 75D models in disguise. 

You see, as we reported last month, when Tesla launched the Tesla Model S 75 and Tesla Model S 75D earlier this spring, it actually did away with the old entry-level Tesla Model S 70 battery pack. Instead (for the short time it continued to offer the Model S 70 and 70D) it fitted 75 kilowatt-hour battery packs to both Tesla Model S 75 and Tesla Model S 70 variants, allowing the former access to the full capacity of the battery pack but electronically limiting the range of the latter to 70 kilowatt-hours, offering customers the possibility to upgrade (or rather unlock) the full 75 kilowatt-hours of capacity some point in the future for a one-off payment of $3,250.

The same is true of the new Tesla Model S 60 and 60D. While they are priced attractively at $66,000 and $71,000 respectively before incentives and a mandatory $1,200 shipping and handling fee has been applied, they are in fact Tesla Model S 70 and 70D models in disguise. And just like the now-discontinued Tesla Model S 70 produced for the past few months between the introduction of the Tesla Model S 75 and today, the Tesla Model S 60 and Tesla Model S 60D can, for a fee, have their battery packs unlocked to give access to the full 75 kilowatt-hours that lie within.

Unlike the previous Model S 60 , the new Model S 60 comes in single or dual-motor form.

Unlike the previous Model S 60 , the new Model S 60 comes in single or dual-motor form.

Sadly, this upgrade won’t come cheap: Tesla will charge you $8,500 for the upgrade at point of ordering (essentially giving you a Tesla Model S 75 or 75D from new) for $8,500 or $9,000 after delivery. And that’s before you add on the Tesla Autopilot functionality (an additional $2,500 at point of ordering or $3,000 post-purchase) or the Premium Upgrade package with Tesla’s now famous Bioweapon Defence mode.

In short, Tesla has listened to critics — this site included — and reintroduced a more affordable entry-level Model S for those who don’t want or need the range of higher-specification models. And that’s a good thing for those for whom the upcoming Tesla Model 3 will simply be too impractical to own in everyday life due to its form factor and smaller load carrying capabilities, or for those who simply can’t wait for their next electric car.

For that, we congratulate Tesla.

Of course, this isn’t just good for entry-level Tesla owners. By reintroducing a lower-priced model, we’re guessing Tesla is hoping to entice some Model 3 reservation holders into the Model S world, swapping the wait lines for a car they can drive in just one month’s time for an additional $30,000. While that may be out of the price point for some, we’re sure there will be at least some takers. And the more sales Tesla can achieve, the less money it needs to find from elsewhere to execute the almost impossible plan of bringing the Model 3 to market on time and on budget while simultaneously finishing the Tesla Gigafactory and ramping up total Tesla vehicle production to 500,000 cars per year by 2018.

We’ve already said we’re pleased to see Tesla reintroduce a 60 kilowatt-hour variant, but what about you? Are you tempted to buy one? Do you think its reintroduction will improve Tesla’s overall market share? And what of the $9,000 post-delivery upgrade fee to unlock the full potential of the 75 kWh battery pack?

Leave your thoughts and reactions in the Comments below.


Want to keep up with the latest news in evolving transport? Don’t forget to follow Transport Evolved on Twitter, like us on Facebook and G+, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInDigg thisShare on RedditEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest

Related News

  • vdiv

    Hmm, following this logic why not reintroduce the 40 while at it and get down to $50k starting price? Then have a range rental, when one needs to travel, uncap the battery for the trip duration? Then why not just forgo the ownership of the whole vehicle and convert the Tesla stores to rentals? That way they will be able to solve the dealership laws problems.

    • Martin Lacey

      What… and spend income revenue on repairing a thrashed rental fleet?

      Short of creating two companies Tesla Motors would never make any profit and Tesla Rental would spend their time managing time.

      • vdiv

        Car-sharing’s the future, just ask GM with their MAVEN 🙂

        • Martin Lacey

          Car sharing only benefits occasional drivers and is a finite market, with little to no demand for high spec cars. Car sharing is usually based around cheap runabouts (low repair, low maintenance and low insurance costs) or load carriers. It’s a niche marketplace which benefits us all by removing under utilised over capacity from parking lots and bays along the side of the road.

          EV range is affected by battery pack weight. It makes no sense to restrict a 75KWH pack to 40KWH. 35KWH for range unlocking would murder 40KWH range. It would be simpler and cheaper for Tesla to charge occasional users for long range use of the Supercharger network. The cost of the unused 35KWH pack is unnecessary as Tesla are seeking to encourage mass adoption of Electric vehicles..

          • vdiv

            There are range extended EVs, BMW rents i3 REx with their DriveNow program. Then there are a bunch of smaller limo, rent places and individuals that have adopted the Model S for car service. Enterprise WeCar uses Volts and LEAFs. And the number of electric taxis is on the rise from Mexico city to Amsterdam to Tokyo. So to say that Tesla cannot monetize their cars by renting them out is just not the case.

          • Martin Lacey

            You’re shifting goal posts now.

            I said “little to no demand for high spec cars” – I was right. Yes there are EV’s in those schemes, but the majority of car share vehicles remain ICE and cheap. EV’s lend themselves to this kind of system as they are low maintenance, so long as users leave them on charge at the end of use. As purchase price parity approaches I expect, increasingly that EV’s will push ICE out of car share schemes.

            How many Lambo’s or prancing horses are in those schemes? None, because they will be used by the wrong kind of client and spend most of the time in a service bay. How many folks would join a car share scheme just to try out one of those, or a Tesla.

            Private rental, leasing and PCP which you are doing, does work across the board, with all vehicles and not just top marques. However, it’s a mugs game, throwing good money after a product you use and never get to monetize by selling on when you want a newer vehicle later on. It is a lucrative business for the vendor.

            I’ve just looked at the reintroduced Model S 60KWH base model. 36 months PCP without taking up the purchase option is nearly £30K plus excess mileage on a 10k mile agreement. Base price? £53.4k. Take up the purchase option at the end of term and you’ve spent over £60k. £7k over book!

            Model S resale prices have held up well in the UK because Tesla guarantee a buy back price, so anyone willing to sell privately can ask for more than Tesla is willing to offer. Tesla sold and guaranteed second owner vehicles also sell for a high ticket price. Rental just doesn’t make sense to me.

            Maybe it’s different where you are?

          • vdiv

            It’s a bit different, luxury and expensive items are more commonly leased or rented. Good example is private jets, it is too much of a hassle to own one. There are also tax implications 🙂

  • It’s a shame they couldn’t get the price to $74999K in Ontario Canada, as that would allow the Model S to qualify for $14K rebate. Right now, the rebate is capped at $3K for cars exceeding that base price.
    Great move by Tesla, there are many people who want to get into one of these cars now rather than waiting 18 months, and the price is compelling in California especially with $10K of total rebate/tax relief!

  • Surya

    This is a great move from them. I understand they want to improve the car constantly, but for the most part this has lead to systematic price hikes, so this is a very welcome change.

  • Chris O

    It’s my understanding that the entry level S/60 never accounted for more than 10% of Tesla’s sales, clearly high end buyers prefer range over cost. Guess it’s the upgrade feature that makes bringing back that S/60 back make sense: now Tesla can offer attractive entry level pricing for a car that might not have the range people really want but they do have the option to unlock that extra range in a later stage should they feel they need it after all. Should make the new S/60 a lot more compelling than the old one.

    I’m sure Tesla doesn’t give away almost $3K worth of extra battery capacity (production cost) without any expectation of making that money back so I’m sure Tesla is counting on a decent upgrade rate.

    • vdiv

      The 70D and the rapid proliferation of the Supercharger network changed the calculus of how much range one really “needs”. The market for lower-priced cars is larger and the Model S is no longer the novelty it was a couple of years ago.

  • vdiv

    Isn’t the same kind of thinking getting BMW in trouble with their i3 REx in the US. BMW artificially limited the capabilities of the car in order to get more money in the form of ZEV credits from CARB. Owners are bummed as that made their cars less functional (if not worse) while they are keenly aware that the European version do not have any of the handicaps. The difference is at least Tesla is giving you the “option” to remove the restrictions while BMW is looking the other way and getting sued.

  • Димитър Михайлов

    Are you sure tesla offers s 95kwh batterypack, because I can’t seem to find it anywhere?