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[UPDATE] Surprise! Tesla Model X 60D Unveiled as New Lower-Cost, Entry-Level Electric SUV Priced From $75,200

The only automaker with both its headquarters and main assembly facility located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] not only produces the world’s fastest and longest-range production electric vehicles but also does so with a unique attitude to vehicle production that’s unlike the traditional ways of Detroit.

There's a new, more affordable Tesla Model X coming to market.

There’s a new, more affordable Tesla Model X coming to market.

Unlike traditional automakers, which follow strict development cycles where new features are introduced every few years and new models every five or six years, Tesla follows a more agile development cycle in which new features are rolled out when they’re ready for customers to use. At the same time, following a methodology those in the software industry will recognize as ‘Scrum‘, Tesla’s team of engineers and executives are always on the lookout to improve their output while simultaneously innovating new ways of  offering customers more for less.

And today Tesla announced the Tesla Model X 60D, a new entry-level version of Tesla’s flagship car that we suspect is a product of that very same software-driven design philosophy.

Want a Tesla Model X? You can now get a more affordable Model X 60D.

Want a Tesla Model X? You can now get a more affordable Model X 60D.

Like the Tesla Model S 60 and Tesla Model S 60D that were released last month, the new entry-level Tesla Model X 60D actually features a 75 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, but rather than grant access to the full capacity of the battery pack, the Model X 60D has a software lockout on its battery management system to ensure that only 60 kWh can be accessed by the owner, giving it a Tesla-estimated estimated range of around 200 miles per charge.

In exchange for that software-limited battery pack, customers will be able to pick up the new entry-level Model X 60D for just $75,200 before incentives and including mandatory shipping and handling fees. While that’s still far more than many car buyers can afford, it’s certainly cheaper than the $84,200 of the Tesla Model X 75D, the previous entry-level Model X.

In keeping with its policy of offering customers a chance to derestrict the software-limited battery pack of their entry-level cars, we expect Tesla will offer Model X 60D customers the chance to unlock the full potential of their car’s 75 kilowatt-hour battery pack. Sadly, details have yet to be released for such an upgrade, but given that the price difference between a brand-new Tesla Model X 60D and Tesla Model X 75D is $9,000 before any additional packages are added, we’d guess if it does, Tesla will charge customers between $5,000 and $7000 to unlock the full potential of their Model X 60D’s battery pack. As our friends over at Autobloggreen were told yesterday, the price for that upgrade will be $9,600 after purchase.

The Model X 60D should travel around 200 miles between charges.

The Model X 60D should travel around 200 miles between charges.

While Tesla fans will no doubt be pleased that there’s a new entry-level Model X on the market that’s significantly more affordable than the previous entry-level model, it’s worth noting too that reducing the price point for the Model X does two more things. Firstly, it opens up the Tesla Model X to a whole new group of consumers and secondly, it makes the Model X a little more competitive against both rival plug-in hybrid SUVs and traditional luxury SUVs.

Here at Transport Evolved, we’re welcoming of this new affordable Model X, but it’s worth reminding readers that while the Model X can now technically be purchased for just $75,200 before incentives, that figure is for the absolute entry-level model, without Autopilot, HEPA Bioweapon Defence Mode, premium sound system or any of the other add on items that most Tesla customers tick as a matter of course.

Those interested in ordering a Tesla Model X 60D will be pleased to know that Tesla is accepting orders for the budget-priced variant from today, with deliveries not due to start until the fall.

What do you make of the new entry-level Model X? Are you tempted to order one now it’s possible to buy one for less? Or do you think that 200-miles of expected EPA range is just not far enough for your needs?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.



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  • vdiv

    And if you like a $1,000 referral credit (and also like to witness Nikki kicking me out 😉 …

  • Jim Pike

    Very clever of Tesla. I bought an MS40 in 2013 then upgraded it to 60kwh a year later. The extra range was just too enticing.
    I’d like to see what percentage of 40s were upgraded. Probably most were. In any case, a used MS40 trade-in would automatically get upgraded by Tesla at no cost to them and resold as a 60.

  • KIMS

    If the price delta is $9000 and the only difference between the 60 and the 75 model is the locked portion of the battery, an after market unlock would have to cost AT LEAST 9000, otherwise (smart) people would just purchase the 60, take delivery and purchase the unlock and essentially have a new 75 for less than the cost of a new 75.. or what did I miss?

  • Martin Lacey

    Making the S and X cheaper by bringing back 60KWh version is either a correction for dumping said variant or a cash grab for the Model 3 production costs. They have a heck of a lot of cash to spend before they can convert those reservations to paid up customers!

    • Chris O

      Actually AFAIK the 60KWh version of Model S was never a big product at 10% of sales, so I doubt Tesla is correcting a mistake by bringing back those 60KWh versions. But… these aren’t 60KWh versions, they are 75KWh versions with 15KWH of unlockable capacity. Now that’s the sort of offering that might entice people with “buyers range anxiety”, i.e. people who really don’t want to spend too much but worry they will regret not having enough range later. Now these people can have their cake and eat it too, if the entry level range turns out to be insufficient they can simply upgrade it. Well, at a price of course…

      Since Tesla has invested ~$3K of unpaid battery capacity in each of these vehicles one has to assume the gamble is that a substantial part of 60KWh buyers will upgrade at some stage.

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