Tesla announced today that it is bringing to production new versions of the Model S and Model X with new drivetrains, upgraded suspension, and more.

New Tesla Drivetrain

Over the last few weeks, we have been reporting on a series of upgrades that Tesla is planning to bring to its Model S and Model X lineup – starting with new drivetrains.

As anticipated, Tesla is bringing its new permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor, first developed for Model 3, to Model S and Model X.

When first reporting on the upgrades, we knew that the new motors were more efficient, but we couldn’t say how it would translate to longer range exactly.

Tesla now says that it results in “a more than 10% improvement in range”:

“The net effect is a more than 10% improvement in range, with efficiency improvements in both directions as energy flows out of the battery during acceleration and back into the battery through regenerative braking. In addition to adding range, power and torque increases significantly across all Model S and Model X variants, improving 0-60 mph times for our Long Range and Standard Range models.”

The Long Range versions of Model S and Model X can now respectively travel 370 miles and 325 miles based on the EPA cycle.

According to a blog post about the changes, the Long Range versions are still using the same 100 kWh battery pack.

Tesla is also bringing back a ‘Standard Range’ option for both vehicles – an option that has been on and off the configurator over the past year.

For Model S, it starts at $78,000 and it offers a range of 285 miles on a single charge and for Model X, it starts at $83,000 and the range is 250 miles.

As per Tesla’s latest marketing strategy, the automaker doesn’t disclose the energy capacity of the ‘Standard Range’ battery pack, but it has most recently been between 75 and 85 kWh.

New Model S and Model X Charge Rate

Along with the new drivetrain, Tesla says that it managed to bump the Model S and Model X charge rate:

“Paired with the new more efficient drivetrain design, Model S and Model X are now capable of achieving 200 kW on V3 Superchargers and 145 kW on V2 Superchargers. Together, these improvements enable our customers to recharge their miles 50% faster.”

When Tesla launched Supercharger V3 in February, the company announced a 250 kW charge rate for Model 3 at the new stations.

At the time, the automaker did note that a higher charge rate would also be enabled for Model S and Model X, but it didn’t release any more details until now.

Tesla’s New Fully Adaptive Suspension

The automaker is also bringing a new upgraded suspension to Model S and Model X:

“We’ve also upgraded our air suspension system for Model S and Model X with fully-adaptive damping, giving it an ultra-cushioned feel when cruising on the highway or using Autopilot, and a responsive, exhilarating confidence during dynamic driving.”

Along with the hardware upgrade, Tesla says that it will also be able to take advantage of its over-the-air software capability to improve the suspension over time.

And More…

Along with those major hardware changes, Tesla also announced some more minor improvements:

“To complement these changes, we’ve also re-engineered several other components of Model S and Model X in keeping with our philosophy of continuous improvement. These updates include new wheel bearings and a few new tire designs for certain variants to improve range, ride, and steering.”

Furthermore, Tesla will be offering existing free Ludicrous Mode upgrade (worth $20,000) to any existing Model S and Model X owners willing to upgrade to a new Model S or Model X with all those new changes.

Electrek’s Take

If you have been following Electrek closely over the last month, you already knew it was coming, but now we know exactly the impact of the new drivetrain on Model S and Model X and it is quite impressive.

It’s not like Model S and Model X needed a range increase, but it’s always welcomed.

What is more interesting is the efficiency increase and that’s quite significant with the updated drivetrain.

The charge rate increase is also significant, but it is not to the level of Model 3, which is expected to come with another upcoming powertrain upgrade in the coming months.

Those changes are great, but the Model 3 is still better value in my book.

It could help Tesla’s Model S and Model X sales, which crashed last quarter, but I think the new battery pack and the interior design refresh are going to have a bigger impact.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

Tesla described the changes in a blog post:

The Longest-Range Electric Vehicle Now Goes Even Farther

For more than a decade, Tesla engineers have been obsessed with making the world’s most efficient electric vehicles. As a result, Tesla vehicles already travel farther on a single charge than any other production EV on the market. Today, we’re making changes to Model S and Model X that allow them to travel unprecedented distances without needing to recharge, beating our own record for the longest-range production EVs on the road. And we’ve accomplished this without increasing the cars’ battery size, proving that our expertise in system-level design can make our cars dramatically more efficient.

Beginning today, Model S and Model X now come with an all-new drivetrain design that increases each vehicle’s range substantially, achieving a landmark 370 miles and 325 miles on the EPA cycle for Model S and Model X Long Range, respectively. Using the same 100 kWh battery pack, these design and architecture updates will allow drivers to travel farther than ever before, charging less frequently and getting more range out of every dollar spent on charging.

We’re also introducing a brand-new adaptive suspension system for Model S and Model X, along with a few other improvements for the best range, acceleration, and ride comfort ever, plus a Ludicrous Mode upgrade for our most loyal customers. Here’s what’s new:

More Efficient Design All Model S and X vehicles now benefit from Tesla’s latest generation of drive unit technology, which combines an optimized permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor, silicon carbide power electronics, and improved lubrication, cooling, bearings, and gear designs to achieve greater than 93% efficiency. Pairing a permanent magnet motor in the front with an induction motor in the rear enables unparalleled range and performance at all times. The net effect is a more than 10% improvement in range, with efficiency improvements in both directions as energy flows out of the battery during acceleration and back into the battery through regenerative braking. In addition to adding range, power and torque increases significantly across all Model S and Model X variants, improving 0-60 mph times for our Long Range and Standard Range models.

Faster Charging Paired with the new more efficient drivetrain design, Model S and Model X are now capable of achieving 200 kW on V3 Superchargers and 145 kW on V2 Superchargers. Together, these improvements enable our customers to recharge their miles 50% faster.

Fully Adaptive Suspension We’ve also upgraded our air suspension system for Model S and Model X with fully-adaptive damping, giving it an ultra-cushioned feel when cruising on the highway or using Autopilot, and a responsive, exhilarating confidence during dynamic driving. Unlike other manufacturers, our suspension software is developed completely in-house, using a predictive model to anticipate how the damping will need to be adjusted based on the road, speed, and other vehicle and driver inputs. The system constantly adapts by sensing the road and adjusting for driver behavior, automatically softening for more pronounced road inputs and firming for aggressive driving. We’ve also improved the leveling of the system while cruising, keeping the car low to optimize aerodynamic drag. As with all of Tesla’s in-house software, the adaptive suspension can receive over-the-air updates, allowing us to enable all Model S and Model X customers to have the most advanced suspension technology at all times.

Constant Refinement To complement these changes, we’ve also re-engineered several other components of Model S and Model X in keeping with our philosophy of continuous improvement. These updates include new wheel bearings and a few new tire designs for certain variants to improve range, ride, and steering. While these changes may seem minor, together they have a meaningful impact when it comes to EV design.

In addition to our Long Range and Performance variants, we’re also re-introducing a lower entry price for Model S and Model X by bringing back our Standard Range option, now available for an even greater value with the new drivetrain and suspension updates. We also want to emphasize the critical impact each of our early Tesla owners has had on advancing our mission, so as a thank you, all existing Model S and Model X owners who wish to purchase a new Model S or Model X Performance car will get the Ludicrous Mode upgrade, a $20,000 value, at no additional charge.

These changes will go into production at our factory in Fremont, California this week, and can be ordered today at Tesla.com.


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