New Tesla Model S & Model X Get Upgraded Range & Suspension

by Denis Gurskiy

While there is still no design refresh, the new Tesla Model S and Model X provide further improvements to their range and suspension. The announcement was released shortly after ‘Tesla Autonomy Day‘, further piling on recent developments coming from Tesla.

Updated Tesla Drive Unit

Tesla has recently re-engineered the drive unit for both the new Model S and Model X. The next generation drive unit “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.”

This results is a further increase in range for the Model S & X when frankly they already had a comfortable lead on the competition. The new Model S Long Range and Model X Long Range will have EPA ranges of 370 miles and 325 miles, respectively. Currently the highest range of any electric car that is not from Tesla is the Hyundai Kona Electric with a range of 258 miles.

Tesla claims that the Long Range versions still use the same 100 kWh battery pack. So this increase in range is solely due to efficiencies in the drive unit.

Tesla has also brought back the Standard Range variants of the Model S and X which have been in and out of the configurator the past couple months in various forms. The upgraded drive unit gives the Standard Range Model S and Model X ranges of 285 miles and 250 miles respectively. There was no word on if the Standard Range models got a bump in battery capacity. But given that the Long Range versions still use the same battery pack, it’s safe to say that the same applies to the Standard Range.

Along with improvements to the ranges, the upgraded drive unit gives an increase to the 0-60 time of each model.

Updated Tesla Pricing

This is the current model breakdown.

  • Model S
    • Standard Range
      • $78,000
      • 285 Mile Range
      • 155 mph Top Speed, 4.0 sec. 0-60mph
    • Long Range
      • $88,000
      • 370 Mile Range
      • 155 mph Top Speed, 3.7 sec. 0-60mph
    • Performance
      • $99,000
      • 345 Mile Range
      • 163 mph Top Speed, 3.0 sec. 0-60mph
      • (Ludicrous Mode, $20,000 Extra, 2.4 sec. 0-60mph)
  • Model X
    • Standard Range
      • $83,000
      • 250 Mile Range
      • 155 mph Top Speed, 4.6 sec. 0-60mph
    • Long Range
      • $93,000
      • 325 Mile Range
      • 155 mph Top Speed, 4.4 sec. 0-60mph
    • Performance
      • $104,000
      • 305 Mile Range
      • 163 mph Top Speed, 3.4 sec. 0-60mph
      • (Ludicrous Mode, $20,000 Extra, 2.7 sec. 0-60mph)

On top of the range and acceleration improvements, the new Model S & X received other enhancements.

New Tesla Model S and Model X Charge Rate

The improved drive unit allows the updated Model S/X to charge at 200 kW from Tesla’s new Supercharger V3. While they will not be able to take advantage of the full 250 kW charging that the new Supercharger provides, it is still a welcome improvement.

Obviously the new Model S/X will be able to take advantage of the maximum 145 kW charging rate that the Supercharge V2 provides.

New Fully Adaptive Suspension

The new Model S and Model X have also received a new fully adaptive suspension. What is interesting about it is the “predictive” nature of it.

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.

Given what we learned from Tesla’s Autonomy Day, and Tesla’s neural network learning capabilities, this adaptive suspension could know the conditions of the upcoming road before even reaching it.

The Little Things

Given Tesla’s love for continuous upgrades, the new Model S and Model X come with little upgrades in different areas of the car as well.

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.

Lastly, if you are a current owner of a Model S or Model X and want to purchase a new one, Tesla will give you the Ludicrous Mode option free of charge (a $20,000 option) for your Performance Model.

It’s no secret that the sales of the both the Model S and Model X have been sluggish in recent times. While I believe that many are waiting for some sort of meaningful design refresh, a further increase of an already high range might sway some people. It’s a pretty good move on Tesla’s part given that they did not have to create larger batteries, and hopefully it will put even more pressure on automakers to push their battery technologies.

What do you guys think of the new Tesla Model S and Model X? Let us know down in the comments below.

Source: Tesla

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