Elon Musk, the enigmatic CEO and co-founder of Tesla, has released a new model of the company’s flagship car.
The upgraded Model S P100D claims to be the “quickest production car in the world” and can travel from 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds.
“The Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode is the third fastest accelerating production car ever produced,” a blog post from Tesla says.
However, it adds that the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918, the two cars that lay claim to being faster than the Model S P100D, were “limited run, million dollar vehicles” – making Tesla’s offering, at least in its own eyes, the quickest mass production vehicle to date.
The new model also has the longest range of any Tesla vehicle to date. It will be able to travel 315 miles on one charge in the US, for those in Europe, where electric vehicles are measured on a different scale it will be able to travel 380 miles.
This could take it further than a direct route from London to Glasgow – or Los Angeles to San Fransisco. Tesla says the added capacity means it is “the first [electric car] to go beyond 300 miles and the longest range production electric vehicle by far.”
P100D’s improvements all stem from a bigger battery, which Musk has described as being a “profound milestone”.
According to the BBC, the firm’s boss said: “These are very profound milestones and I think will help convince people around the world that electric is the future”.
Tesla has also added the bigger battery pack to its Model X SUV – it says the Model X P100D is able to reach 60mph in 2.9 seconds and travel around 300 miles on one charge. Those with existing Tesla’s are able to upgrade their vehicles, starting at $10,000 (£7,500).
While die-hard Tesla fans will be thrilled by the news of the new, more powerful, models, it doesn’t solve the company’s production problem. For successive months the California-based company has been ramping up its ability to produce cars, but it has been missing its own targets.
In August Tesla said it had aimed to sell 17,000 vehicles in the third quarter of the year and make at least 20,000. In reality it produced 18,345 but shipped 14,000 of those. In the remainder of the year it hopes to deliver around 50,000 of both the Model S and Model X vehicles.
Hundreds of thousands of potential customers made pre-orders for the company’s low cost Model 3 vehicle, when it was revealed in April 2016. Producing fewer, expensive, cars so mass produced vechiles can be cheap to produce has long been part of Musk’s masterplan.
Tesla said in its blog post: “While the P100D Ludicrous is obviously an expensive vehicle, we want to emphasize that every sale helps pay for the smaller and much more affordable Tesla Model 3 that is in development.”
“Without customers willing to buy the expensive Model S and X, we would be unable to fund the smaller, more affordable Model 3 development.”
By Matt Burgess