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Elon Musk Announces New Tesla Model S Sedan Variant, Battery Pack; ‘Ludicrous Mode’ Acceleration Puts EV in ‘Supercar Territory’

Jul 18, 2015 10:05 PM EDT | By Jason Fonbuena
Tesla Model S, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model X SUV, Elon Musk, electric vehicle

Just a few days ago, Elon Musk said he'll be making an announcement. As it turns out, it's about the Tesla Model S sedan. Not only is there a new low-end variant and a new battery pack with longer range, the EV's acceleration mode now gets a "Ludicrous Mode."

"Drivers will be able to upgrade their Model S from [an] 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack to a 90 kilowatt-hour battery. The new extended range will increase the pack energy by [5 percent] and add about 15 miles of range," Fortune reported.

This new battery will be available on both new cars and existing ones as an upgrade for $3,000. The new option is made possible thanks to improvements to battery chemistry. According to the report though, Musk doesn't recommend current owners to buy the upgrade.

There's also a new lower-priced Tesla Model S sedan. This new variant will reportedly have a single motor, a 70 kilowatt-hour battery and cost $70,000. But Musk said the price can still go down to "$50,000 after incentives & gas savings."

This will the cheapest car Tesla will sell until the $35,000 Model 3 comes along in 2017.

But if you already own a top-spec Model S P85D but find its "Insane" acceleration mode lacking, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based EV maker has added an even more potent "Ludicrous Mode."

"Designed for P85D models, which have an Insane acceleration mode selectable from the car's control panel, this upgrade changes acceleration to what Tesla calls Ludicrous. That means an improvement from the original 3.1 seconds to 60 mph to a new 2.8 seconds to 60 mph," CNET said.

Existing owners can reportedly opt for the upgrade for $5,000 plus labor for the next six months. Prospective buyers have to fork over $10,000 to get it.

The new 0-60 mph time, as Wired UK puts it, puts the Model S in "supercar territory" and makes "Insane mode" "seem utterly lame."

Despite updates to the Tesla Model S sedan, people are still waiting for the Model X SUV due for deliveries later this year.

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