Tesla's new Model S 70D enhances the entry-level electric car

It’s a little bit more expensive, but the perks seem well worth the added cost

When we reviewed the Tesla Model S last summer, we were admittedly enamoured by the electric car, what with its stunning speed, gorgeous dash screen, and impressive styling. And now there’s been a bit of a shake-up on the low end of the price pool.

Newly announced yesterday, the Model S 70D replaces the previous Model S 60 as the entry-level version of the sleek sedan, but at a base price of £54,500, it’s nearly £5k pricier than the previous lowest-cost version. What makes the 70D - available in Ocean Blue, Obsidian Black, or Warm Silver - worth the added expense?

For one, the 70D comes with all-wheel drive standard, plus it’s equipped with a 70kWh battery pack (better than the S 60’s 60kWh pack) that promises a 275-mile battery range. And use of Tesla’s Supercharger network is standard with the 70D, whereas it was an add-on before.

The Model S 70D also has a dual electric motor for extra oomph, with the single-motor 329 horsepower bumped up to a combined 514 horsepower between the two, allowing for a top speed of 140mph and 0-60mph in 5.2 seconds.

Orders placed as of this writing are expected for late August delivery, and while £54,500 is the base price, Tesla has several optional features - like enabling the smart autopilot feature or the premium package - available for more. And there’s also the faster, longer-lasting S 85D at £62,500 and the high-performance P85D starting at £79,100.

[Sources: Tesla, Reuters]