Tesla has replaced the entry-level Model S 60 with the 70D, and in doing so has waved good bye to the option of rear-wheel drive for all but one model.
The 70D is described by Tesla as a ‘value added Model S’. It comes with all-wheel drive as standard as well as a 70kWh battery for an estimated 275-mile range and supercharging, which means access to Tesla’s network of super-fast chargers.
The Model 70D also comes equipped with LED daytime running lights, keyless entry and Autopilot, Tesla’s infotainment system that includes lane departure warning, parking sensors, navigation, automatic emergency braking and, in years to come, autonomous driving.
Although no way near as potent as the top-spec P85D, which can hit 0 to 62mph in 3.1 seconds and has 691hp at its disposal, the 522hp 70D manages a time of 5.2 seconds. The top speed, meanwhile, is 140mph.
Tesla also announced three new paintjobs – Ocean Blue (£850), Obsidian Black (£850) and Warm Silver (£850) – bringing the total to 10. The rear-facing seats that turn the Model S into a seven-seater are an extra £2,500.
Now only the mid-range 85 model and its 85kWh battery has the option of seeing all 422hp sent to the back wheels, knocking £4,100 of its usual £63,480 price.
Value added or not, the retirement of the 60S means it is now impossible to join Tesla’s all-electric revolution for less than £50,000, which is a shame. A 70D will set you back £54,500 before any extras. But it could become a moot point when you consider an affordable Tesla (the Model 3) is on the horizon.
The Tesla UK website has already been configured for the 70D so head on over there to place an order and check out the new paint colours. If that sort of thing floats your boat, of course.
A buyback scheme originally only available in the US was brought to the UK, helping allay concerns of second-hand value as the expensive battery ages.
Read: Tesla Model S review.