Car News

Tesla Adds New Drivetrain, Longer Range to Model S and X

In what has to be one of the most low-key announcements ever to come from the company, Tesla has just made a very significant change to the Model S sedan and Model X crossover. A range increase of about 10 percent, without an increase in battery size.

While Tesla announcements are often presented to big fanfare and even more hype, this one came out yesterday and almost slid under the radar. The electric automaker had put a new drivetrain into the Model S and the Model X that increased the efficiency of the cars.

It's Tesla's latest drive unit which uses more optimised components, electronics, and lubrication. The company says that it has "greater than 93 percent efficiency," so less power is wasted to heat and friction and more power is used to move the car forward. Power and torque are also increased, though the automaker didn't say by how much.

Tesla says that the new system is more efficient to power the cars and more efficient in regenerative braking. That means range improvements of around 10 percent.

For the Model S 100D, the longest range model, Tesla now quotes an EPA range rating of 600 km. Enough to drive from Hamilton to Montreal. Or Regina to Winnipeg. That's up from 539 km previously. The base 75D gets a range boost from 417 km to 460 km.

In the Model X, that's 525 km for the Long Range, up from 475.

Those aren't the only changes, though. Tesla also announced faster charging. Up to 200 kW on V3 Supercharger stations and 145 kW on V2 models. That, Tesla says, allows customers to recharge up to 50 percent faster.

The Model S and X have also added upgrades to the air suspension system. Tesla says it's now fully adaptive, allowing it to adjust damping based on the road surface, driver behaviour, and speed to balance comfort and handling.

The upgraded cars are available to order from Tesla now and will enter production this week.