APRIL 9, 2015 LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2015, 1:21 AM
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS |
* Electric car maker’s CEO says new all-wheel drive model is aimed at luring BMW and Mercedes buyers
DETROIT — Electric car maker Tesla Motors is going after mainstream luxury car buyers by adding all-wheel drive and more range and power to the base version of its only model.
But the added features at the low end of the Model S lineup will come with about a 7 percent price increase, to $75,000 for those buying the cars. The base lease price will rise to $838 per month from $796 for 12,000 miles per year.
Tesla will stop selling the old base Model S called the 60. The $70,000 rear-drive car with a 380-horsepower motor could go 208 miles on a single charge and from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.
The new all-wheel drive model, called the 70D, can go a government-certified 240 miles per charge, has 514 horsepower and can go from zero to 60 in 5.2 seconds. Buyers also get free access to Tesla’s network of quick-charging stations and some other standard features.
CEO Elon Musk says with a $7,500 federal tax credit that takes the price to $67,500, plus tax credits in some states, the new version is price-competitive with BMW’s midsize 5-Series, or the Mercedes E-Class when you add in savings from not buying gasoline. BMW’s 5 Series starts around $50,000, while the E-Class starts at close to $52,000.
He said Tesla, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., needed all-wheel drive to appeal to luxury buyers, especially in colder climates such as the Northeast, where most luxury cars are sold. About 58 percent of the luxury car market in the U.S. is all-wheel drive, according to Kelley Blue Book.