In a recent review and testing of Tesla Motors, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S 70D 2015, the Michigan-based automotive magazine, Car and Driver, crowned the twin-motored luxury electric vehicle as the “Car of the 21st Century”. Previously, the title was held by Tesla’s Model S 60.
Senior analyst Don Sherman believes the car is a “breakthrough electric car the world had seemingly been waiting for, offering attractive design, a remarkable interior, and entertaining performance.”
The new generation Model S 70D replaces the previous Model S 60 with its dual electric motors, powering both rear and front drivetrain, denoted by the letter “D.” The all-wheel drive (AWD) configuration adds to better handling, performance and far greater power efficiency for the vehicle. The Model S 70D leaves Model S 85 as the sole rear-wheel drive car by Tesla.
The car houses two alternating Current (AC) motors, packing in 203 pound feet (lb-ft) of torque, exerting 257 horsepower (HS) on each axle; giving a combined total power output of 406 lb-ft of torque. It has a floor-built battery pack, worth 70 kilowatt-hour (kWh) which gives the car an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) range of 240 miles that could change depending on factors such as the road surface and driving styles.Mr. Sherman notes “the new 70D is 177 pounds lighter,” thanks to the “mostly aluminum body and chassis construction.” The Model S 70D can seat up to seven individuals with its optional jump seats.
The vehicle starts at $75,000 plus an additional “Destination and Regulatory Documents Fee” which runs the total bill up to $76,200; pushing it in the premium automobile range. Mr. Sherman pits Model S 70D against Mercedes S550 S-Class; noting the S-Class to be benefiting from the rear-wheel drive configuration on acceleration and braking, whereas the Model S 70D takes the prize in cornering as well as on top speed.
The test vehicle clocked in 630 miles, requiring 14 charging plugins in total. Mr. Sherman values the total monetary value of plugins at $30; whereas, a standard premium luxury car would’ve required at least four refueling stops, ringing up the total bill to around $1,000.
It is worth noting that the electric vehicle does cost less to run but considering the overhaul of the entire electrical system at one’s residence to install the charging unit will end up taking a major hit on your wallet. Another point to be noted from the report is that spontaneous road trips are probably not a very good idea because: “The next plug-in opportunity is always at the forefront of your consciousness.”
The vehicle has a very quiet and luxury interior due to electric motors and ultra-premium materials used in upholstery. “In keeping with its premium-sedan aspirations, the 70D’s dynamic comportment is excellent,” Mr. Sherman added.