New entry-level model adds standard AWD, more power and more range

Tesla hopes to expand the appeal of its Model S sedan with today’s announcement of a new 70D base trim that includes all-wheel—previously limited to the awesome P85D model—and adds power and driving range compared to the previous entry-level P60 version.

According to its maker, the extra juice in the 70D’s 70-kWh battery pack cuts the car’s acceleration zero-to-100 km/h time to 5.4 seconds from 6.2, and adds about 15 km of driving range, for a total of 385 km.

It’s interesting news, but Tesla must be glad to have anything to talk about other than the endless delays that have plagued the launch of its Model X crossover, which we think will become the company’s volume seller if the company ever starts building it.

The 70D’s extra performance and traction doesn’t come free, of course: the new base model carries an $86,000 base price—about seven grand more than the outgoing 60-kWh model.

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