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Tesla Model S and X with software-limited batteries and US$10k price cuts launch as Standard Range variants

Tesla's Model S has received a new base price that's US$10,000 lower than previously. (Image source: Tesla)
Tesla's Model S has received a new base price that's US$10,000 lower than previously. (Image source: Tesla)
Tesla seems to be applying its heated seat hardware approach to its base Model S and Model X vehicles. While the new Tesla Model S and X Standard Range trims are in the order of US$10,000 cheaper, they also ship with exactly the same battery hardware, with nothing more than a software lock limiting range.

While the Model S and Model X may not be Tesla's best-selling vehicles, the American electric car company may be looking to shake things up in the luxury EV segment. Recently, Tesla introduced the Standard Range Model S and Model X to its US EV line-up. Both new variants feature US$10,000 price drop in exchange for a chunk of range (via Electrek).

Both the Model S and Model X Standard Range have a US$10,000 reduced price tag compared to their preceding variants, although the Model X seems to have drawn a much shorter straw when it comes to exact numbers.

While the new SR Model S comes in at US$78,490, it still features a very respectable 320 miles of range, although acceleration is also marginally slower at 3.7 seconds 0-60 mph, compared to the regular Dual Motor Model S's 3.1-second time. The SR Model X, on the other hand, has just 269 miles of range, an identical 0.6-second reduction in acceleration performance, and a base price of US$88,490.

The new Standard Range variants of the Model S and Model X still feature Dual-Motor AWD drive trains, which is a nice confidence booster for spirited driving, although the lack of hardware changes highlights just how mature the Model S and X manufacturing lines are.

Tesla slashing prices by US$10,000 while selling the same hardware could indicate that its profit margins on the S/X platform may be even more impressive than the ~US$9,500 we previously reported on. Alternatively, Tesla could be facing underwhelming demand for its Model S and X vehicles, attempting to introduce new variants to drum up sales.

Tesla has previously already set a precedent for this sort of configuration and pricing strategy, seemingly relying on economies of scale and manufacturing efficiency to include necessary hardware in all trims despite not activating the hardware unless the consumer pays extra. Some examples of similar handling are features like Autopilot, Full Self-Driving, and Acceleration Boost. It only makes sense that Tesla may offer a similar upgrade path for the Standard Range battery capacity — perhaps even a sort of temporary range rental for longer trips.

Software locking features has always been a rather polarising differentiation strategy in the automotive world, with some welcoming a price cut, while others lament paying for hardware you can't use. How the community — and sales figures — will respond to this remains to be seen, especially after Tesla CEO Elon Musk's recent decline in popularity.

Buy a 1/24 model Tesla Cybertruck on Amazon


Tesla (1, 2), Electrek

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 08 > Tesla Model S and X with software-locked batteries and US$10k price cuts launch as Standard Range variants
Julian van der Merwe, 2023-08-16 (Update: 2023-08-16)