Tesla slashes most affordable Model S variant from lineup

2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

So long, Tesla Model S 60, we hardly knew ye. The Silicon Valley automaker has announced its most-affordable Model S variant will be discontinued after less than a year on the market.

The rear-drive Model S 60 and the all-wheel-drive 60D will both officially be discontinued by April 16, 2017. The range change-up will bring the Model S lineup to five choices; the 75, 75D, 90D, 100D and P100D.

Tesla claims the decision to axe the 60 and 60D from the Model S range comes after most customers opted to upgrade to the larger 75-kwh battery option. Tesla stated the elimination will “simplify the ordering process for our customers.”

It’s worth noting the 60 and 75 utilize the exact same battery as its source of propulsion. Only software tweaks are used to differentiate the two variants.

As was always the case, any customer still interested in a 60 or 60D will have the option to upgrade their batteries to the 75-kwh capacity through an over-the-air software update with an extra fee.

Prior to its release, the Model S was also supposed to be offered in a 40 model with a starting price around $40,000. That version was never sold.

The Model S 60 brought Tesla’s bread-and-butter sedan into greater realm of affordability when it launched last summer at a starting price of $67,200. Tesla’s decision to kill it leaves the starting price for a Model S at $75,700.

Its departure leaves newfound competition to fill the Model S 60’s void. Lucid recently announced its first product, the Air sedan, would arrive with a starting price of $60,000 before any federal tax credits are applied. That means its claimed range of 240 miles will be attainable for only $52,500. However, a fully loaded Air sedan will likely follow Tesla pricing, with an expected price of more than $100,000 for the whole shebang.

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–Sean Szymkowski

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