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Tesla to Upgrade Slower-Selling Version of Model S

A Tesla Model S during a salon in California. Tesla Motors is upgrading a slower-selling chronicle of a Model S sedan, equipping it with a some-more able battery and all-wheel drive.

Tesla Motors Inc. is upgrading a slower-selling chronicle of a Model S electric sedan, equipping it with a some-more able battery, all-wheel expostulate and a bigger cost tag.

The pierce comes as a Palo Alto, Calif.-based automobile builder is racing to accommodate a high sales aim set for 2015 and down a road. Tesla pronounced on Friday it sole a record 10,300 cars in a initial quarter, though it needs to collect adult a gait and normal 15,000 vehicles a entertain to strike this year’s 55,000 goal.

The introduction of a new bottom indication could give a boost to Tesla’s sales brazen of a launch of a Model X sport-utility automobile in a second half of a year.

Tesla will immediately stop offered a $71,000 Model S with a 60-kilowatt-hour battery that has served as a bottom indication for many of a car’s history. A new $75,000 version, carrying a 70-kilowatt-hour battery and able of pushing 15% serve on a charge, will be sole in a place.

Global Equities Research researcher Trip Chowdhry pronounced a pierce should expostulate some-more sales. He estimated that about 10% of Tesla’s sales have come from a base, 60-kilowatt-hour model. He pronounced he believes a proclamation means Tesla is commencement to advantage from economies of scale on motors and batteries and can means to make a pierce though spiteful profit.

Mark Spiegel, a hedge-fund manager for Stanphyl Capital Partners LP who has a short-interest position on Tesla shares, pronounced Tesla is slicing a margins in preference of pushing adult demand.

“This is radically a $6,250 cost cut on a S85D,” Mr. Spiegel pronounced in an email. “No association would ever put by this kind of a cost cut if direct were truly not a problem.”

Tesla has insisted that direct stays clever for a cars.

The upgraded version, dubbed 70D, will be sole along with 85-kilowatt-hour versions of a Model S. While Tesla doesn’t mangle out specific numbers, a association has pronounced a higher-end chronicle handily outsells a vacating 60-kilowatt-hour version.

This is a second time given a Model S went on sale in 2012 that Tesla has dropped a lowest-range offering. Tesla’s strange 40-kilowatt-hour chronicle had a operation of around 150 miles, though a association fast stopped offered it as it was seen as being too limited.

Tesla pronounced a 70D is a some-more efficient offering. Capable of 240 miles on a charge, it is versed with all-wheel-drive, that is a desired underline in Northeastern U.S. and in Europe.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk

The 70D could be an appealing choice to a 85-kilowatt-hour chronicle starting during $82,500 (the one not versed with all-wheel drive). The all-wheel-drive is a $5,000 choice on a 85 kilowatt-hour version.

The new bottom indication will also embody a apparatus indispensable to use a company’s U.S.-wide network of “superchargers” that concede drivers to recharge for giveaway in 30 mins or less. Now customary equipment, that hardware used to be an choice on bottom models.

The 70D chronicle has a tip speed of 140 miles an hour and acceleration to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. It doesn’t embody a “insane” acceleration symbol that generates additional torque in a P85D model. Tesla also combined a few new colors.

The automobile also comes with a apartment of sensors and cameras and reserve facilities that embody brazen collision braking, and with a stirring program update, will concede a automobile to expostulate itself on a highway.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk pronounced recently that he felt that 200 miles of electric operation was a smallest compulsory to make an electric automobile viable, though a operation of 250 miles is some-more ideal.

The association is formulation to offer a 200-mile-range entrance turn automobile called a Model 3. It is due out in 2017. Tesla aims to sell a Model 3 for $35,000 and up. Tesla hasn’t pronounced either it will offer longer-range versions of that car, like it does with a Model S.

Write to Mike Ramsey during michael.ramsey@wsj.com


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