Tesla abandons the S and X models

Tesla abandons the S and X models

Tesla Model X

The “Standard Range” variant introduced two weeks ago has been axed, but some trims and features like FSD are now also significantly cheaper

After years of deriding legacy automakers – especially pre-COVID-19 – for offering rebates on their wares, a spate of price reductions have spread across the Tesla lineup like so much crabgrass across this author’s suburban front lawn. Now, the EV company is also slashing costs on some of its flagship options, as well as prices generally, and some recently introduced trims.

According to Tesla’s build-and-price tool (which blind-with-lust members of the Musk fan club hilariously refer to as a “Design Studio”) the cost of at least one option has plummeted by a significant amount. The cost of the so-called ‘Full-Self Driving’ – a feature which, as we’ve explained on many occasions, is actually anything but fully self-driving – suite of driving helpers has been reduced to CDN$16,000, from $19,500. This represents a near-twenty-per-cent price chop, no small beans to most consumers. A similar change has been made on the American side of the site, as well.

This FSD option includes some tech bundled with the also-misnamed Enhanced Autopilot feature, a suite of technologies permitting a Tesla to use its onboard tools to not only follow road markings, but also perform automatic lane changes whilst relying on navigation directions which have been punched into the car’s nav system. The so-called Summon and Smart Summon toys are also present in the $7,800 Enhanced Autopilot option, which sees no price adjustment, unlike FSD.

Much has been made about these features in modern Tesla vehicles, with fans and detractors alike voicing loud opinions on the matter. Reports abound of incidents or near-misses on North American highways involving machines with these features engaged. For its part, Tesla notes on its site that FSD currently requires active driver supervision and does not make the vehicle autonomous.

Also worth noting is that the recently introduced “Standard Range” trims of the Model S and X introduced two weeks ago (see below) have apparently already been axed. These variants came in at a lower MSRP than the Long Range, but also couldn’t travel quite as far on a full charge.

However, looking at the Design Studio, it seems the Long Ranges’ prices have now been dropped so that they’re even cheaper than the Standard Ranges were: in Canada a Model S now starts at $99,990, just under federal luxury-tax thresholds; and a Model X at $109,990. That’s a $9,000 haircut on the sedan, and a $13,000 chop on the SUV.

Our original article, from August 15, 2023, about the introduction of the “Standard Range” Model S and X Tesla EVs continues unedited below.

Tesla has announced it’s launching more affordable versions of its Model S and Model X vehicles, with shorter driving ranges than its current offerings, in Canada and the U.S. Looking to stoke sales, the new “Standard Range” models are designed to draw customers toward EVs while offering otherwise standard on-road performance. The new variants will be available for delivery between September and October.

“The idea is to appeal to consumers who are keen for the badge and the EV experience but might be put off by the higher price tag compared to competitors,” Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets, Hargreaves Lansdown, told newswire Reuters.

The Model S Standard Range costs CDN$108,990 in Canada, over $13,000 less than the Model S Long Range. It doesn’t skimp on performance, with an estimated range of 515 kilometres; a top speed of 240 km/h; and an acceleration time of 3.8 seconds to 100 km/h from zero.

Alternatively, the Model X Standard Range will cost CDN$122,990, also saving customers $13,000 compared to the Long-Range model. With a top speed that rivals the Model S’ at 240 km/h, the car has a 433-kilometre projected range, and can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds.

The new-variant move comes as the Austin, Texas-based automaker has begun offering incentives to reduce inventory amid uncertain economic conditions and higher borrowing costs. In June, the incentives included up to three years of complimentary fast-charging with a new vehicle purchase.

Tesla has already reduced the cost of its vehicles in the U.S., China, and other regions several times over the past few months, because it prioritizes sales growth over profit margins, which are nevertheless still higher than those of rival automakers.

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