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Tesla Begins Model S Long Range Deliveries, And It May Be Their Most Value For Money Car

Tesla made an exception to its policy of not refreshing the design of its vehicles much this January when they announced an updated design for the Model S and X. Tesla’s ideology has normally been different from other automakers. They manufacture their vehicles with components that have higher hardware capabilities and then lock them using their software. Then, through over-the-air (OTA) software updates, they unlock the potential of components such as motors and batteries. Of course, the purpose of these updates is also to generate additional income.

Tesla Begins Model S Long Range Deliveries

When Tesla announced the refreshed Model S, it was the Plaid variant, replacing the Performance model, that captured a lot of attention. Insane acceleration, a higher top speed, and still decent range are the major highlights. Furthermore, it is the first Tesla vehicle to have a tri-motor powertrain. All in all, it is the vehicle to own at the moment.

Tesla Model S

But swooping through the shadows of the Plaid is the ever-reliable Long Range variant, something which has made the new Model S even more desirable. Deliveries were to begin in August, but according to the Tesla Owners of the Quad Cities, deliveries have already begun. And what makes the Long Range variant exciting is the value for money.

Model S Long Range

Compared to the interior of the updated Model S, the old interior was rather dull. Yes, it had a portrait touchscreen with all the fun features. But now, with a horizontal and larger touchscreen in the center, another one behind the yoke steering, and one for the rear seats too, there is a grander feel to it. Yes, the Long Range also has the much-talked-about yoke steering and the revamped UI. Sitting inside, you probably wouldn’t notice the difference between the Long Range and the Plaid. When you step outside, the only distinction is the spoiler and the Plaid badge.

Underneath, the Long Range has a dual-motor configuration, one less than the tri-motor Plaid. This, of course, affects the performance a little. The base variant of the Model S, the Long Range does a 0-60 mph (96.5 kph) in 3.1 seconds. That is almost the same as Model 3’s topmost variant, the Performance model. Compared to Plaid’s 1.99-second timing (almost?), this seems slower, but it is still quicker than many others out there. And being quick isn’t even its main aim.

Tesla's dual-motor and tri-motor configuration
Comparison between Tesla’s dual-motor and tri-motor configuration

The 95-kWh battery pack is capable of driving the Long Range as long as 405 miles (652 km). That makes it the Tesla with the maximum range at the moment, with the Plaid+ variant canceled. This is something that should be attracting customers more than a sub-2 second acceleration timing. After all, how many times are you actually going to require that quick an acceleration? Or even a top speed of 200 mph (322 kph)? Quite frankly, Long Range’s 155 mph (250 kph) top speed and 3.1-second acceleration is very good for a vehicle that goes more than 400 miles on a single charge.

Why One Should Buy a Long-Range instead of a Plaid

It is a classic case of what the customer wants vs what the customer needs. At the moment, they want the Plaid with its alien tech performance and supercar killing capabilities. But from a practical perspective, what you need is a longer range. Now, you may say the Plaid gives 390 miles (628 km), but constantly pulling off mind-boggling acceleration runs isn’t going to help you achieve that figure.

Tesla Model S


And if you’re still not sold, you should take a look at the price tags. The Plaid costs $129,990. Compared to supercars, this is cheaper, but it is not exactly affordable for many. The Long Range is $50,000 cheaper than that. Yes, you read that right. Being the base variant, Tesla has kept a smaller price tag on the Long Range. It starts at $79,990. Both of these prices are before options.

Model S Long Range Options

Pearl White is the only no-cost exterior color. Black, Silver, and Blue cost $1,500, while Red goes up to $2,500. 19″ wheels are standard, while the 21″ Arachnid wheels cost $4,500 (of course, these wheels bring the range down to 375 miles or 604 km). Inside, the black theme is standard, but if you want the black and white or black and cream, you can get it for an additional $2,000. And of course, you can get the Full Self Driving package for $10,000.

Tesla Model S

Apart from the FSD package, most of the options combine to add around $10,000 to your total. So a Model S Long Range will cost roughly $90,000 with options. This is still $40,000 cheaper than the Plaid, and just a little slower than the premium variant. Don’t forget, Plaid’s options will pump your bill up as well.

Our Opinion

Tesla has always talked a lot about the acceleration and speed of the Plaid ever since they’ve announced the design refresh for Model S. But the Long Range is not far behind in terms of performance either. It gives you a better range too and costs $50,000 less. You could get a Model S Long Range and Model Y Long Range for the price of a Model S Plaid. Now, that’s definitely a good deal.

At the moment, however, the Long Range will continue to fly under the radar, as people get dazzled by the Plaid.

Mihir Tasgaonkar
Mihir Tasgaonkar
A mechanical engineer who loves reading and writing about new technologies in the automobile industry.


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