Tesla introduces less expensive Model S 60 and 60D variants

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With public attention still focused on the Model 3, Tesla is reshuffling the Model S lineup once again. After adding a 75-kilowatt battery pack option for the electric car, Tesla is bringing back the 60kWh pack option it discontinued last year.

Tesla will offer both rear-wheel drive Model S 60 and all-wheel drive Model S 60D variants. They replace the 70kWh variants as the base models. Tesla quotes a 0 to 60 mph time of 5.5 seconds, top speed of 130 mph, and range of 210 miles for the Model S 60. The Model S 60D has an estimated range of 218 miles, will do 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, and has the same top speed as its rear-wheel drive counterpart.

Since the new cars have a lower nominal battery capacity (more on that later) than the outgoing Model S 70, they do benefit from a price cut. The rear-wheel drive Model S 60 starts at $67,200 (including destination), while the all-wheel drive Model S 60D starts at $76,200. Both represent $4,000 cuts from the comparable 70kWh versions. The 60kWh models can't match the 234 and 240 mile ranges of the defunct Model S 70 and 70D, respectively, although buyers can get more range if they're willing to pay.

Read more: Tesla Model S P90D first drive

While the cars will have a functional battery capacity of 60kWh, they will actually leave the factory with larger, 75-kWh packs. Owners can unlock the extra capacity with a software upgrade. Tesla previously said it would offer the 75kWh pack in a separate model rather than as a software upgrade. When it still planned to offer the Model S 70, it intended to do the reverse and use software to limit capacity for those models.

All of this is meant to make the production process more efficient, since Tesla will only have to make two sizes of battery pack instead of three. It still offers models with a 90kWh pack as well. Upgrading to 75kWh costs $8,500 from the factory, or $9,000 after delivery. Tesla says it will boost the range of the Model S 60 to 249 miles, while the Model S 60D will be able to achieve 259 miles.

The Model S 60 and 60D are currently available to order. The question now is whether Tesla will offer the smaller pack on the Model X, which is currently available only with 75kWh and 90kWh pack options.