When Tesla unleashed its electric only cars under the Model S name two years ago it took the automotive world by storm. Even though the only customers they have are those who play in the luxury sandbox, Tesla continues to offer its high class luxury cars at a premium price. The latest upgrade for Tesla, which is really causing an uproar is the new Model S 70D that has arrived as an AWD model with instant torque, giving this Tesla model a leg up on other high end luxury cars.
Once the 70D shows up, the only RWD Model S left will be the 85, which surely will offer AWD at some point as well. The “D” signifies dual-motor all-wheel-drive, making this one of the most engaging driving cars on the market, and with it being a Tesla high end model, you know it is a great ride. The original Model S was a sport sedan model while the 70D is more of a four-door sedan look than the previous models, the 70D is actually built to compete with the Mercedes-Benz S550, high honors if it can even come close to that world renown model, let’s take a closer look.
The 70D is powered by a pair of 257 horsepower AC motors which give the car a combined rating of 329 horsepower. The AC motors that drive all four wheels give the car a great driving feeling. The 70-kWh offers a 240 mile driving range as rated by the EPA. The 70D is actually 177 pounds lither than the P85 model, which contributes to the extended range even though the overall performance, braking and cornering are all a bit worse than the performance model. This, of course, is to be expected from the 70D. Even though it is a performance car in its own right, the 70D is built to be a comfortable ride and one that offers the luxury we want from a high end luxury car. Because it is built to be the luxury leader for Tesla, the 70D offers lower energy consumption, a higher top speed (odd compared to the performance model) and are quieter during acceleration and cruising.
One of the biggest advantages of the all-wheel drive model is the added confidence and control during adverse weather conditions. This added ability makes the 70D the right choice in the higher echelon luxury markets and allows you to enjoy a ride that is engaging and well-controlled. Coming in at a base price of $76,200, the 70D might be the value offering in the class, especially when put up against the Mercedes-Benz S550.
When we look at these two side by side, the Mercedes model has an advantage in acceleration and braking. The Tesla is the leader in cornering grip to win the top speed category. There is more passenger room in the S550 but the Tesla has a better center seating space. The Tesla model gives a lot more cargo space because it has both a front and rear truck to take advantage of. The most glaring difference between the two is the price. The S550 has a base price of $95,325 and can easily reach up to over $100K in no time while the 70D starts at $76,200 after the tax rebates and will reach nowhere near the S550 when it comes to overall price with comparable features.
If you choose to buy a Tesla model, you already know you are getting an electric car, but if you have never driven one the acceleration will surprise you. These cars offer an instant surge of power due to the constant full torque that electric cars have. Driving any Tesla model also offers you a seriously balanced ride due mostly to their battery pack setup which puts the battery across the entirety of the floorboards, not what other car makers tend to do with their battery packs, which is to place them in the truck to balance out the weight of the backup gasoline generator.
Thinking about where the battery is and the fact I mentioned this car has both a front and rear trunk you might be wondering where the backup gasoline generator is on this car? Tesla does not include any gasoline portion of their car. Their confidence and direction lay in having a car that does one thing really well; run on electric power.
As a top of the line luxury car the 70D offers an interior that is the ultimate in luxury and has all the features you could want. With the exception of a bit of range anxiety the 70D does a great job of offering you exactly what you want from a car of this caliber. Charging can be quick and if you have a route with plenty of charging locations you will spend about one-third of the price of filing a high-end luxury car with gasoline, making it more affordable to drive in a car that uses renewable energy only.