Tesla unveils cheaper AWD Model S 70D with 240-mile range

If the incredibly quick Model S P85D isn't going to fit in your budget, Tesla has a new option that might be a bit more suitable.

Tim Stevens Former editor at large for CNET Cars
Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid '90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to video game development to automotive technology.
Tim Stevens

Tesla's Model S 70D in Ocean Blue. Tesla

If the new Tesla Model S P85D and its all-wheel drive performance are relevant to your interests, but its $105,000 price tag isn't compatible with your budget, you may be interested in the new 70D model that Tesla has just announced.

The car uses a dual-motor layout similar to the P85D's to provide AWD handling for inclement conditions, but doesn't offer quite as much power: 514 horsepower to be exact, compared to the P85D's 691. Its 0-to- 60 time is rated at 5.2 seconds -- plenty quick, and on par with that of the RWD Model S, but a fair bit more mild than the 3.1 seconds of big brother P85D. Top speed is 140 mph.

Everything is better in the Tesla Model S P85D (pictures)

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Range decreases a bit as well, down to 240 miles from the P85D's 270, but naturally the car can still make use of Tesla's Supercharger stations for quick refills. 70D also comes with the company's latest Autopilot functionality, which adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure assistance and automated parking.

The cost for all this? $75,000 before federal incentives, which could drop the car down to around $67,500. That's still out of the reach of most, but a fair bit more palatable for many. (In the UK, the 70D will start at £54,500. In Australia, it runs AU$102,400 to start.)

If that weren't enough to pique your interest, Tesla's unveiling three new colors: Ocean Blue, Obsidian Black and Warm Silver. That's the new blue pictured above, which we'd say looks quite lovely.