Tesla upgrades its flagship Model S EV

Tesla Motors recently unveiled some new options around its popular Model S electric sedan which could end up helping the vehicle get into the hands of even more would be drivers.

These include some better financing terms and a new performance plus package designed to improve handling on the roads.

The performance plus offering, according to Inside EVs, was said to be in the works for months and will only be available on the version of the vehicle already outfitted with the performance kit. What one now gets for an additional $6,500 includes “upgraded dampers, bushings, stabilizer bars and tires (Michelin Pilot Sport PS2).” Tesla noted the rear tires are 20 mm wider and staggered for improved acceleration on low grip surfaces, resulting in a nice range improvement of 6 to 12 miles over regular 21-inch wheels.

Tesla Motors Model S (image via Tesla Motors)

You do pay though for this performance bump, as with the upgrade, notes Edmunds, the Model S base price is around $94, 890 after a federal tax credit of $7,500. That’s one of the reasons why Tesla’s improved financing options might come in handy. The automaker is planning to raise the resale value guarantee of the electric car to reportedly be one of the highest of any premium sedan brand, including that of BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus or Jaguar.

In addition to the better resale guarantee, Tesla is also looking to provide reduced monthly payment, long term loans. Those who buy the Model S electric car for personal use, said the company, “will now pay a monthly rate of $580 taking only gasoline savings into account. When purchased via a business, assuming 70% of miles are for business use, the depreciation benefit further reduces the effective monthly cost of owning a Model S down to $315.”

The Model S performance option currently has an 85 kWh battery and a peak motor speed of 416 hp, or 310 kW. It can go 0 to 60 MPH in 4.2 seconds and has an EPA certified range of around 265 miles. Its top speed is 130 miles per hour.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling