Tesla's Model S and Model X get new motors with more range

Marco Green
April 24, 2019

The Model S Performance sees its range bumped up to 345 miles from 315 while the Model X Performance nabs a 305-mile range rating over the old model's 289-mile range. And we've accomplished this without increasing the cars' battery size, proving that our expertise in system-level design can make our cars dramatically more efficient.

With the upgrades, the long-range version of Model S and X can now travel 370 miles (595.5 km) and 325 miles, respectively, on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cycle.

Tesla credits the range gain to a more efficient motor design, evident by the fact the cars have the same 100-kWh batteries of their predecessors. The base Model S will do the sprint in 4 seconds and the Long Range trim will do it in 3.7 seconds (a 0.4-second improvement).

Other changes in the vehicles include "lubrication, cooling, bearings, and gear designs", as well as a fully adaptive air suspension that responds to both road conditions and driving style. Pairing a permanent magnet motor in the front with an induction motor in the rear enables unparalleled range and performance at all times.

By improving drivetrain efficiency, Tesla has been able to effectively increase range by more than 10%.

These optimizations and efficiencies, however, produced other beneficial effects as it not only improves range, but also 0-60 miles per hour times, and lets the energy from V2 and V3 Superchargers flow faster into the battery pack, reducing the charge time on either Supercharger by 50-percent. A new continuously adaptive air suspension fitted to all new Models S and X adjusts the damping rates in real time, which helps steering response and works to keep the vehicle more level when cornering or while tracking straight over undulating road surfaces. According to Tesla, it's also better at keeping the vehicle low while cruising to cut down on wind resistance. Also new are redesigned drive-trains on more expensive variants of the cars, allowing buyers to get "more range out of every dollar spent on charging, " the company said.

Earlier in April, Tesla reported fewer-than-expected vehicle deliveries in the first quarter, with figures for the Model S sedans and Model X SUVs more-than-halving compared with the preceding quarter. Tesla states that not only does the adaptive damping give both the Model S and Model X "an ultra-cushioned feel, as well as "exhilarating confidence during dynamic driving", but the suspension software will talk with the rest of the auto and reduce each car's ride height in order to "optimize aerodynamic drag". While these changes may seem minor, together they have a meaningful impact when it comes to EV design. By improving the flow of energy out of the battery and back in through regenerative braking, Tesla was also able to further improve acceleration in the Model S and Model X.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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