Software-locked base variants of Tesla Model S and X debut, same battery but less range

As for now, no right-hand drive (RHD) versions of the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X will be made. However, an interesting development of these two models by the American EV brand is that they now have new base “Standard Range” variants which house the same battery pack and electric motor, but they have been software-locked to output less range and less power.

In the Standard Range Model S, customers get 136 km less range compared to the mid-Range Model S. The Standard Range Model S gets 515 km of range while the mid-range Model gets 651 km from the same battery pack. It is also slower, recording a 3.7-second century sprint time compared to the mid-range version’s 3.1 seconds. The upside of this? The Standard Range is USD10,000 cheaper (USD78,490 compared to USD88,490).

As for the Model X, the Standard Range gets 418 km of range compared to the mid-range’s 560 km range. Like the Model S, it is also slower in the century sprint, doing it in 4.4 seconds compared to 3.8 seconds. The Standard Range Model X is also USD10,000 cheaper than its mid-range counterpart.

This practice by Tesla essentially previews the future of “base model” cars of the future. As our cars are becoming more software-based, things like their convenience and performance can simply be limited by software settings.

Software-based vehicles are not exclusive to Tesla as even Hyundai and Renault are reportedly working on it too. In fact, even Mercedes-Benz has software-locked functions which can be unlocked with a payment – A case in point, is its recently introduced “Acceleration Increase” package which unleashes more power from its cars’ (EQE, EQE SUV, EQS, and EQS SUV) electric motors. In the EQS for example, the power output can be increased by up to 25%.

The Tesla Model S and X will most likely not make it to Malaysia as RHD versions of them are no longer produced for the time being. Tesla has just officially entered the Malaysian market and its first EV to debut is the Model Y.


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