Tesla is giving the entry-level version of the Model S sedan a rather substantial upgrade in an attempt to improve sales of the car.
The Model S 60 was largely avoided because it has a shorter range than the more expensive Model S 85D. That resulted in Tesla replacing the Model S 60 with a new 70D. It costs around $5,000 extra, but gets users a slew of improved features.
"The goal of the 70D is to broaden market appeal of Teslas," said a spokesperson in a statement.
"70D owners receive 15 percent more range than the original base vehicle, standard AWD, Supercharging, Autopilot hardware, and, because it's a Tesla, free over-the-air software updates that improve the features and functionality for the life of the vehicle."
The news comes as the company is racing to meet a very high sales target for 2015. Tesla says it sold a record 10,300 cars in the first quarter of this year, but it will have to pick up the pace if it wants to meet the goal of 55,000 cars. Ideally, the new model will help increase sales before the launch of the new Tesla Model X in the second half of this year.
The Model S 70D will have a total range of 240 miles, thanks to the new 70kWh battery replacing the 60kWh battery of the previous base model. The car will come in three new colors — "warm silver," "ocean blue" and "obsidian black."
The new base model will also give users the appropriate technology to take advantage of the company's charging stations, which allow users to charge their cars for free in only 30 minutes or less. This service was also available for the previous version of the car.
Furthermore, the car will come with a number of sensors and cameras that will, with a future software update, enable the car to drive itself on highways. At present, drivers can enjoy all wheel drive on the base model of the Model 6, whereas previously, the base model only came with rear wheel drive.
Tesla has been increasingly making waves in the auto industry, both with its cars and its role in automated vehicles. The company is planning on releasing a software update in a few months that will enable the Model S to drive itself on highways — though regulations are still rather vague on self-driving cars.