The Model S “Long Range Plus” was announced by Tesla on June 15, 2020. Through various improvements, the range could be further increased with the same 100 kWh battery pack. With a range of 402 miles according to the EPA standard, this corresponds to an increase of almost 20% compared to a 2019 Model S100D.
What are the differences and innovations?
Changes compared to the “Maximum range” model are only present in the vehicle range. The interior, body, etc. are therefore identical. The range increase could be achieved through these adjustments:
The mass was significantly reduced without changing the excellent driving characteristics. Among other things, this was achieved by transferring knowledge gained from the production of the Model 3 and Model Y to the Model S and Model X. The Model S and Model X have been designed to be lightweight. These are, for example, weight savings through the standardization of Tesla’s internal seat production and lighter materials in the battery packs and drive units.
The new “Tempest” aero wheels and tires reduce drag compared to the previous Model S “Maximum Range” wheels and, when combined with a new tire specifically designed to reduce rolling resistance, help improve overall range by 2%.
Increased efficiency of the drive unit could be achieved by an electric oil pump replacing the mechanical oil pump. Lubrication is optimal regardless of vehicle speed and friction is thus reduced. Further improvements to the transmission in the front permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motors have resulted in a further 2% increase in range at highway speeds. (This is the same type of motor used in the Model 3 and Model Y).
Recuperation now works at even lower speeds, sending more energy back to the battery while allowing regenerative braking to a stop.
When did the Plus model become available in Europe?
The announcement in mid-June 2020 referred to changes that Tesla had already incorporated into production in the months before. It is therefore not known exactly from which point the European Model S and Model X were also available in the Plus version.
The sales contract should give a clue, since old models were actually still referred to as “Long Range” (without Plus). But I suspect that’s not clear either. The way it usually works at Tesla is that major changes to the models are not announced beforehand to prevent falling sales figures.
That’s all? When will there finally be a facelift?
There was also a similar effect at the end of 2020. At the turn of the year, it became known that Tesla would stop production of Model S and Model X over the holidays for several weeks longer than usual. Immediately, rumors about a potential body and interior refresh became known. After all, the fan community had been waiting a very long time for a refresh of the design, which dates back to 2012 for the Model S and has not been changed with a refresh since 2016. Improvements came in spring 2019 with the “Raven” update but visually nothing was changed there either. We remain curious.