Tesla Model S P100DEnlarge Photo
Tesla Motors ignores the standard product-development cycles used by other automakers.
Rather than waiting for conventional model years to unveil new features, the Silicon Valley automaker simply pushes them out when they're ready, often in the form of over-the-air software updates.
Tesla's latest software update will make the Model S P100D—already the quickest-accelerating sedan in production—quicker.
An update going out next month will allow the P100D to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, and run the quarter mile in 10.6 seconds, CEO Elon Musk tweeted yesterday.
Tesla previously quoted a 0-to-60-mph time of 2.5 seconds for the Model S P100D with Ludicrous Mode.
The company has not published an official quarter-mile time, but a P100D in private hands has run a 10.78-second quarter mile.
In a separate tweet, Musk also said that performance figures for the Model X P100D with Ludicrous Mode would improve by 0.1 second in both 0-to-60-mph acceleration and the quarter mile.
Tesla currently quotes a 0-to-60-mph time of 2.9 seconds for the Model X and, as with the Model S, does not list a quarter-mile time.
The software update will apply to all P100D vehicles produced to date, including P90D models that have been upgraded to the larger battery capacity.
It represents another incremental improvement to the Model S and Model X, while all eyes remain on the 215-mile, $35,000 Model 3 Tesla has said will enter production at the end of next year.
Despite their impressive performance figures and a 315-mile range rating for the Model S P100D, initial reactions to the 100-kilowatt-hour models were mixed.
2016 Tesla Model XEnlarge Photo
Many analysts questioned the importance and relevance of yet more high-performance, low-volume versions of the Model S and Model X with six-figure price tags at a time when there is still much work to be done on the mass-market Model 3.
Tesla attempted to justify the move by saying that P100D sales help pay for Model 3 development, a comment that was received negatively by some analysts.
Others suggested that the latest module design used in the cars' battery packs was essentially being field-tested for the battery packs to be used in the Model 3.
But if nothing else, continued upgrades to the Model S and Model X create publicity for Tesla during the long and very public wait for the Model 3 launch.