Innovation

Tesla: Elon Musk reveals ‘immature’ Model S price amid lineup upgrades

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has set a new price for the all-electric premium sedan, and it's sparked a big reaction from fans.

Tesla Model S, the company's all-electric premium sedan, has received a price cut – to a new figure that references two internet memes. The change comes as Tesla brings range boosts to the rest of its lineup, meaning its cars can travel further on a single charge.

Last week, CEO Elon Musk announced via Twitter that "the gauntlet has been thrown down" and "the prophecy will be fulfilled," adding that the price would change to $69,420 that evening. The price cut is the second in the same week: Electrek noted on Tuesday that the entry model's price dropped from $74,990 to $71,990. The price change is for the Long Range Plus model with 402 miles of range.

For those not in the know, the price is a clear nod toward two online jokes. The number "69" is a common reference to a sex position, while "420" represents weed. It's not the first time this year Musk has made the same joke with Tesla's pricing: back in July, Tesla released a pair of red "short shorts" for $69.420, referencing short sellers that stood to benefit financially from a fall in the company's stock price. Far from falling, Tesla's stock reached an all-time high of $2,238 in August – coincidentally, up 420 percent since the start of the year.

The announcement received a big response from the wider community, which shared the post nearly 40,000 times. One fan, Twitter user Todd Ramirez, wrote that Musk "has to be the most immature genius ever," adding that "I love his humor!" Another, YouTuber MrBeast, wrote that "now I have to buy it."

Tesla Model S.Getty Images

The Model S price reduction came in the same week as several other lineup changes. Teslarati reports that the Model 3 sedan, Tesla's current-cheapest car, now offers a new internal design with tweaked accents, chrome delete on the outside, and a new power trunk. There's redesigned 18-inch Aero wheels and 19-inch Sport wheels, and the Performance version now offers 20-inch Überturbine wheels.

The Model 3 also received range boosts across the line. The $37,990 Standard Range Plus variant has gone from 250 miles of range to 263 miles, the $46,990 Long Range Dual Motor AWD version has gone from 322 miles to 353 miles, and the $54,990 Performance version has gone from 299 miles to 315 miles.

On the Model Y compact SUV front, Electrek reports that the $49,990 Long Range model has gone from 316 miles of range to 325 miles, while the $59,990 Performance model went from 291 miles to 303 miles. Company sources told the publication that these boosts are due to a new efficiency pack.

The Model X, Tesla's premium SUV, received a quiet range boost as noticed by TeslaMotorsClub user "ColdWeatherEV." The user's new car came with a sticker showing a new Environmental Protection Agency rating of 371 miles. This is a boost from the previously-listed 351 miles.

The Inverse analysis – Tesla made some welcome improvements to its cars this week, but Musk didn't tweet about them. Instead, true to form, he focused instead on a tongue-in-cheek tweak to the Model S price point.

Musk has a habit of jokes like these. The full lineup spells out the word "S-3-X-Y." Premium models feature a Ludicrous mode, a reference to '80s comedy Spaceballs. A September 2019 software update also rolled out "Joe mode," which quietens alert noises after a request from a customer called Joe. While Tesla is focused on improving its vehicles in the face of competition from Lucid, Musk's online presence continues to mix in the sort of lighthearted jokes that have made him one of the most-followed CEOs on Twitter.

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