Tesla Model S expected to get a bigger battery with new P100D flagship

Tesla Model S

A new flagship variant for Tesla’s all-electric super sedan is reportedly looming large on the horizon, with the Dutch car registration authority issuing type approval for several Tesla models – among them, the “Tesla Model S P100D” – which clears them to be licensed and driven in the European Union.

Confirmation of a European type approval is the first real clue that Tesla is planning to expand the Model S range beyond the existing P90D range-topper. The P90D which currently sits at the top of the Model S pile with a maximum single-charge range of 509km and a 0-100km/h of 3.0 seconds with Tesla’s aptly-named Ludicrous Mode upgrade – or 3.3 seconds without.

The non-performance oriented Tesla 90D trades acceleration for range, with a peak range of 557km and a still-quick 0-100km time of 4.4 seconds.

Performance numbers for a 100D model would be based on pure speculation, but with Tesla’s naming convention linking numerics to battery size we know that such a model would tote a 100kWh battery beneath its floor. The ‘P’ prefix denotes it as a performance model, while the ‘D’ indicates it has two drive motors and all-wheel drive.

With 11 percent more energy on board, the P100D could travel for up to 565km on a single charge. As for its sprint time, figuring out that stat isn’t so simple – the limitation comes down to the interface between the battery packs and the Model S’ drive motors, and how much energy they can transfer without burning up.

Tesla has yet to officially confirm the P100D is coming, but with the P90D accounting for the lion’s share of local Tesla Model S sales it appears there’s more than enough appetite for big-power Teslas in Australia. Should the P100D rumour prove true, a local debut seems like a no-brainer.

Even more curious was the presence of some unfamiliar names on Tesla’s European type approval document, with “60R” and “100X” also certified for sale in Europe. Exactly what models those badges will be applied to remains a secret for now.

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