Breaking News: Tesla P100D Is On The Way


Tesla Model S

Jason Hughes is a fellow with above average computer skills. He also is a Tesla owner. He says the company is planning to release a P100D model in the very near future. In fact, he told Teslarati yesterday, “There have been configuration options in the firmware as early as about two months ago. With the latest 2.13.77 update, [Tesla] included the badges for the P100D, among other things. I’m very confident that it’s a real thing based on what I’ve seen of other things in previous versions of the firmware.” Jason tweeted about his discovery on Friday but disguised it in Twitter code.

Other hackers took a look at the tweet and were able to decode it using a reverse Twitter search.  Here’s what Tesla Motors Club member LuckyLuke found when he did that.

P100D Code

That led Hughes to release the graphic image he found buried in Tesla’s software update.

It’s not surprising that Tesla should be working on a new battery. It just discontinued the 85 kWh battery it had been using since the first Model S came out in 2012, replacing it with a 90 kWh version. But that means there is a rather narrow gap between the company’s base battery, which is rated at 70 kWh, and its top of the line battery. With a price difference of over $12,000, it could use a larger battery to convince customers to step up to the higher priced model, which is more profitable for the company.

A 100 kWh battery would also give the Model S a range of 300 miles or more. That’s an important marketing milestone. Lots of manufacturers are talking about making cars with 300 miles range in the near future, but Tesla would be the first to actually do so. If is does, that would do much to burnish its image as the world leader in EV technology.

The D in Tesla model name indicates the car has dual motors, one in front and one in the rear. Tesla no longer offers a rear wheel drive only option except for its entry level Model S with the 70 kWh battery. A standard Tesla Model S or Model X with a 100 kWh battery would be known simply as a 100D. The P indicates the car has more straight line performance model than the standard car. The new model, if there is one, has already earned the nickname “plood”, which is what the designation looks like if you change the numeral 1 to the letter l.

Tesla also offers a Ludicrous Model upgrade that chops another half second off the normal 0-60 acceleration time and adds $10,000 to the price of the car. You can tell a car that has Ludicrous Mode enabled because the underscore bar beneath the model designation on the rear will be red instead of chrome. Does this mean that a Tesla P100D with Ludicrous will be known as a “ploodl”?

Tesla has not officially acknowledged that a 100 kWh battery is in the offing. Nor do we know how a larger battery would affect the cost of the cars. The current 90 kWh battery adds $3,000 to the price of new cars compared to the what they cost when the 85 kWh battery was available. Perhaps now that the secret is out, Tesla may feel compelled to provide more information about availability and cost.

Photo credit: Flickr/raneko via Road & Track



About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I’m interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

  • Michael B

    l applood your reporting.

    • Steve Hanley

      Cute! ; – )

  • Len

    It makes sense that Tesla would increase the battery size of the MS. A less expensive car with similar range as the S and X would take away from their edge of technology, best of the best appeal. Especially since the Chevy Dolt is going to have a supposed 200 mile range.

  • Rick Danger

    The PlooD… not for PlonkerS.

  • Joe Viocoe

    The 141 kwh battery will be the one that finally goes PLAID….


    • dogphlap dogphlap


    • Steve Hanley

      Knowing Elon Musk’s fondness for the slightly absurd, you may just be on to something there, Joe! ; – )

  • vamike999

    man 300 miles would be sweet, next stop 400 🙂 image 500 miles more hten anyone could drive in a day then re charge up at a station you would be set 6 charges to go across the country.

    • Jhw

      I can drive 500 in a day. I’ve driven Pittsburgh to Albuquerque or back in 24 hours 5 times now, and that’s 1657 miles. But 500 would be great.

  • rsexton

    That range is still very important. I drive to vegas regularly and it’s 260 miles. And sometimes horrible traffic. And I don’t want to have to stop for anything and many times drive straight through with the family. Rarely stop but sometimes do a rest stop when they aren’t closed which it seems many times they are like tonight on the way back to CA they were. So i need enough real world range with heater and or air to not need to stop. They are pretty good for the majority of travel bit not quite there yet for total replacement. Need a super charger road service also for if someone runs out of charge. True if you carefully plan and don’t mind stopping you can get by now but that greater range is important.

  • Peter Egan

    Surely a 100 kwh battery will come with the larger 20700 format cells – they have 40% more energy per cell. The extra energy would not increase the weight due to the reduction in cell casing mass and wiring reduction.