The electric car -- which can now travel an estimated 315 miles on just one charge, farther than any other electric vehicle -- can accelerate from 0 to 60 in just 2.5 seconds, according to Tesla. That acceleration rate puts it third in line behind the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder -- 2 million-dollar vehicles that are no longer being manufactured, Musk pointed out.
“It’s really quite a stark milestone,” the billionaire CEO told reporters today. “The fastest [production] car in the world of any kind is electric.”
“In the future, people are really going to look at gasoline cars the same way we look at steam engines today: like, they’re quaint, but it’s not really how you get around,” he said.
Despite the Model S's heart-stopping acceleration, some analysts weren't entirely enthusiastic.
"The performance of the 100D line is truly remarkable, and kudos should be given to Tesla for that. With that said, the Model 3 and Gigafactory are still the most relevant items for Tesla's long-term viability," Kelley Blue Book analyst Akshay Anand said in a statement, referring to Musk's gargantuan battery plant in Nevada. "The 100D will still be out of buying range for the majority of consumers, so Tesla will need to figure out how to 'upgrade’ current owners."
“This recent announcement from Tesla is eye-opening, but nothing more than headline-grabbing showmanship," added fellow Kelley Blue Book analyst Michael Harley. "True sports cars are not only capable in the sprint, but are adept in handling and braking as well -- his sedan and crossover lack both of those skills. With limited top speeds, and the inability to circle a complete racing circuit without overheating, they are nothing more than a pair of one-trick ponies. Tesla needs to focus on building a quality product, taking care of its customers, and profitability -- not accelerating away from its issues at breakneck velocities."
Current owners can upgrade their batteries for $20,000, which also covers recycling of their old battery packs. New customers can upgrade for $10,000.
The 100 kWh battery will also be available in the Model X, which will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds and travel an estimated 289 miles on a single charge.
“That’s nuts,” Musk said. “I think this is really going to send a great message to the public that sustainable transport is the future.”
Tesla has been under fire in recent months following a series of accidents involving Autopilot, its driver-assist feature. The next software update will include “material improvement to autonomy of the car," according to Musk.
Despite the setbacks, Musk asserted that “electric is the future.”