Well, it looks like Elon Musk has again brought the future to the present. Last night, Tesla unveiled the new features of its Model S sedan, the D. With two motors, all wheel drive, incredible acceleration, and a slightly unnerving amount of autonomy, the D might be the supercar of the future. (And yes, it’s a phallic reference, alright!?)
Musk wasn’t shy singing his new car’s praises. “This car is nuts. It’s like taking off from a carrier deck. It’s just bananas.” Nuts. Bananas. The D. (Alright we swear that’s the last joke.)
The new Model S P85D is externally the same as the Model S sedan, but almost everything else in the car is an upgrade.
The D has two motors, one in between the font wheels as well as the main motor in back. This not only gives the car incredible power steering to all four wheels, it also boosts the car’s acceleration. The P85D can go from 0 to 60 mph one second faster than the previous model P85 Tesla. Its top speed is higher, too, clocking in at 155 mph instead of 130. The D is faster and less than half the cost of a Ferrari 458 Italia.
And the addition of the second motor, amazingly, doesn’t come with a weight penalty to the car’s efficiency or range. Both D models — the 85D and P85D — can drive up to 275 miles on a single charge, which is 10 miles further than previous models. This increased efficiency comes from the setup of the electronic motors system. Power can shift from one motor to the other in a millisecond, so the car can switch to take advantage of the most efficient drive style — front or rear wheel drive — on a dime, preserving power for longevity.
The new Telsa is also offering a certain degree of autonomy. Software will combine data from a radar system and cameras with image recognition ability with the car’s own GPS and navigation systems. This will create a fairly sophisticated autopilot-like system with active features like adaptive cruise control, the ability to read and react to speed limit signs, stop to avoid a crash, drive without crossing out of its lane, and self park. The car might not be able to drive itself, but it will stop you from crashing or swerving into traffic if you fall asleep at the wheel.
This car of the future will set you back quite a bit though; this car is a step up and away from the Model S Musk promises will be the affordable, high-performance car the everyman can afford. Because the model D features a new 60kWh battery, the price of the dual motor system will be about $75,070. With the 85 kWh battery, the cost will jump to about $85,070. The P85D will be in the $120,170 range. Keep in mind however, this is far less than many other supercars on the market.
The new model should be available in December, meaning that the D is now the ultimate holiday present. (Darnit.)
Go ahead. Make some jokes below.
Feature image via Tesla Motors on Flickr