Tonight at 8:18pm, Tesla announced the D version of the Model S. The D as many owners guessed stands for Dual motor or an all wheel drive version of the Model S.
An AWD version can really help sales in cold weather climates but also provides significant benefits over 2WD versions
1. Faster acceleration
Elon stated that the 0 to 60 will be 3.2 seconds with the P version of the AWD. This number is really fast and even faster than my Roadster. I have not been excited about the P85 because the acceleration was not nearly as smooth as the Roadster. I hope to get a service loaner P85D in the future to check out the characteristics of this acceleration with two motors not just one.
2. Top speed is higher.
This feature will probably be hard to take advantage of in most places outside of perhaps the German autobahn or very remote locations.
3. Efficiency increases.
ICE cars become less efficient when you add AWD. With the sophisticated electronics, the Tesla D is more efficient than a standard Tesla even with the increased weight of the second motor on the front axel!
The Dual Motor option for the S85 is $4,000 with no listed 0-60 performance increase. The P85D is another $14,600 over the P85. The P85D requires 21″ wheels, the tech package and smart air suspension. The difference between a similarly configured S85 to a P85D is $26,600. In a way I am glad this option was not available when I bought my car as that speed is very tempting.
Along with announcing the D, Elon announced some auto-pilot features that are in the cars that are currently produced. He made it clear that these cars are not autonomous self driving cars. The technology includes
- Forward looking radar that can see through fog, snow and sand.
- Cameras that with image recognition that can distinguish pedestrians and can read signs.
- 360 degree ultrasonic sonar that creates a protect cocoon around the car and is sensitive enough to see a small child or a dog.
With these features, the car can self park and automatically brake. On private property, you can summon the car to you.
Although I am more excited about the speed of the D for roller coaster thrills, the auto pilot features are potentially more interesting for many buyers.