Elon Musk of Tesla Motors has been teasing the ‘D’ for a week or so now, promising a huge reveal. Last night Tesla introduced the Tesla Model S 60D, 75D, and P85D.
Well, the reveal has come to pass, and now we have the fastest production model four-door sedan ever made, and cars that work on autopilot and can read street signs themselves.
Announced in LA at an event swamped with existing Model S owners (many of whom were hoping it would be the Model X SUV that was actually the secret star of the show), the “D” isn’t a new model as such but in fact new versions of the existing Model S, adding an all-wheel-drive version to across the line-up that boosts traction, performance, and range. Maybe more exciting, though, is the future ability for the car to – in limited circumstances – drive itself to meet you.
The Tesla Model S 60D, 75D, and P85D throw in a pair of extra electric motors to power the front wheels, adding to the existing rear-wheel-drive of the current Model S. Instantly doubling the range in number, they’ll also improve the performance drivers can expect: Tesla claims a 3.2 second 0-60 mph run if you opt for the highest-spec P85D.
As for the technology upgrade, Tesla was rumored to be building in autonomous drive of some sort, but the reality is more in line with the driver assistance aids we’ve seen in recent high-end models from Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and others.
“Even though the car could drive itself, the levels of redundancy are not there for full-autonomy,” Musk said. “We’re essentially going to push the limits of what’s safe with this hardware, and what’s available with the current regulations.”
So, the Model S won’t drive itself and allow you to take a nap in the back seat, but it does have a smart lane-change system which will automatically move across a lane when you hit the blinker – assuming there’s nothing already occupying it.
Tesla has confirmed pricing for the new models, and put them up for order. The 60D and 85D are $89,570 and $97,570 respectively (pre-subsidies), a $4,000 increase over the regular cars.
The P85D, meanwhile, is $120,170, just shy of $15,000 more than its FWD sibling. Still, for that you get 691HP (versus the regular P85’s 470HP) and a rise in top speed from 130 mph to 155 mph. Deliveries of the AWD versions begin in February 2015.
Some more footage of the world’s fastest production four-door sedan (with auto-pilot):
So, who’s sold? $120,170 is pretty steep for a car, but it’s the fastest 4-door production model on the market, it’s AWD, and it’s an electric vehicle…it would be irresponsible NOT to buy it, right?