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Model S P85D can hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds; AWD will be available across the entire Model S range

Tesla Motors has been on a roll lately. The company is expanding its Superchargers across the U.S. (and the world), sales of its Model S sedan are clipping along at a steady pace, the company is far along in development of its “affordable” Model III electric sedan, and it just named the state of Nevada as the home for its $5 billion Gigafactory.
 
Tesla Motors and its high-profile CEO, Elon Musk, are looking to keep people interested in the company with yet another announcement tonight. Musk kicked things off a week ago with a post on Twitter, stating, “About time to unveil the D and something else.”
 
At the time, we surmised that the “D” stood for a new dual-motor version of the Model S, which would give the vehicle all-wheel-drive (AWD) capabilities. Those suspicions were further bolstered day later when an image of a P85D version of the Model S leaked onto the internet.
 
And tonight, the AWD Model S P85D is now official. Musk unveiled the latest model of his award winning electric sedan at the Hawthorne Airport near Los Angeles, CA. The rear motor pumps out 470hp, while the new front-mounted motor adds another 221hp making for a total of 691hp. Total torque output is a jaw-dropping 687 lb-ft.

The current Model S P85 is capable of traveling from 0-60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. However, the second motor and the all-wheel-drive traction allow the new Model S P85D to achieve the same feat in just 3.2 seconds, making its one of the fastest production sedans in the world. The P85D's quarter-mile time also drops from 12.6 seconds to 11.8 seconds.

Intriguingly, the addition of the second motor doesn’t take away from the driving range of the Model S according. In fact, the maximum driving range of the P85D has been increased from 265 miles to 275 miles due to the efficiencies garnered by using the two electric motors together.
 
If the P85D is too rich for your blood, Tesla will also make AWD optional on its lesser models including the base 60 kWh model (60D) and the standard 80 kWh model (85D). P85D models will be delivered to customers by the end of 2014, while the 60D and 85D models will start showing up in February.

Pricing for the range-topping Model S P85D starts at around $120,000, while adding AWD to the lesser models adds $4,000 to the price tag.

 
In other Tesla Motors news, Musk announced that a number of “autonomous” features would find their way into new Model S vehicles thanks to 12 new sensors that are being incorporated into the vehicles. In addition to the standard lane departure warnings, the latest crop of Model S sedans will be able to automatically place the vehicle in the next lane at highway speeds when the turn signal is flipped (assuming that no cars are in your path).

Newer Model S sedans comes with a  forward looking camera, radar, and 360-degree ultrasonic sensors.

During the event, Musk even made mention of a self-parking feature implemented in the new versions of the Model S. You can get out of your car and have the vehicle park on it own using onboard ultrasonic sensors that can detect both hard and soft objects (like children or dogs). Musk even used the example that the vehicle can be programmed to sync with your calendar, so that if want to leave the house at 8:00am to go to work, the Model S will have already pulled out of the garage and rolled down the driveway ready and waiting with the climate control set to your desired temperature. 

It’s basically one step closer to KITT.

Another cool feature is the ability for the Model S to use its onboard, forward-facing cameras to read speed limit signs and adjust your vehicle speed automatically to match.
 
Hopefully, Tesla will give the driver the ability to tweak the latter feature to add a 5 to 7 mph cushion — or perhaps an additional 20 mph if you’re driving in or around Atlanta.

Sources: Tesla Motors, USA Today, YouTube





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