Tesla Motors chief executive Elon Musk has 'unveiled the D' – a smarter, faster, all-wheel-drive take on the Model S electric sedan.
The new Tesla electric car, which is actually called The Model S P85D, may not self-drive as was hoped, but its dual motors allow it to accelerate from 0 to 60 in just over three seconds, making it one of the fastest-accelerating sedans ever.
The D doesn’t stand for driverless, it “stands for dual,” Musk said at the launch on Thursday night at Hawthrone Municipal Airport in the outskirts of Los Angeles.
Those self-driving rumours weren’t entirely off base, however, as Tesla introduced autonomous functionality, which means the car itself can read speed limit signs, warn the driver if they’re drifting from their lane, brake to prevent collision, and even change lanes when the turn signal is activated.
Mashable said The D can park itself after the driver has gotten out.
Tesla’s twitter called it “Autopilot.”
The car battery has also seen an upgrade, with a Tesla motor now able to travel 275 miles on a single charge – 10 miles more from the previous rear-wheel drive models.
An all-wheel drive version of the car company’s flagship Model S, the only Tesla product currently on sale, has been in the making since last year, and has been rumoured to launch since Musk last week cryptically tweeted: “Time to Unveil the D and something else.”
That tweet drove the company’s stock up 6 points, a value of $2 billion. With sales flagging, although September was a good month, Tesla are banking of The D to visit sales in a big way.
There will be three versions of The D, with different sized batteries, with the top-of-the-line model, the P85D, expected to become available in December. The other two Teslas, the 60D and the 85D, will likely land in February 2015.
This line of vehicle will cost between $89,000 and $120,000.
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