Cars aren’t something we normally write about here on Tom’s Hardware news, but when we saw what Tesla has done with a new variant of its Model S, we couldn’t resist. The new variant is called the P85D, and although it may only have an extra “D” in its name, it’s got a lot of new features.
The “D” stands for dual motors. In addition to the original large electric motor already found in the P85, Tesla has added a medium-sized motor to drive the front wheels, giving the all-electric sedan all-wheel drive, a total of 698 horsepower, which turns it into a machine that can propel from zero to sixty in all of just 3.2 seconds.
The four-wheel drivetrain, unlike in gas powered cars, also increases the range of the car. The standard P85 is rated at 265 miles on a single charge, at 65 miles per hour, while the P85D is said to go just a little further, reaching up to 275 miles. The non-performance model, the 85D, will even go 295 miles on a single charge.
In addition to the juiced-up drivetrain, Tesla also managed to finish development of its Autopilot technology much sooner than it anticipated, so the company just went ahead and included it with the new Model S.
The Autopilot essentially turns the machine into a self-driving car, although when not on private property it is dumbed down a little to meet legal requirements. Tesla used four different technologies to enable Autopilot: a long range front-facing radar scanner, a camera with image recognition, 360-degree ultrasonic sonar, and GPS navigation. What these accomplish is adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping on freeways, automatic lane-switching, active emergency braking, and automatic parking. On private property you can even have the car drive to your location by itself to pick you up.
Unsurprisingly, these cars do not come cheap – turning the 60 and 85 variants into 60D and 85D variants costs $4000, while turning a P85 into a P85D will cost you an additional $14,600, bringing its starting price tag up to a hefty $120,170. The P85D will ship starting December, while the 60D and 85D will take a little longer, arriving in February 2015.
Now, who do I talk to for a test drive?