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Tesla Model S P85D, AWD Models, Autopilot Revealed

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Tesla Model S P85D: Musk’s D is Bigger Than Yours

Tesla Model S P85D

Tesla Model S P85D: Looks like the Model S, just way faster

We may have waited through almost the whole of Thursday, but Elon Musk finally gave us the D, and it is much bigger than we thought it would be.

Turns out that the long promised “D” denotes the dual motors that will allow the Tesla Model S P85D to generate an absurd 691 horsepower, 687 lb-ft of torque, and 1G of lateral acceleration.

Sounds stupid fast, right? It is. It’s 155 mph top-speed stupid fast. It’s 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds stupid fast.

Though it goes without saying, let’s mention the fact that it’s that fast without using even a drop of gasoline. Sure, it’s not the 707 horsepower of the Charger Hellcat or the promised 2.95-second 0-60 of the Z06, but then it also doesn’t burn through gasoline with the same kind of reckless abandon exhibited by Rush Limbaugh at a free bratwurst and oxycodone buffet.

By adding a smaller electric motor in the front that adds 221 horsepower to the rear motor’s 470 horsepower, you wind up with an AWD vehicle that actually improves the electric driving range (265 for the Model S P85) by an additional 10 miles. So it’s stupid fast and it’s more efficient.

No wonder dealerships want Tesla run out of town. Imagine being a Mitsubishi dealer in California that operates down the street from a Tesla store. You have to try to pitch the Mirage as anything but an abject failure of design, and they’re selling chocolate-coated electric sex. Having to live with that every day would probably be like being a shlubby dude going out for the lead role of “Bland, Handsome Protagonist” in a blockbuster film. In this case, Mitsubishi is a guy who perpetually reeks of B.O., hasn’t had a full head of hair since sophomore year of high school, and has the personality of a sea sponge. He sits down in the lobby and starts running lines in his grating, nasaly voice when he looks up and sees Michael Fassbender and Leonardo DiCaprio practicing from the same script. In that moment, he realizes that it’s game over, man, game over.

Elon Musk told USA Today’s Chris Woodyard that he assumes the addition of the Model S P85D—as well as 60D and 85D models that also utilize all-wheel drive—will increase the addressable market by 50%. Given the need for AWD in Middle America and on the East Coast, Musk’s estimation could be spot on.

The Tesla Model S P85D can be yours at the relatively hefty sum of $120,000, and that includes all of the normal amenities of the Model S P85 and the performance and tech packages.

Tesla’s Revolutionary Autopilot Tech

Tesla AutopilotSpeaking of the tech package, that “other thing” that Musk promised to reveal on Thursday? Autopilot.

All vehicles that Tesla has made over the past two weeks have the Autopilot hardware installed, and Musk says that it will go live with a software update scheduled for about two or three months from now.

So what does Autopilot do? A lot of really ridiculous things, quite frankly. For one, it is capable of reading speed limit signs and adjusting the vehicle’s traveling speed accordingly. It can also park itself in your garage when you arrive home and make all the necessary preparations for you when you are ready to disembark.

Perhaps the coolest feature of Autopilot is the ability to change lanes by signaling. If you want to merge into the left lane, just turn on your signal.

Autopilot uses a forward-facing camera and 12 different sensors that are capable of seeing 16 feet around the car in a 360-degree view. By contrast, Ford’s 360-degree camera tech in the all-new 2015 F-150 is only able to see up to seven feet.

The tools necessary for Autopilot cannot be retrofitted onto previously manufactured Tesla models, but the automaker is encouraging trade-ins at their website. Speaking of which, if you know someone who was an especially good boy or girl this year, you can preorder the Model S P85D right now for a scheduled December delivery. Just be ready to fork over that pithy $12,017 down payment.

So what does Musk have in mind to sell consumers on the Tesla Model S P85D, the 60D and 80D, and new Autopilot functions? Cheery commercials with annoying pop tunes? Michael Bolton cameos? Anthropomorphic hamster people?

“We’re just putting it on the website, and people can order it.”

Marketing genius.

Elon Musk for president.