Tesla Unveils Dual-Motor All-Wheel-Drive Model S
With some of the panache of an Apple product launch, Tesla founder Elon Musk unveiled an all-electric Model S sedan with an additional front motor and drive system. The new vehicle will be more powerful and have all-wheel drive.
While the Model S is the first all-electric production vehicle with dual-motor all-wheel drive, other cars also offer such a system including gasoline-electric hybrids from Lexus and Acura. Such a system is also available in the new BMW i8 and Porsche 918 Spyder.
The Model S P85D is capable of going from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 96 km/h) in 3.2 seconds, making it the equal of the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S 4Matic and the Audi RS7 quattro sedans.
The vehicle has three power settings, normal, sport, and insane.
The Palo Alto-based automaker also introduced a suite of driver assistance technologies called “Autopilot.” The technologies are designed to recognize nearby vehicles and the surrounding environment using radar cruise control, a digital camera with optical recognition, 360° ultrasonic sonar, and GPS input.
Autopilot will keep the car in its lane on a highway, automatically brake in an emergency, park in a garage, and change lanes by itself on the highway. All but the last feature are available from other automakers as well.
Tesla is offering the dual-motor option on all Model S variants. It will cost $4,000 more on the Model S 60 and Model S 80, and $14,600 more on the high-performance P85, putting the P85D at $120,700.
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