Tesla Unveils Dual-Motor All-Wheel-Drive Model S

By Paul Riegler on 12 October 2014
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IMG_0339Tesla Motors unveiled a dual-motor electric vehicle on Thursday as well as a number of driver assistance features.

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.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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