Revealed: The Tesla “D” – Photo

3 years ago by Jay Cole 42

Well that didn’t take long.

Late Wednesday night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted a smoky picture of a vehicle and the letter D with the following caption:

Elon Musk's Tweet From Wednesday Night

Elon Musk’s Tweet From Wednesday Night

And now, less than 24 hours later, a Tesla Motors Club member has posted this apparent shot of a Tesla Model S P85D charging in a thread discussion on what the “D” and “something else” will be, along with a note saying, “Seen in the wild by a friend…”

Editor’s Note:  The member who posted the photo at the Tesla Motors Club has requested the content stay there.  Respecting his wishes, we have removed the image.

It appears the Dual Motor/AWD theory of “what the D stands for” is shaping up to be the right answer.  Interestingly, the photo appears to be legit under analysis and was taken at the Inyokern Airport, in California late last month.

Also of note: Tesla has sent out invites to the big event happening at Hawthorne Airport at 7pm on the 9th, many of which are holders of Model X reservations – which might be related to the “something else”

The "D" Teaser (via Elon Musk's Twitter)

The “D” Teaser (via Elon Musk’s Twitter)

Tesla Motors Club, Hat tip to Josh!

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42 responses to "Revealed: The Tesla “D” – Photo"

  1. Djoni says:

    Definitively a D for double motors or double power.
    Anyway’s it’s an All wheel drive S that have been under testing for a while.

    1. See Through says:

      Just double motors with more or less same power. The P85+ had serious issues with the motors dying, as it was too powerful.

      Let’s hope, splitting the power into two motors helps these motor breakdowns.

      1. Chris O says:

        No motors ever died, just minor issues with early model drive units that have since been addressed by Tesla and covered by an 8 year warranty.

      2. LuStuccc says:

        Electric motors are much simpler than internal combustion engines, one moving part, two bearings. no such heat as an ICE, no vibrations, no explosions, no noise, no oil, no plugs, no filters, no residues … they last forever.

        1. Rexie says:

          …but paid disinformers will always find something wrong, as far fetch as it can be.

        2. See Through says:

          Sorry, unknown ev fanatic. I trust Edmunds more than you.

          1. Big Solar says:

            I think all you all are talking about is the alignment problem that was fixed with a shim that costs a couple bucks. Big deal!

            1. High Timber says:

              Big Solar has it right. Do a little research about Tesla, milling sound and shims and you will get the truth. Upon internal inspection, the motors were fine. They just sounded like there was a problem.

  2. Kosh says:

    with marketing like that… they’re being bought by Apple?

    1. Just_Chris says:

      So you’re with me on the “D” for distraction from the Porsche release, i3, Volt 2, GM 200 mile BEV, VW BEV, i8, etc.

      It’s fantastic to see the beginnings of a full scale marketing war. I hope they all win and people start looking at conventional cars and asking “why by a dated smelly noisey car when I can have a nice new silent one?”

      1. See Through says:

        Well, .. at least till the humming noises start to haunt the drivers.

        1. Chris O says:

          Any problems with early model drive units were fixed and covered by an 8 year warranty.

  3. Sean says:

    I’m wondering if it’s D for distance. possibly a 400 mile range Tesla?

    1. Spec9 says:

      I thought that for a second but then realized it says P85D so it still has an 85KWH battery.

      I think it is 70% likely to “Dual motors” 20% likely to be “Docking station” (wireless charger), and 10% likely to be something else.

      1. Sean says:

        ah you’re right. I’m so used to seeing normal car models such as SL and such. Could it be Drive Assist? Musk said 3 years before self driving cars though. Maybe D for Dragster? a Model S meant to defeat anything on the straight?

      2. David Stone says:

        Double the range with the same battery would not work, but more range could be possible.

        85kWh refers to the energy capacity, not the range. That also depends on other factors, such as the efficiency of the motor.
        A second motor with a different ratio could take over and use less power at higher speeds, increasing highway range.

    2. Sam EV says:

      I was hoping D meant self-driving.

  4. Anthony says:

    Double the power via the two motors makes sense. Double the range means it wouldn’t be a P85 anymore – it would be a P150 or something.

    1. Mint says:

      Double the power is wishful thinking, as Tesla is reluctant to have too high of a C-rate in the batteries (The S60, P85, and B-class EV all have similar C-rates). They’d need to put a bank of supercaps in there to have double the power.

      But at low speeds, the Model S is undoubtedly traction limited anyway, so even having the same power will give it an insane 0-60 time. I’m guessing less than 3.5s.

      I think the front motor in this and the X is going to be very similar to the one they put in the rear of the Model 3, allowing them to get all the kinks out before mass production. Maybe 150 kW. The high perf Model 3 will use two of these smaller motors.

      1. kdawg says:

        Yeah, it doubt it will be double the power. When Elon & JB were talking in Europe a couple months ago, they explained how the AWD was going to work in the Model X. Basically two motors with power balancing. They were proud of the fact that they kept the efficiency the same.

      2. Jouni Valkonen says:

        Double torque hower is certainly possible with dual motor! Although I assume that in dual motor approach they are using two smaller motors.

        The funny thing about electric motors is that the cost scales roughly linearly to the power output of motor. Therefore single 300 kW electric motor costs nearly the same as two 150 kW electric motors!

        This is the main economic reason why it does not make sense to produce non-AWD electric cars.

        1. Josh says:

          That may be true for the electric motor, but is it the same for the gear reduction, power inverter, and CV joints?

        2. Mint says:

          Raw material costs, sure. But they’re pretty low for an AC induction motor due to the simple materials used

          Overall cost? I’m not convinced. I think a Model S motor costs much less than 4 LEAF motors, for example. Take a weaker motor and use a similar winding machine fed with thicker wires, larger stator laminations, etc and I think you get less than linear scaling, e.g. 2x cost for 4x power.

          Eventually, I expect motor cost to be a non-issue either way. The materials are so cheap and simple, so it just takes economies of scale to bring cost down.

      3. mark yormark says:

        Yes that makes perfect sense because as it stands now the 85kW hour pack does not have enough C rating to power much more then 310kW and yes TESLA needs to test the smaller motor, inverter, and drive-train for the up coming Model 3.

        1. reguest says:

          Who says the motor and such has to be smaller for the model 3. Tesla could easily use the same size motor to save the cost of developing a new one. Yes it would very likely be stupid to do so, but it is possible.

  5. an_outsider says:

    “D” for diesel ? no way !!

  6. Lou Grinzo says:

    So much for my guess: Dilithium crystals.

  7. Lou M says:

    DdddddddeeeeZzzzz NUTS!

  8. Cwuwlaw says:

    I’m just waiting for Musk to stand on stage and say, “Excuse me, while I whip this out…” Blazing Saddles style.

  9. Rudy Clarke says:

    Ahh c’mon, can’t you all see this is a bait and switch plus more bait!

    He’ll reveal the AWD Model S to the prospective Model X owners as well the “something else” which will turn out to be one production version of the Model X.

    For what purpose is beyond me, but who am I to question the ‘GOD’ of all EVs!!

    1. Jeff D says:

      How is that a bait and switch if there is no switch. It is exactly what most people are expecting it to be even if they continue to dream of more. As for purpose, Elon has been promising these for a while and people are anxiously waiting to see the follow through. 20,000 is a large number of reservations for a vehicle that has not been seen except as a prototype.

  10. kdawg says:

    “The D” was tonight’s moment of Zen on the Daily Show.

    1. Tesla’s Great Advertising Teaser Adventure in free publicity.
      Love it

      1. Kakkerlak says:

        It’s really admirable from an advertising perspective. Total marketing cost = 1 nice photo and 1 tweet.

        No print ad purchases. No online ad purchases. No TV or radio ad purchases. No billboards.

        They haven’t even mentioned it on their website, so no website development or maintenance costs.

        Tesla Motors probably spends more money on toilet paper than they do on advertising.

  11. vdiv says:

    The question that some Model S drivers are probably asking is if their car can be retrofitted to become a D and how much will that cost. If Musk announces a reasonable retrofit program it will be really impressive.

  12. Jouni Valkonen says:

    Like I have said several times before here and elsewhere that it does not make any sense to offer non-AWD electric cars in ANY price category. Even that Foxcon’s planned ultra-cheap China-EV should be made AWD only.

  13. Bob A says:

    Going to announce the pricing on the X?

    Why would he invite everyone to the Hawthorne place if it is just a second motor on an existing car?

    Here’s hopin’ for a price cut. 🙂

  14. Daniel says:

    Why increasing the power in a Tesla? Isn’t the car already fast enough?

    Why adding an extra motor? Elon’s dream was not to build race cars.

    The problem with a Tesla is still the range!

    In P85D, the P stands for Performance and is red. the 85 is not red as it just sums up the amount of Kwh.

    But did you note that the D is also red? It means it has something to do with performanve or power.

    My guess: D for Density

    Battery density increases the range of the 85 Kwh battery

  15. Joepah says:

    wouldnt this be the busty Tesla?

    1. Nix says:

      Double-D for double motor?

  16. WJM2222 says:

    Hey, notice that the Inyokern Airport web page highlights records set there for electric flight. Also notice that Tesla’s chief battery engineer has talked about other applications for Gigafactory output. Could the “something else” have to do with electric flight?