Even though the USA Today broke the embargo on the Tesla "D" and "something else" announcement by Elon Musk before he hit the stage Thursday night, the debut still went off without a hitch in a carnival like event at the Hawthorne Airport.
Update (below): Full live blog and pictures from the event - official livestream can be found here.
Effective Now You Can Order A Tesla Model S P85D!
Here's how USA Today described the Model S P85D:
Tesla announced Thursday that the all-wheel-drive versions of its Model S electric car will manage a slight increase in range of about 10 miles on a charge vs. the rear-drive models — for a maximum of 275 miles — because of efficiencies designed into the new system.
CEO Elon Musk called his system "a huge improvement" that he claims is "taking the technology to the next level."
Update (October 28th, 2014): The 275 miles figure is with the higher end 21" wheels equipped. Buyers can now also opt for 19" wheels range, which expands range even further - up to 285 miles. (full details here)
From the release party we have learned that the new flagship Tesla can achieve 0-60 mph in only 3.2 seconds. A time that makes the Model S P85D the quickest sedan ever produced. So, throw away your Porsches and Ferraris gentlemen, and probably your current "old and busted" Model S too.
The P85D's Quarter mile is down to 11.8 seconds - almost a full second quicker than the P85 of today.
New top speed for the P85D is 155 miles per hour, trumping the existing 130 mph version. The car puts out 691 hp, and 687 lb-ft of torque - thanks to a 221 hp motor up front.
Editor's Note: You can check out Tesla CEO Elon Musk taking then new Model S P85D for a trip down the tack here. Musk also gives the nickel tour of what auto pilot can do.
Cutaway Of The Dual Motor System
Obviously, more motor = more weight and the P85D now comes in a little heavier (by about 291lbs) and gets the car very close to 5,000 net (4,936). On the good side of that addition, the Model S in AWD now has a 50:50 weight distribution.
The AWD Model S will be available first as the P85D.
Cost? Officially it is a $14,600 upgrade to the P85 package, but you also have to have the car equipped with the Tech, Smart Air and 21" wheel packages, which brings it up to a tidy $120,170.
We have to add that when you get this package you also get the long anticipated seat upgrade. According to Tesla- "Model S Dual Motor Performance will receive Tesla’s next generation seat, reengineered for comfort and lateral support."
Update (Oct 25th, 2014): Additional options are no longer tethered to the P85D, pricing now starts from $105,670 (full details here)- which seems like a raging good deal for the specs.
Adding dual motor performance to the standard 85 kWh/60 kWh Model S costs a very reasonable (in our opinion) $4,000 option.
Demo video of the P85D's acceleration and Auto Pilot features from Thursday's event (hat tip to James):
Deliveries of that version will begin in December. The P85D will be followed by the 85D and 60D in February.
When can you order? Well, right now of course!
The lessor 85 kWh / 60 kWh D will get 376 hp and 362 lb-ft., but range also expands further to 295 and 225 miles.
Four System, Including Forward Looking Radar And Sonar Assist In Tesla's New "Auto Pilot"
Tesla says that by adding AWD, the Model S will appeal more to buyers in snowy climates. In addition to revealing the P85D, Tesla announced some driver's assist features. According to USA Today, Elon Musk says some of the assist features are unique to Tesla:
•The new system will move the car over a lane when the driver uses the turn signal.
•The car reads speed-limit signs and adjusts the car to the speed on the sign.
USA Today adds:
"Other features match the lane-departure warnings and other safety and driver-help features that are getting common."
"Tesla says the cars it's building now have 12 sensors each able to "see" 16 feet to enable the safety tech. Those can't be retrofitted to older models, Tesla says."
But vehicles with those sensors simply need to have them activated by Tesla to get the new features.
Full live blog of the Tesla Event from Thursday, October 9th, 2014
7:40 PDT (10:40 EDT) - waiting on Elon to take the stage for announcement
Waiting On The Show To Start (Via Zan Dubin Scott)
7:50 PDT (10:50 EDT) - Mr. Musk to take stage at 8:00
8:02 PDT (11:02 EDT) - Musk fashionably late. Also of interest, you apparently don't need an invitation to crash the event. So if you are in the area...don't come down, it is packed.
8:18 PDT (11:18 EDT) - Elon Musk has hit the stage!
Elon Musk Hits The Stage (via Zan Dubin Scott)
Event recap of the Tesla CEO's address to the crowd at Hawthorne Airport:
"As you probably learned from the internet, the D stands for Dual Motor...but the best thing to do is to show you the actual car. So let's release the titan!" - enter the chassis, showing off front and rear motor
"Can adjust front and rear drive by the millisecond."
"The acceleration gets a little faster, the top speed is a little higher. And the efficiency actually increases." The Tesla CEO points out that in a electric car the range actually increases with AWD as opposed to the opposite in a gas car. "Literally everything improves with dual motor"
"This car is like having your own personal roller coaster...the car will have three setting: Normal, Sport and Insane" (crowd laughs)
Robotic Arm Lifts New Chassis For Crowd (via Zan Dubin Scott)
On the something else - Auto Pilot (included in $4,250 Tech package...$500 more than the previous amout):
"All cars produced in the last two weeks have auto pilot already"
The car has 4 systems that make up the autopilot. Forward looking radar, which is able to "penetrate fog". The next elimate is a front camera. Third system is long range sonar, which gives a "protective cocoon around the car". Four system is integrating all that into the navigation.
"We are not at the stage where you can safely fall asleep" (crowd laughs) "We are basically where is, uh, allowed by regulations...active emergency braking, self park. You will be able to step out of the car and have it park itself in your garage."
8:35 PDT (11:35 EDT) "Have a great evening and enjoy the test drive!" - event done