Tesla CEO Elon Musk Talks Dual Motor AWD Model S, Auto Pilot – Video

OCT 10 2014 BY JAY COLE 30

Elon Musk Talks To USA Today About The New AWD/Auto Pilot Model S

Elon Musk Talks To USA Today About The New AWD/Auto Pilot Model S

Last night Tesla officially launched the “D” – an all wheel drive Model S, which is available on all trim levels 60D, 85D, and the ultra high performance, $120,000+ P85 D which is capable of 0-60 in 3.2 seconds.

But before the event, USA Today sat down with CEO Elon Musk to get the full scoop!

(You can check out all the stats, specs and launch highlights of the “D” AWD and auto pilot system here)

USA Today

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30 Comments on "Tesla CEO Elon Musk Talks Dual Motor AWD Model S, Auto Pilot – Video"

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Note to BMW and Mercedes CEOs: This guy is eating your lunch in the luxo segment….it’ll take you years to catch up after you decide you have made a mistake sticking with ICEs.

Wow. Tesla has NO Competition.

BMW has already introduced two plug-in cars. And most people expect there are more on the way. Yes, Tesla is a ahead. But I don’t think they are so far ahead that BMW won’t ever catch up.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

The jury is still out on that. Even if BMW gets corrected in its EV ‘vision’ and starts putting out vehicles to match Tesla type-for-type, Tesla has many years of hardware, software and systems-integration experience in EVs more than BMW have. By the time BMW smarten up and get a 3-series-size EV out there that doesn’t look silly, Tesla will have at least 2 generations/iterations of their platforms ahead of them, and with Silicon Valley software engineering, I don’t think BMW will catch up anytime soon.

If anything, I can foresee BMW fielding a lineup of competitive EVs in the 2020-2025 timeframe, by which time Tesla may have bought them out.


Plug-in hybrid cars are irrelevant and they are more like Rube Goldberg machines. Plug-in hybrids only introduces extra complexity to your normal ICE car and the EV part benefits are heavily compromized. This is the reason, why plug-in cars can sell only perhaps 5 % of what is the demand for all electric cars or pure ICE cars.

If you are worried about greenhouse emission, you might as well use normal ICE car that uses synthetic Diesel as fuel. It is probably cheaper and more convenient than to have plug-in hybrid.

Plug-in hybrids may have some benefit in supercar category. E.g. McLaren P1 is fine plug-in hybrid.

“I think it’s going to do really well…”

Oh yeah. 🙂

The most interesting version to me is now the 85D version which has increased from 265 to 295 miles of range (just over 11% increase) for only +$4k, and gone from 5.4 to 5.2 sec 0-60 mph. A 11% bigger battery would probably cost atleast as much. Plus a 11% bigger battery would increase the weight so you would probably need even bigger battery to achieve 11% longer range.

Very very fine engineering from Tesla Motors. They are the leaders now!

Also note that that 4000 dollars is there mostly to improve Tesla’s gross margins. My guess is that high power Model S dual motor drive costs about 1000 dollars and AWD for Model 3 it will cost still significantly less due to economies of scale and base version of 3 will probably be lower powered than base version of S.

Anyway, Tesla will probably discontinue RWD version of Model S by 2016.

“Anyway, Tesla will probably discontinue RWD version of Model S by 2016.”

My thought exactly. I see no reason really to keep the single motor option. Just the increased range from dual motors justifies the price change. Plus you get a whole lot of other benefits with that.

At least they could do an “as inexpensive as it gets” Model S60 with RWD. 4000$ less could make a difference for some.

I had odd typo there. There was unnecessary “high power”. I mean that Model S 85D will cost about 1000 dollars more than standard 85.

That performance version P85D is of course from different planet, because it has very high power output and this is very demanding for almost all drive related systems. Cooling of battery pack is especially demanding, because with 515 kW max power there will be lots of waste heat to be removed!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

I wonder how much heavier and bulkier having 4 motors and no diffs would be vs 2 motors and 2 diffs. Going with 4 motors (ala the SLS AMG, but better integrated into the dedicated chassis) would grant you real torque vectoring (vs. selective brake application or complex Haldex-style schemes) which would provide outstanding handling that’s also customizable and alterable for conditions.

2 100kW motors in front, 2 200kW motors in the back, spreading the power budget to each wheel as required by driver input and computer assistance.

I believe that with four motors there is a trade-off with performance, because if one wheel loses grip, it cannot allocate the power for the other wheel, therefore there is significant performance drop. This may offset the benefit of more accurate torque vectoring with four motors.

In theory there should be very little difference in cost between 1×160 kW, 2×80 kW or 4×40 kW motor configurations, because the cost of electric motor + inverter scales roughly linearly to the power output.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

? Why wouldn’t you be able to use an inverter with computer controls that regulate exactly how much power goes to each wheel individually, and spread out the power budget from the battery based on demand and traction?

That is, with true torque vectoring, while turning, you can regen on the inner wheels and add power to the outer wheels to tighten up the turn and emulate rear-wheel steering to some extent. Selective torque vectoring could also be the ‘first stage’ of traction control and ABS in the event of stops/swerves, adding per-wheel friction braking after regen thresholds are reached.

Also, having the onboard computer keep track of what tires you have installed, their mileage and usage patterns, and feedback from ABS/TC/wheelspin sensors, would allow it to tailor torque vectoring to your specific peak tire performance envelope, as well as weather conditions (rain sensors could tell the computer to engage TC earlier) and realtime traction sensing.

In wheel-motors. Up to 30% more efficiency.

Great news but please stop with the Model S already and get the Model 3 on the street!!!

I wouldn’t be surprised if the front motor or a derivative of it ends up powering the Model 3.

And of course Tesla is so nutty, that they will put that 515 kW dual motor configuration to Model 3 P85D. As it is smaller and lighter car, it will go to 100 km/h well below 3 seconds. Take that Audi A4 Quattro and BMW 328i xDrive!

Yep, my thoughts exactly. This is Tesla’s platform for testing out the engine of the Model 3.

I bet plenty of existing Model S owners will trade in their current models…

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Tempting, and a good way to kickstart Tesla’s CPO program 😉

Seriously though, they could make an awful lot of bank by doing their own CPO, especially if they roll in continuation of the warranty into that $600/yr service program..

The electro-hydraulic brakes will also get rid of the annoying vacuum booster pump. You gotta go see the YouTube video from the Autopilot demo. I was giggling like a schoolgirl. So Awesome.

Good. Now they comply with the basic requirements for getting the driver assist part of the Euro NCAP approved.

So now they might get 5 stars on it if the pedestrian protection is good enough too.

It’s nice that Tesla are catching up and soon they will not have many things left to catch up on.

That’s a funny take, on the Most Advanced Vehicle on the Planet.

It sounds like this system is going to be standard on all Model Ss. Is that a Euro requirement for the safety rating?

It seems like some of these features are options on other vehicles, but maybe that is only for the US versions.

I wonder what Saleen think of this!

So when would one use the turn signal to change lanes? If you are going to start changing lanes, wouldn’t you just start using the steering wheel at that point?

no, before you do any moves with steering wheel, you must first put turn signal on and after you have blinked, then you will do the steering action.

What… and put down your caviar?