Tesla Model S P85D Expected To Dash From 0 To 60 MPH In Under 3 Seconds On Airport Runway Tonight

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 53

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

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

Word is spreading prior to the official Tesla announcement set for 7 PM (pacific/10 eastern) tonight.

The latest on the Tesla Model S P85D (“about to unveil the D”) is that it will have blazing off-the-line acceleration.  We’re supposedly going to hear that the dual-motor, AWD Model S P85D will do the 0 to 60 MPH dash in easily under 4 seconds and perhaps even in less than 3 seconds.

The less-than-3-seconds would put the Model S P85D in supercar territory if it can be achieved.

Tesla’s big unveil will happen tonight at the Hawthorne Airport, where the P85D is expected to make use of the runway to show its mad levels of power, acceleration and performance.

Current Specs For Available Versions Of Model S

Current Specs For Available Versions Of Model S

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53 responses to "Tesla Model S P85D Expected To Dash From 0 To 60 MPH In Under 3 Seconds On Airport Runway Tonight"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    Holy Moly Andy.

    I want one.

    Just wish I had a spare 150K hanging around.

    1. Boris says:

      I want one too, but if the 3 seconds thing is true, what will the Model R have to do to impress? 1.8s?

    2. mhpr262 says:

      I think the base version will be under 100k.

  2. pjwood says:

    I think more people believe getting to the 2’s is about horsepower, without understanding that pretty much all the street cars that can do it, use 4 wheels.

    Here’s hoping.

    1. Scramjett says:

      Reminds me of the time the Top Gear crew took some Italian super cars (forgot which ones) to Vegas and were racing against modded cars on a drag strip. The modded cars handily blew the Italian super cars out of the water and when the Top Gear crew asked one of the modders, the modder said something about the difference between AWD and rear-wheel drive. Apparently AWD was used on all of the modded cars and is much faster.

      If the P85D is a dual motor Model S, I think we’ll see some Model S vs (Insert Car) drag races revisited.

      1. LuStuccc says:

        AWD electric and gas are much different.
        Cannot imagine two bulky ICE in a car. With electric motors, you have direct power to the whells, no long shaft or differencial to loose efficiency.
        Probably no rage loss either.
        Que du bon!

        1. Scramjett says:

          I agree. An electric AWD vs gas AWD with similar HP numbers would probably tilt towards the electric AWD. Especially off the line where you have the torque of TWO electric motors working for you!

    2. RDOCA says:

      The new Vette ZO6 is said to do 2.95 sec and only RW drive.

      1. Brian says:

        A single counter-example does not make a good argument against “pretty much all”… Not to mention that 2.95s is just every so barely under 3s.

        Now think of how that Z06 could have done if it took advantage of all four wheels!

        1. RDOCA says:

          So true that 650 HP is getting to the limit with 2 tires but it is a new engineering task to get power to the front. Maybe 2 electric motors in front would be best. Maybe in the mid engine model upcoming.

        2. nate says:

          Yet most race cars are rwd, because the time launching from 0-60 is a small percentage of the race. 0-60 is important stat for some kind of bragging rights, so awd and launch control are helpful tools for that stat which is overemphasized measure of performance.

          1. Brian says:

            I agree that 0-60 is overemphasized. The only racing it truly shines in is straight drag racing.

            I wonder why most race cars are RWD. Is this because of the additional complexity/weight/inefficiency of making an ICEV AWD? If so, we may see electric racers moving to AWD. It would also be interesting to see hybrid racers with small but powerful electric motors driving the front wheels.

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              It is mostly for weight and handling.

              RWD can give you a better 50-50 or 40-60 split in weight distribution. Also, RWD will always be lighter than 4WD/AWD. The addtional grip benefit coming out of the corners are less than the penalty of the additional weight.

              In Electric cars, the penalty can be very small…

          2. Nix says:

            In the real world, it is hard to get in a full lap on “street courses” (daily commute to work) without having to stop for red lights.

            Repeated 0-40 or 0-50 is pretty common on my daily drive, if I manage to be at the front of the line when the light turns green.

  3. David W says:

    Hmm. An empty airport runway would also be a great place to show off autonomous driving.

    1. Scramjett says:

      That’s what I’m thinking. It would be difficult to get permission to demo driver assist in real traffic so you could set something up at an airport.

      The other thing that makes me lean DA is Elon has talked about that but hasn’t said anything about dual motors or AWD beyond the Model X. That’s not to say he won’t, it’s still possible. I just think it more unlikely.

  4. Doug B says:

    Holy Cow, its the Tesla flying car!

    1. Doug B says:

      “D” for dual, but not two motors, but two ways of operating, road and air.
      He did mention that a flying car was possible…

  5. kdawg says:

    Is this going to be the latest “Model S vs. ” video, and Elon is going to race a jet down the runway?

    1. Josh Bryant says:

      I definitely see a race, but I don’t think it would be a jet. I could see them drag out the Audi they used for the battery swap though. Possibly a 911, Stingray, i8, or something like that.

      It will be dark though, so maybe lighting for an entire 1/4 mile?

      1. Spec9 says:

        Go after the German sports sedans, that is there market. Not the V8 Corvette crowd.

  6. Alaa says:

    If this is true then I want a used 85kw that does 0 to 60 in 5.4s

    1. Josh Bryant says:

      Get in line (I was there first). I actually think this will trigger more P85 trade-ins than anything else.

      There are plenty of Model S owners out there that won’t be able to handle the fact that there is a faster version now.

      1. pjwood says:

        +1 Having recently poured over the P85 market, a P85D will just add to those who have to have the most-optioned, best’est Tesla. “Price retention”, isn’t what the ‘P’ stands for.

        What’s pathetic is any gasers trying to keep up will spend three times as much trying (only to fail). Snicker.

        1. kdawg says:

          “You got the wrong Model S, silly-head.”

          1. Josh Bryant says:


            The D better be available to everyone with deposits waiting on Nov or Dec delivery. Otherwise there will be a rush of cancellations.

      2. Josh Bryant says:

        Just a note, cars dot com has been showing ~50 used Model S for sale this week. It will be interesting to see where that number is by Monday.

  7. Nix says:

    The kill videos of P85D’s absolutely demolishing sedans in the same price range will be epic.

    Putting this same drivetrain into a smaller, lighter 2-door Gen III based chassis car would be insane.

    1. Spec9 says:

      And we’ll get to read all the excuses about how the gas driver didn’t properly use their “launch control” . . . some gizmo to help properly accelerate their arcane 20th century ICE beast off the line.

      1. Nix says:


  8. Kosh says:

    “D” is for “Dive” – They have melded a model S with the James Bond amphibious car…….is there water at the end of that runway?


  9. ffbj says:

    I wonder if D for Delta ever came up? In the sense that Delta in engineering speak and otherwise stands for a change in value.
    A big change in other words, and that’s where the magnitude quip comes in.
    I am still amused by Musk’s aw shucks attitude, I guess I let the cat out of the bag, again, demeanor.
    In some ways it’s like he is teasing his kids. We are going to do something and it going to be great. We are the kids, in this case.

  10. Alaa says:

    I would prefer D for double range!

  11. Foo says:

    Maybe they will unveil the new “Douche” version, available in lots of terrible colors, with super-dark tinted windows, extra bling, and ugly rims. It will also come with a newly developed “traction instability” feature to ensure that, when peeling out at a light, the vehicle will immediately impact the nearest retaining wall.

    1. Big Solar says:

      HaHaHa! Good one!

    2. Scramjett says:


    3. kdawg says:

      And the interior is in “Scumbag Steve” hat-plaid.

  12. Spec9 says:

    Sweet! Tesla is doing their main job of showing that EVs can be GREAT cars that are beautiful and high performance.

    And I hope a zillion really rich Tesla owners turn in their current Model S cars in exchange for the new P85D model so I can maybe pick up a used Model S.

  13. Anthony says:

    Under 3 seconds? Wow.

    You thought that Tesla grid was wide before…

    1. Foo says:

      And the grin!

    2. Rob Stark says:

      0-60 in ~4 seconds = Tesla grin

      0-60 in ~3 seconds = Tesla (terrified teeth-baring) sneer.

  14. EV says:

    0-60 in under 3 seconds using NO GAS? …

    Why exactly would I or anyone be interested in any other car?


  15. JRMW says:

    Although it’s very cool, I personally don’t care too much about 0-60 in under 3 seconds vs 0-60 in 4.2 seconds. They’re both super fast! But it is great EV marketing, making Auto Magazine dudes eat crow about how terrible EVs are.

    The increased performance with AWD is no surprise to many of us. It’s one of many reasons why AWD is far more popular (3x) than RWD.

    Instead of 0-60 stats, I care about 0 to *moving* in 12-18 inches of fresh snow. An AWD Tesla with Winter Tires should be able to handle all but the worst of inclines even in a bad snowstorm, unlike a RWD Tesla with Winter Tires.

    the dual motors means that people in the Frozen lands can finally buy a Tesla with confidence, knowing that yes, indeed, it can handle Winter.

    The extra clearance of the X will give us Eskimos even more reason to buy Tesla

    1. Brian says:

      You make this argument a lot, but I want to point out that the owners in upstate NY (Buffalo, Syracuse), push through a lot more snow than you’d need to. And they’ve been doing it for a few years now.

      You have us beat for cold, but we win hands-down for snow: 132″ last winter here. I’ll take the snow over the extreme cold anyday.

      1. JRMW says:

        so true.
        I have never claimed that Tesla (and other EV manufacturers) should make AWD cars for MN alone, or even that we have the worst winters or the most snow (we don’t).

        Instead, I’ve claimed that a huge percentage of people across the North desire (and may even need) AWD and won’t consider RWD. These tens of millions of Americans do not have acceptable EV and PHEV options. It is a glaring market absence. The EV/PHEV market has been too LA/SF focused.

        Thus I openly push for AWD vehicles, and even SUVs. For me all of my Eskimo-like colleagues. Like you, my fellow Snowman!

        You know what many people do not. Here in Minneapolis we get frigid cold, but not as much snow, Usually 40-50 inches per year, I think our record snowfall was around 85 inches over a season. Way less than y’all.

        The problem (that has happened two years in a row) is that we went months without it getting above freezing. Thus it snowed and snowed, and it just got all packed down. They couldn’t keep up with plowing. It never melt. Thus the snow built up so much we had nowhere to put it, and there were deep ruts in the streets, and low clearance cars scraped on the snowpack. There was like 12-24 inches of snow on the ground that cars had to navigate. It was TERRIBLE.

        Few RWD cars had a chance, snow tires or not. Many FWD cars had trouble. Even our AWD Infiniti G35x had trouble because it kept scraping the snowpack. My evil AWD SUV had no problem whatsoever. By the end of the winter it’s all we could really drive.

        I’m a native Californian. So I hate winter of ALL types and HATE everything under 55 degrees. I stay in Mpls because I love the people, love the city (March through November), and have a great life. I guess it’s nice when the worst thing about my life is that it is cold outside.

        But my life would be even better if I could buy an AWD EV or PHEV.

    2. nate says:

      Off the line acceleration from 0 is a small part of driving. There are also performance and handling downsides to awd too. It is great for bragging rights, but 0-60 is an overemphasized performance stat. If not, why isn’t awd seen more in motorsports?

    3. Nix says:

      All I know is that cars with AWD don’t have to put chains on when they turn the lights on that say “Chain Law In Effect” on the interstate. RWD and FWD cars and trucks do have to put chains on.

      Whether the AWD matters or not, not having to deal with chains is enough reason alone to own an AWD in my state.

      1. JRMW says:

        anybody who lives where there is real snow/ice knows that AWD beats the pants off of FWD and AWD.

        it’s the people who live in areas that get a couple of inches here or there, or where it snows and melts right away, that say “RWD is fine in winter”

        FWD with dedicated winter tires will usually do the trick, but once in a while it can be dicey. AWD with dedicated winter tires makes winter easy-peasy in all but the most terrible of storms. Add in the clearance of an SUV and you’re set for all but the biggest of blizzards.

        Most of the Tesla YouTube videos regarding snow driving have this tiny amount of nothingness on the ground and they say “look how good it handles!”

        But there are several videos done where you can see that Tesla’s RWD ability is nowhere near an AWD.

        For instance, this video:
        Two people showing how great Tesla is in snow. there’s like 2 inches of snow tops. Tesla gets stuck and has to back up to go forward at 0:55
        (probably partly a performance tire issue but the RWD isn’t helping)

        second video:
        A minimal nothingness of snow. Tesla sliding all over the place on the highway. DANGEROUS. Compare the Tesla to the car right in front of it, or the driver in the car taking the Video of Tesla. (The bigger problem is probably doesn’t have winter tires).

        But I’ll tell you what: our AWD car NEVER slides like that. Ever. Even with crappy All Seasons


  16. DonH says:

    Norwegians Rejoice!

  17. Boris says:

    OK, so this announcement starts at 7pm pacific time right. Not a great time for Tesla’s European fans, why can’t Tesla announce these things in the morning, so both east coast and europe gets to listen/watch too…

  18. George Parrott says:

    I DO have one of the S85 Model S in glorious multi-coat red that will get quickly replaced with a (max battery) S-D version. There is quick and then there is crazy quick. Since I have a friend who is a Corvette Z06 owner, I have this compulsion to own….crazy quick. AWD and at least 600 hp in a “performance version AWD” and I am again donating to the Musk Children’s Education Fund.

  19. ThombDBhomb says:

    I hope it is a working hyperloop

  20. Priusmaniac says:

    Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands’ DUT12 Formula Electric car sets 0-100 km/h time of 2.15 seconds. So a likewise 4WD Model S should be able to get under 3 seconds.