Tesla launches new two-motor model: the P85 D

Tesla launches new two-motor model: the P85 D

The world’s first dual electric motor production car has been announced by Tesla, titled the P85 D which Tesla notes is the fastest car on the road today, with 0 to 100km/hour in 3.2 seconds and achieves speeds of up to 250km/hour. The electric car maker notes that new safety and autopilot hardware is now standard on every new Model S.

The new Tesla Model S P85 D was unveiled in the US on October 10 as an all-wheel-drive version of the top-shelf Model S P85 sedan.

Conventional AWD vehicles distribute power to the wheels from a single engine driving a complex mechanical transmission system. By contrast, Tesla’s dual motor Model S comes with either the 60 kWh or 85 kWh battery, has a motor on each axle, digitally and independently controlling torque to the front and rear wheels.

Tesla’s dual motor propulsion system actually increases efficiency while delivering traction and control in slippery conditions. By splitting the delivery of current from the battery to each motor, the Model S 85D and 60D actually gain an additional 16 kilometres of driving range compared to their rear motor Model S counterparts.

Tesla’s latest model S P85 already outperforms gasoline-powered cars in the same class with its ability to deliver 100% of peak torque from a standing start. Tesla combined a new front drive unit and a P85 rear motor with the objective of outperforming one of the fastest supercars of all time, the McLaren F1.

With P85 D’s 0 to 100km/hour performance of 3.2 seconds, Tesla have now the fastest car on the road thanks to the combined performance of the P85 rear motor with an additional 50% of torque available from a new front drive unit.

The D series starts at a base of US$89,570 (NZ$114,490) for the 60D and, depending on the options added to the higher end P85D, that price can get up to US$170,000 (NZ$216,863). Not an easily obtainable purchase for most car buyers at even the lower end model. The Tesla S, for comparison, starts at US$70,000 (NZ$89,296).

Deliveries of P85 D begin in December for North America, to be followed 85D and 60D in February. Deliveries to Europe and Asia will follow in the months afterwards.

New safety features and autopilot

The launch of Dual Motor Model S coincides with the introduction of a standard hardware package that will enable Autopilot functionality. Every single Model S now rolling out of the factory includes a forward radar, 12 long range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense close to 5 metres around the car in every direction at all speeds, a forward looking camera, and a high precision, digitally controlled electric assist braking system.

Model S will be able to steer to stay within a lane, change lanes with the simple tap of a turn signal, and manage speed by reading road signs and using active, traffic aware cruise control. However, Tesla says it “will take several months for all autopilot features to be completed and uploaded to the cars.”

On its autopilot feature the Tesla website states: “Our goal with the introduction of this new hardware and software is not to enable driverless cars, which are still years away from becoming a reality. Our system is called Autopilot because it’s similar to systems that pilots use to increase comfort and safety when conditions are clear.”

“Tesla’s Autopilot is a way to relieve drivers of the most boring and potentially dangerous aspects of road travel – but the driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car,” it adds.

According to Tesla, with the new hardware you can now get the car to check your calendar in the morning (a feature introduced in Software v6.0), calculate travel time to your first appointment based on real time traffic data, automatically open the garage door with Homelink, carefully back out of a tight garage, and pull up to your door ready for your commute.

It can also warm or cool your car to your preferences and select your favourite morning news stream.

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