Expect a surge in Tesla stock today. Tesla’s “D” announcement did not disappoint. The all-wheel-drive Tesla Model S P85 goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. If you don’t follow such stats, that’s insanely fast. But that’s not even the best part, imho.
The Tesla D (with the D standing for Dual Motor Drive) also gets better traction and adds 10 miles of range. That last bit is quite surprising, as Chris DeMorro points out. “Normally all-wheel drive hurts fuel economy on conventional cars, but Tesla engineers have developed an all-wheel drive system that actually improves the acceleration, traction, and efficiency of the Model S.”
But that’s just the beginning.
The Tesla D comes with “a new braking system that Musk claims is among the most advanced in the world.”
The Tesla D includes an advanced “lane changer” feature that moves your car into the next lane when the coast is clear, following your initial trigger — turning on the turn signal.
Another semi-autonomous feature of the Tesla D is that is reads road signs and keeps you within the speed limit. (Though, given that traffic often flows ~10 miles above the speed limit, I wonder if that is or will eventually be as advanced as Google’s system.)
The Tesla D will also keep itself within the lane by following the lines on the road, and can very gently stop itself by keeping an eye on where the car in front of it is.
Elon Musk also noted the Tesla team was working on “self-parking technology that will let you get out of the car and before it parks itself, as well as a feature with the calendar app that will have the Model S drive itself to a pre-determined destination to pick you up when you need it.”
Back to the speed, getting to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds matches a McLaren F1 hypercar — which is the car Tesla Motors CEO, Chairman, and Chief Product Architect Elon Musk said they were aiming to match — and is faster than a Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 or a Porsche Panamera Turbo. It’s also ~1 second faster than the Tesla Model S P85+.
But it’s the semi-autonomous driving features that I think many will find most exciting. Plus, all Tesla cars rolling out of the factory now have the semi-autonomous driving capabilities!
Interestingly, I put the title in at the beginning, but just as I am wrapping this post up, I see this Elon Musk quote from a reddit thread: “it’s like your personal roller coaster… 3.2 sec 0 to 60… 3 settings: normal, sport and insane.”