At long last, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has finally unveiled the mysterious D: a faster all-wheel-drive version of the electric Model S sedan. Earlier this month, Musk hinted about the new model in a cryptic message on Twitter that said it was “about time to unveil the D and something else.” The letter “D” stands for the new model’s dual-motor system, which will power the front wheels and give the car a significant boost in speed.
In certain markets an all-wheel-drive vehicle is more ideal to get through snow and anything else the weather can throw. Because of that, Tesla has unveiled a new version of the Model S with two electric motors, one on each axle, which effectively turns it into an all-wheel-drive vehicle. There will be three versions available: 60D, 85D and P85D. Traditional all-wheel-drive vehicles are usually less efficient than their counterparts that only send power to one set of wheels however, the all-wheel-drive Model S will be quite the opposite.
The all-wheel-drive Model S is not only faster, but also has a slightly longer driving range. Since all four wheels are sending power to the ground, the top spec P85D all-wheel-drive Model S reaches 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, a full second faster than the standard rear-wheel-drive version. Its driving range has also been increased by about 10 miles. Elon Musk believes that the all-wheel-drive Model S is “a huge improvement” and that it is “taking the technology to the next level.”
In addition to the new all-wheel-drive Model S, Tesla also unveiled new safety technology like Lane Departure Warning and a new system that uses up to 12 sensors to read speed limit signs to adjust the vehicle’s speed. The all-wheel-drive Model S will go on sale in December.