Tesla has unveiled the world's first dual motor electric car and introduced a
standard hardware package that will enable autopilot functionality.
The Dual Motor Model S with a 85 kWh battery will be called P85D and has one electric motor on each axle, digitally and independently controlling torque to the front and rear wheels. By precisely splitting the delivery of current from the battery to each motor, the Model S P85D gains an additional 10 miles of highway driving range compared to its rear motor counterpart.
The performance of the new P85D is astonishing for an eco-friendly vehicle. The motors produce a combined total of 691 hp, enough to propel the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, outperforming even the McLaren F1, one of the greatest supercars of all time.
Every new Model S will also be equipped with a forward radar, 12 long range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense 16 feet around the car in every direction at all speeds, a forward looking camera, and a high precision, digitally controlled electric assist braking system. This hardware will in the future enable autopilot functionality, for example the ability 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.
In the long term, the Autopilot system could also enable the car to automatically pull up to the owner's door at a pre-determined time.
The Tesla P85D will be available in December in North America, while customers in Europe and Asia will need to wait a few more months.