Sunday, December 21, 2014


At a glitzy event at the airport in Hawthorne, California Thursday, Tesla rolled out the long-awaited “D.”

The “D” is the insignia on a new line of cars that have dual motors (the “D” stands for “dual”) and feature all-wheel-drive. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the dual motors will improve the efficiency of the cars and add as much as 10 miles of range on one (electrical) charge.

One of the D's most prominent features is semi-autonomous driving capability. A network of sensors keep the Model S in its lane and adjust the vehicle's speed by scanning signs for the posted speed limit. The D's cameras let the Model S park itself, change lanes while the vehicle's in traffic, and detect pedestrians. The D upgrade also provides automatic braking -- not just in case of emergencies, but under normal driving conditions, too.

The other thing to note about the D is its unique transmission, which adds a motor to the sedan's front axle and allows the Model S to shift from rear-wheel-drive to all-wheel-drive in mere milliseconds. Not only does that boost the car's 0-to-60 mph time to a staggering 3.2 seconds, This also turned out to be roughly accurate. it also makes the car more efficient. The range of the lowest-priced 60 kWh Model S jumps from 208 miles to 225 miles, while the 85 kWh and P85D models tick up from 260 miles to 270 miles.

Of course, all that power and efficiency come at a cost. The 60 kWh model that's normally $71,075 goes for $75,060 with the D package. The top-of-the-line P85 excite an electric charge super car.  from $105,560 to $120,180.

Don't feel like shelling out the extra dough? No worries. Even non-D versions of the Model S will come equipped with the autonomous features mentioned above. In fact, vehicles manufactured over the past few weeks already have them installed.

Tesla's D package for the Model S is expected to go on sale this December. For a look at the technology in action and the unveiling,

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