Tesla is determined to bring the world automated driving and took it’s first step Thursday by unveiling a new electric Model S Sedan that has the ability to park itself and detect dangerous situations.
A new option said to be available for the Model S includes all-wheel drive, which might sound like a good way to lose efficiency in an electric sedan, but Tesla has time the sedan going from zero to 60 without compromising any of efficiency at all. This puts the Model S in a class with the quickest production cars on the road.
The Model S will come in three new “D” trim lines. The base model 60D, mid-level option 85D and the fully-loaded, top-of-the-line P85D. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted last week that the D would stand for “Dual-motor.”
As explained by Musk, the front and rear motors will all a form of all-wheel drive that is more dynamic and sophisticated than the mechanical system found in conventional, single-engine and all-wheel-drive vehicles. The end product will be a more efficient powertrain that can transfer power between the two axles which will yield better handling, acceleration and a greater ranger at top speeds.
Musk also promised his Twitter “something else” in the unveiling of the new Model S, which turned out to be an “A.” or autopilot mode, and it’s currently being included in cars that are rolling off the assembly line today. The autopilot system includes a forward facing radar with ultrasonic sensors on all sides that detect “even soft objects, like a small child or even a dog,” Musk said. The finished product is a car that is capable of staying in its lane, adjust speed to the flow of traffic or apply the brakes to avoid collision without the driver initiating any action.
Pricing for the new Model S weren’t discussed in the reveal, but one Tesla representative said the top-tier P85D would like reach dealers in December 2014 and that pricing would be available on the Tesla website.