Last week Elon Musk held an event where he presented new features of Tesla’s flagship Model S – dual motor powertrain and Autopilot system. Both innovations are pretty impressive and putting the company a couple of steps ahead of its competitors. So let’s talk more details using new Tesla Model S P85D as an example.
The first update is front-mounted mid-size electric motor that increases the output of “normal” versions by almost 200 hp and “Performance” gets 230 hp increase. Combine that with 400+ hp rear motor in P85 and the end result is just staggering. “The target that we had for performance was to try to meet the acceleration of McLaren F1” says Musk. That justifies 0-100 kph time of 3.2 seconds. Although the top speed of British hypercar remains out of Tesla’s reach, Model S now can travel at up to 250 kph thanks to its total output of 700 hp!
Another astonishing fact – dual-motor version has actually a tad more range than the base one because of more effective way of using electric motors and switching power from front to rear. This all-wheel-drive system is fully digital, thus fancy torque-vectoring Gt-R style traction management can be run simply through wires without the need of complicated shafts and differentials.
The second “star” of the night was Autopilot. Many automakers are claiming similar systems in development and some early versions have already hit the market. However, when those are mostly “traffic jam assists” that will do little steering and crawl and brake, Tesla’s solution looks far more sophisticated. It is based on four sources of data – long-range forward-looking radar, front-mounted camera (also acts as supplement in case radar fails) with sign-recognition, ultrasonic 360-degree sonar and GPS navigation with live tracking of traffic. This allows to keep your hands off the wheel and feet from off the pedals and to let the car even do some maneuvering and change lanes judging on info from various sensors.
The cherry on top of the Autopilot is self-parking system. Not only it can do parallel parking for you, but you also can program the car to park itself in your garage (of course it’ll open the garage door itself) or even schedule a car delivery to your front door to get to work, for example, with all your presets like aircon and music on. The next step is supposed to be car’s ability to connect to the charger without any side assistance. Musk said that all Model S have hardware for Autopilot so even already produced cars can get this feature.
All those goodies come at a price. Second motor for P85 will add $14 600 and Autopilot will require another $4000 worth of investments if you buy one in the US. So to get Tesla Model S P85D with new features will set you up a price tag of about $114 00.
Check the video from the event below.