Tesla’s new Model D, or technically the Model S 60D, also available in 85D or P85D is not just a simple update to the Model S platform, it is a serious boost in electric vehicle EV credibility that will force traditional gasoline car makers to react.
Tesla Model D Ups The EV Ante
I don’t think many fully realize or appreciate the meaning of the Model D, nor do most understand what an incredible bump on the road this car is for the automotive industry. An electric sedan with exotic car performance at a fraction of the cost? Surely the automotive world is in upheaval.
The Tesla Model D specs in a nutshell
Tesla’s Model D, or the Dual Motor Model S, as the company calls it, comes with both 60 kWh and 85 kWh battery pack. The difference is that there is a motor on each axle, independently controlling torque to the front and rear wheels. My initial test ride proved that even with four people in the Model D, the performance was outstanding. The 0 to 60 happens in 3.2 seconds and the horsepower peaks at an astonishing 691! This is clearly beyond muscle car territory and well into exotics.
With a refined torque delivery, the Model D manages to improve its highway range with 10 extra miles, compared to normal Model S. It also innovates on the auto pilot theme, precursor of the driverless car.
The Tesla Model D Test Ride
Our initial test ride proved two things. One, that the Model D does accelerate like a bat out of hell. Two, that Tesla is much closer to an autonomous driving car than others.
The auto pilot, as Elon Musk explains, means Tesla is very close to offering a driverless car. In fact, it is the 85% of what a future Tesla Motors driverless car should be. Our initial ride showed it was mature and ready for primetime. The car recognized the speed limit on the street limit signs and adapted accordingly. It slowed down or sped up, according to what the signs showed, and according to real life obstacles, such as other cars or pedestrians. Musk says it works so well, it will achieve the same in a sand or snow storm.
Pull the blinker to the left and the Model D first checks to see if there are any obstacles, then precedes to change lanes. A car stops in front of you and you are fiddling with those gorgeous and generous displays? Not a problem. The Model D simply comes to a stop. Musk even joked you could park somewhere, forget where it is and the Model D will come to you. Don’t want to park in the garage? It will do it for you, soon enough.
Tesla Model D Price
Is the Tesla Model D the best car ever?
This is the multi-million dollar question. Tesla’s Model D raises the performance bar level so high, especially coming from an EV, that it has to leave other car makers scrambling. You can bet you will soon see a flurry of counter marketing attacks. Judging by the picture below, Tesla Motors has taken the right cue from Apple. This event was bigger and the crowd more worked up over the announcement than ever before. If there was an Applemania, welcome to Teslamania.