When Elon Musk said Tesla would be announcing “the D”, we expect some were disappointed when this turned out to stand for dual-motor. Some even went as far as to believe Tesla was announcing a new type of car or vehicle.
The new Model S is a big upgrade on the 2012 model. The biggest change is on the motor, the 2012 Model S had rear-wheel-drive with one motor, the new car offers dual-motor for the front and back wheels. Elon Musk said that unlike most all-wheel-drive gas cars, that are normally heavy and inefficient, the dual-motor in the Tesla “improves speed, acceleration and milage” through motor optimisation.
This new dual-motor maxes out the Model S speed at 155mph, compared to the 130mph on the 2012 model. Tesla has also improve the 0 to 60, now hitting 3.2 seconds, better than most super-cars that cost five times as much as the Model S. Tesla fans at the event got to drive around the new Model S, on the SpaceX launch bay.
In a move to keep ahead of the curve, Tesla also revealed the new Model S would feature auto-pilot controls. The Tesla Model S is capable of slowing down speeds by noticing speed signs, slowing down at traffic lights and moving into other lanes.
This is not a self-driving experience, according to Musk. The driver will always have to maintain control of the car. When on private property, however, Musk said the Model S can be “summoned” remotely, meaning the car can be woken up without the driver inside.
We would peg this as the version 0.1 of the self-driving car experience on all roads, unless states ban the new Model S, due to its self-driving capabilities. Google is still years away from fully completing the self-driving car and CEO Musk has already said he is not interested in having a full self-driving experience inside a car.
Tesla’s new Model S will cost $120,000 (£74,000), $14,600 more than the 2012 Model S.