Leading up to Tesla Motors‘ “D” announcement, the press, fans, and Elon Musk’s critics could not stop speculating about what the company was planning to unveil. But after Thursday night’s event at California’s Hawthorne Airport, plenty of jaws were dropped and more questions asked, as Tesla unveiled a new high-end Model S trim, dubbed the Tesla Model S P85D, that truly blurs the lines between electric car and supercar.
If you didn’t have time to follow the important details, here are the three most important facts from the announcement:
This alone makes the vehicle an amazing feat for Tesla as a car company. The new dual motor design has a 221hp front-mounted motor and 470hp rear motor that gives the P85D 691 total horsepower, which is almost as much as Dodge’s SRT Challenger and Charger Hellcat.
But where the electric P85D beats the Hellcat is 0-60 mph time. The standard Model S P85 will do it in 4.2 seconds, which is impressive on its own; however, the new Tesla Model S P85D will do it in just 3.2 seconds. That’s faster than the Challenger Hellcat’s 3.5 second time.
During the unveiling, Musk said that the all-wheel drive system in the new Model S P85D was unlike any out there, comparing it a digital system and others to analog because they’re mechanically linked. “You can dynamically shift the power from front to rear at the millisecond level,” he stated.
And because the Model S P85D has a front and rear motor, this dynamic shift in power means it does not have to suffer any drop in efficiency.
It Comes with “Autopilot” Driving Features
The autonomous driving features announced at the Model S P85D event may actually be more exciting than the power, depending on your level of car and technology enthusiasm.
Essentially, drivers of the P85D will be able to let the car’s autopilot system take over and drive itself. Using radar, camera, and ultrasonic sonar, the Model S will be able to sense where other cars are, read signs, and make intelligent driving decisions based on traffic.
Musk did joke that you still need to be driving and cannot fall asleep at the wheel just yet.
Pricing Starts at $120,000
With a starting price of just $120,000, the Tesla Model S P85D is actually priced alongside cars like the Audi R8 and S8, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, BMW M6, and Jaguar XJ.
All great cars, but with all Tesla is offering, where would you put your money in 2015?