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Tesla Unveils AWD Model, Automated Driving Tech

October 10, 2014

Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors.
Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors.

Tesla Motors will produce an all-wheel-drive dual-motor version of its Model S battery-electric sedan and add several autonomous driving features including an "autopilot" mode, CEO Elon Musk announced at a Thursday event.

The announcement came a week after Musk's cryptic tweet that he would "unveil the D and something else." He made the announcement at a packed event in Hawthorne, Calif.

Musk said the "D" stands for dual motor and said the all-wheel drive model will have a motor at both ends of the chassis to increase control, reports Reuters.

The Dual Motor Model S comes in either a 60kWh or 85kWh battery.

The new model gives its drivers 10 additional miles of highway driving range compared to their rear motor Model S counterparts. However, the P85D promises the performance of the P85 rear motor with an additional 50 percent of torque available from the new front drive unit.

The company boasts about outperforming the McLaren F1. The P85 can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds.

Customers can order the new Dual Motor Model S now. Deliveries of P85D begin at the end of this year for North America and Europe and Asia will have to wait a few months longer before customers can get their hands on the new car.

The autopilot feature includes a long-range radar, 360-degree ultrasonic sonar, and image recognition so the vehicle can recognize stop signs and pedestrians. The Model S will be able to steer to stay within a lane, change lanes by putting on the turn signal and read road signs so it doesn't go beyond the speed limit.  

The company stated in a press release that the Autopilot feature is just the start of the driver technology Tesla will provide its customers. 

Beyond the most attractive updates are several that Tesla has added to the Model S. The car has a wider rear door opening, a quieter cabin, electrically opening and self-closing chart port door on the Dual Motor Model S and taller headrests.

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