Tesla Model S goes from fast to super fast with the addition of the D - w/video


Tesla's electric vehicles are pretty amazing on many levels and the Model S five-door sedan is a beautiful thing to behold (living in an LA suburb as I do, you see them everywhere...especially on the Westside). But the good folks at Tesla have taken the Model S to the next level with the D Series or Dual Motor cars. The Dual Motor cars have two electric motors (one in front, one in back) over the axles for improved power, traction, general performance, and handling. In fact, the Model S P85D (Performance version, 85 kWh battery, Dual Motor) will beat many supercars in a race to 60 mph (the McLaren F1 was the performance benchmark during development). The Model S Dual Motor cars will also benefit from the all-wheel drive nature of the vehicles in the wet and slippery stuff. The Dual Motor set-up does not diminish battery charge and in some cases even extends range (200+ mile range is a Tesla feature). The P85 Model Ss will be the first to get the Dual Motor treatment with the first deliveries expected in December. The 60 kWh and (non P) 85 kWh models will offer the "D" treatment after the first of the year and roll out to other markets after that. Tesla's new Autopilot software is being delivered at the same time. Autopilot has many helpful safety features like traffic-based navigation, commute advice, remote start, power management functions, and more. You can even name your car. Future updates to this software will accomplish amazing feats using the car's numerous sensors and cameras. For more info, check out the releases after the jump that give more specifics about the Dual Motor set-up and the new Software v6.0. There is also a video of the Dual Motor Model S intro. Enjoy this taste of the future that's here today!

Source: Tesla - Extensive press releases/Tesla blog posts, pics, and video after the "read more" jump.



Press Release/Tesla Blog Post:
Dual Motor Model S and Autopilot


By The Tesla Motors Team

Yesterday, we unveiled the world’s first dual electric motor production car and announced that new safety and autopilot hardware is standard on every new Model S.

Conventional all wheel drive vehicles distribute power to the wheels from a single engine driving a complex mechanical transmission system. By contrast, Dual Motor Model S, which comes with either the 60 kWh or 85 kWh battery, has a motor on each axle, digitally and independently controlling torque to the front and rear wheels. The result is unparalleled control of traction, with instantaneous response to the motors giving drivers precisely controlled performance in all conditions. With its digital torque controls and low center of gravity, Dual Motor Model S has the most capable road holding and handling of any vehicle ever produced.

Where gasoline-powered all wheel drive cars sacrifice efficiency in return for all weather traction, Tesla’s Dual Motor propulsion system actually increases efficiency while delivering exceptional traction and control in slippery conditions. By precisely splitting the delivery of current from the battery to each motor, the Model S 85D and 60D actually gain an additional 10 miles of highway driving range compared to their rear motor Model S counterparts.

Consistent with our mission, we also wanted to demonstrate that an electric car can soundly beat gasoline cars on efficiency and pure performance. The Model S P85 already outperforms gasoline-powered cars in the same class with its ability to deliver 100 percent of peak torque from a standing start. We combined our new front drive unit and our P85 rear motor with the objective of outperforming one of the greatest supercars of all time, the McLaren F1. With P85D’s 0 to 60 mph performance of 3.2 seconds, we have succeeded.

The P85D combines the performance of the P85 rear motor with an additional 50 percent of torque available from our new front drive unit. The result is the fastest accelerating four-door production car of all time – while remaining one of the most efficient cars on the road. That’s a combination that can only be achieved by an electric car. Not only is the P85D a match for the McLaren F1, but it also doesn’t need a professional driver to achieve optimum performance. Just plant your foot and go.

Customers can order a Dual Motor Model S today. Deliveries of P85D begin in December for North America, to be followed 85D and 60D in February. Deliveries to Europe and Asia will follow in the months afterwards.

New Safety Features and Autopilot

The launch of Dual Motor Model S coincides with the introduction of a standard hardware package that will enable autopilot functionality. Every single Model S now rolling out of the factory includes a forward radar, 12 long range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense 16 feet around the car in every direction at all speeds, a forward looking camera, and a high precision, digitally controlled electric assist braking system.

Building on this hardware with future software releases, we will deliver a range of active safety features, using digital control of motors, brakes, and steering to avoid collisions from the front, sides, or from leaving the road.

Model S will be able to steer to stay within a lane, change lanes with the simple tap of a turn signal, and manage speed by reading road signs and using active, traffic aware cruise control. It will take several months for all Autopilot features to be completed and uploaded to the cars.

Our goal with the introduction of this new hardware and software is not to enable driverless cars, which are still years away from becoming a reality. Our system is called Autopilot because it’s similar to systems that pilots use to increase comfort and safety when conditions are clear. Tesla’s Autopilot is a way to relieve drivers of the most boring and potentially dangerous aspects of road travel – but the driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car.

The Autopilot hardware opens up some exciting long term possibilities. Imagine having your car check your calendar in the morning (a feature introduced in Software v6.0), calculate travel time to your first appointment based on real time traffic data, automatically open the garage door with Homelink, carefully back out of a tight garage, and pull up to your door ready for your commute. Of course, it could also warm or cool your car to your preferences and select your favorite morning news stream.

The introduction of this hardware is just the first step for Autopilot in Model S. We will continue to develop new capabilities and deliver them through over-the-air software updates, keeping our customers at the forefront of driving technology.

Other Product Updates

Our commitment to continuous improvement extends to other features of Model S, and we have recently made several updates to the car. The following features are either in production or will be delivered with Dual Motor Model S (as indicated).
  • Seat comfort improvements and taller headrests for whiplash protection
  • Improvements for a quieter cabin
  • Wider rear door opening
  • Electrically opening, self-closing charge port door on Dual Motor Model S (delivered with Dual Motor Model S)
  • Increased visor size and larger vanity mirror
  • Parcel shelf and front trunk cargo net now standard
  • Air ionizer and carbon filter for cabin air purity
  • Updated steering column control module
  • Updates to Alcantara interior trim, such as wrapped roof bow and top pad

Press Release/Tesla Blog Post:
Software v6.0

By The Tesla Motors Team 

Today, we’re announcing details about new software being delivered to Model S customers through an over-the-air update. The new features further personalize the Model S ownership experience and help make the car smarter about owners’ individual preferences. This is the latest in a series of software updates issued since we launched Model S in 2012, enabling new features such as hill start assist, smart suspension controls, and energy saving sleep mode.

The Software v6.0 update introduces traffic-based navigation and commute advice, provides an in-car view of daily schedules, enables location-based air suspension settings, and allows owners to name their Model S and start it remotely using their mobile phone.

New features include:

Traffic-Based Navigation (BETA)
The Model S navigation system will be a lot smarter. Navigation will now provide route suggestions based on real-time traffic and calculate estimated travel times accordingly. It will also update dynamically as traffic conditions change throughout your trip. This feature will also take into account traffic data shared by other Tesla vehicles on the road.

Commute Advice
Navigation isn’t particularly useful when commuting between home and work because most of us usually know the way. But if traffic has an effect on a typical route, it’s helpful to know in advance. Now, Model S will monitor traffic before you even start your weekday commute and alert you with a pop-up message on the 17-inch touchscreen when a faster route is available.

Calendar (BETA)
Model S will synch with your smartphone to bring you a large in-car view of your daily schedule. If you’ve already set locations for particular events, you don’t have to worry about re-entering the details into your car’s navigation system. Instead, you can just tap on the event in your calendar to bring up route directions.

Remote Start
You will have the ability to start your Model S using only your smartphone. This function, which is particularly useful if you forget your key fob, will be accessible through the Tesla mobile app and requires you to input your password for each use.

Location-Based Air Suspension
If you regularly drive on roads or driveways that require higher than normal clearance, your Model S will remember where you previously selected high ride heights and automatically adjust the air suspension at those locations. This feature will be especially handy for people who have steep driveways. (Model S must be equipped with air suspension for this function to work.)

Name Your Car
You can now make your Model S nickname official. The car’s name will appear in the Tesla mobile app and in the About Your Tesla section on the touchscreen.

Power Management Options
A new power management option will put Model S into energy saving mode at night to help maximize available energy. There’ll also be an option that allows the Tesla mobile app to always connect immediately to the car, while still saving power.

This software update represents Tesla’s commitment to improving Model S for customers even long after it has left the assembly line. With each update, Model S becomes more attuned and responsive to its owner’s needs without requiring excessive user input. We will continuously fine-tune the software and work on new features in response to customer feedback.