Earlier this evening, Tesla held an event in Hawthorne, California to unveil the hotly anticipated “D.” The Tesla D event was held at 7:00 p.m. local time, and was not live streamed. At this event, Tesla revealed that they are finally going to offer all-wheel drive cars. This could mean a big bump in Tesla sales in cold climates, where many drivers had been reluctant to buy an electric car that might not perform well in the snow. Here’s what you need to know about Tesla’s plans for AWD cars.
1. All-Wheel Drive Tesla Models Will Include 60D and 85D
The new “D” Tesla models will include AWD cars with designations like 60D and 85D. The “D” cars will have some overlap with the current Model S line, with the new and improved Model S known as the AWD P85D. USA Today explains how the somewhat confusing naming system works:
“The AWD cars will carry the designation D, and the new top version of the Model S, the AWD P85D, will be among the fastest-accelerating sedans ever: 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds, according to Tesla. Five or six seconds is considered very quick.”
So, to recap, that’s three “D” models. with the P85D being the top-of-the-line. The Verge reports the P85D will go on sale first, in December. The 60D and 85D won’t go on sale until February 2015.
2. Tesla Sales Are Expected to Increase in Cold Weather Climates
Earlier this year, Edmunds published an interesting map of the US that showed how popular Tesla cars were in various parts of the US. Warm states like California, Texas, and Florida lead in Tesla ownership, which makes sense given the previous lack of all-wheel drive. Curious about which states prohibit the sale of Tesla cars? Check out this helpful map from CNNMoney.
3. Some Tesla Fans Were Disappointed by the D Announcement
Check out the video above to see a roundup of all the rumors about the Tesla D.
Prior to the announcement, there were tons of rumors about what Tesla’s “D” would be. Some rumors suggested that Tesla had created a driverless car, while Business Insider suggested the “D” would stand for the Roman numeral D, which means 500. The “D” was rumored to be a Tesla capable of going 500 miles on a single charge. However, USA Today’s coverage of the announcement relayed that AWD Tesla cars would have a maximum range of 275 miles.
4. Tesla Is Also Adding New Smart Features
Tesla is also going to offer new safety features to new Tesla drivers, though these features can be retrofitted on to older Tesla models. These new features are controlled by 12 sensors that are all able to “see” 16 feet ahead.
Tesla owners can use a safety feature that ensures the car will move over a lane when the driver uses the turn signal. Additionally, there is another feature involving the camera. The Tesla car can now interpret speed limit signs, and automatically adjust your speed to match the posted speed limit.
5. Tesla Stocks Were Down Slightly
The Street wrote that Tesla shares dropped a bit today, closing down 0.88 percent to $257.01. Incidentally, the Street also had a great live blog of the event, with photos and lots of interesting insights. You can check it out here.