Tesla is a company that’s been on the forefront of a very niche part of car manufacturing for a long time: electric vehicles. It’s made several versions of its flagship “Models” over the past few years and even went so far as to release its patents on electric car manufacture to help seed the marketplace with competition and therefore more customers. That doesn’t mean it’s done developing its own vehicles though and this weekend it unveiled the Model D, a car that has better range and performance than the model S that came before it.
“This car is nuts. It’s like taking off from a carrier deck. It’s just bananas,” said CEO Elon Musk, in his description of the new car. It features a 0-60 time of just 3.2 seconds and can hit top speeds over 155 miles per hour, which shows that he’s not kidding. It even does all of that in the same chassis as the standard Model S sedan.
While the Model D doesn’t look particularly different from the outside though, quite a lot of engineering changes were made to give it the performance of a supercar. It features the standard Model S engine in the back, giving power to the rear wheels, but now it also features a secondary motor for the front wheels, making this an all wheel drive car, as well as an incredibly fast one.
For all that extra performance and weight, you’d think that the Model D would have a worse range, which is of course often the big problem for electric cars. However that’s simply not the case, as the Model D 60kWh version can travel a full 225 miles before requiring a recharge. That will depend on how you drive it of course, but it’s an impressive figure, giving it just over 15 more miles to the charge than the standard Model S.
To help ease in the fact that this car costs a lot more than Tesla would ideally like to sell it for, it also comes with some added safety features, including several autonomous ones. It comes with adaptive cruise control, which means the car will automatically slow down or speed up depending on the distance to the car in-front of you on the motorway. On top of that, the car is able to read speed signs, keeping you under the limit at all times to prevent accidents or being pulled over.
It even comes with autonomous emergency braking, so if you’re heading for a collision and you haven’t hit the brakes, the Tesla Model D will do it for you. These features will in the future be combined with a camera that is able to see through snow and fog, giving you better visibility in bad weather conditions and even a 360 degree ultrasonic sonar.
Unfortunately all of this does drive the price up, with the low end 60kWh version setting buyers back £44,000, while the top end 85 kWh version goes for £53,000 at the top end.