New Tesla Model S Features 'Autopilot' and Supercar-Like Acceleration
A new model with face-melting acceleration and hi-tech safety features.
By ALYSSA NEWCOMB
October 10, 2014, 6:14 PM
• 6 min read
-- It's not quite the self-driving car that Tesla fans were hoping for, but the company's new souped-up autopilot system is pretty close.
Tesla founder Elon Musk has unveiled that and other safety features that take the hassle out of driving.
That means a car so smart that it can safely navigate between lanes with a simple press of a turn signal, sense pedestrians, adhere to speed limit signs and even pull into a spot in a parking garage.
"This car is nuts. It's like taking off from a carrier deck," Musk said at an event held late Thursday night in Los Angeles at a municipal airport. The unveiling was held at the same place where Musk's commercial space firm, SpaceX, is based.
"It's like having your own personal roller coaster that you can use at any time," Musk said of the company's latest electric car.
While it may seem tempting, Musk said drivers can't safely drift to sleep on their journey.
Musk hinted in an unintentionally hilarious tweet last week that it was "about time to unveil the D and something else," causing the Internet's imagination to run wild.
It turns out the D stands for dual motor, with engines in the front and back powering both sets of wheels, giving the car even more control.
The company said a dual-motor version of the Model S, called the P85D, can reach a top speed of 155 mph without sacrificing efficiency. The dual motor vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, putting its power on par with exotic supercars.
"You'll be able to choose three settings, which is normal, sport and insane," Musk joked.
Buyers can begin receiving the P85D in December. The other dual motor model S sedans, the 60D and 85D, are expected to hit the road early next year.