By on October 10, 2014

Tesla P85D Backside

You’ve waited for this, now here it comes: Tesla is dropping in a second electric motor up front for more power and better weight distribution in the Model S.

Its name? D.

Road & Track reports all three dual-motor models of the S — 60D, 85D and P85D — will have a 118-horsepower mid-size electric motor powering the front wheels. The same motor will also move the rear pair in the 60D and 85D, while customers who opt for the raw power of the P85D will have the same 470-horsepower motor in the back as the original P85.

The power duo under the P85D will deliver a combined 690 horsepower and 687 lb-ft of torque when the hammer is dropped, moving from nil to 60 in 3.2 seconds — spanking Charger Hellcats and Panameras off the line — with the quarter disappearing in 11.8 seconds. CEO Elon Musk stated his team benchmarked the McLaren F1 for the top-end model’s acceleration performance.

As for range, the 85D will pull into the Supercharger after 295 miles, five short of the magical 300-mile barrier. The 60D will do the same after 225 miles, and the P85D arrives after 275 miles.

Aside from the new models — all of which are available for order at this moment, with delivery set for December for P85D models, February for the others — the Model S and future vehicles will have Autopilot, a semi-autonomous drive system that will take over from the driver when needed, doing everything from speeding up and slowing down in heavy traffic, to switching lanes after the driver signals where they wish to go. The system — which is in every Model S assembled from two weeks ago forward, and will be enabled via software update in the next few months — uses a forward-facing camera and an array of 12 sensors, providing a 360-degree view of the world up to 16 feet away.

Finally, stopping all of this new power comes from an electromechanical braking setup — the Porsche 918 is the only other vehicle to use the technology — which Autopilot can engage in whatever manner is most appropriate in a given situation, from hard panic stops to red-carpet style gentle braking. Tesla can fine-tune the system for desired brake feel, as well.

Telsa-Dual-Motor-P85D-sm

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84 Comments on “Tesla: The “D” Stands For Dual-Motor...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Tesla’s got to capture the crossover crowd

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      Master Po, I have read and reflected upon your epigram yet still my head is filled with poop….

      How does amping-up their expensive, squat little toy help Tesla appeal to crossover buyers?

      Or were you implying that they need to move in the exact opposite direction?

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    Okay, I’m switching from the “I don’t want an electric car until they get a lot more developed” to the “I want one” camp.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Elon is truly evil, isn’t he?

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      Digital hotrod… Hell cat6.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Nice to see a convert. The torque of an EV – even in my Leaf – is very addictive.

      But someone here will say EVs are no good since they can’t drive 300 miles, or 500 miles, or 700 miles like someone’s TDI (or my Optima Hybrid). Ok.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        It’s not so much the range (a Tesla has longer range than my Honda Fit did) but the recharge time.

        Swappable batteries, like what you see for forklifts and such, would be a nice help, but even then, the energy density issue is a big one.

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          Battery swapping makes sense as a concept, but Better Place couldn’t get off the ground with the idea. As excited as I was about the BP plan, I think the capitol and infrastructure costs make the business plan unworkable. The number of swap stations plus the number of battery packs on hand and charged add up fast. Plus, swapping packs pretty much requires that operators lease, not own, the packs, working like propane tank swapping so that the operator needn’t be concerned about swapping a good pack for a worn out pack.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Driven in a manner appropriate for a 400+HP car, the range is shorter than a Fit with a Hellcat engine swap. Heck, even simply keeping up with a Fit driven in a manner justifying 130hp in that car, it lose the range race.

          It’s really starting to evolve into a great car, though. Auto-everything is just what the doctor ordered to keep people from using enough power to deplete range quickly. Just sit there, and be chauffeured slowly and efficiently to your destination. Where you can explain to your fellow slowpokers, that your car is as fast as a McLaren.

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        I’m sure the Leaf is pleasantly torquey compared to the Versa — but compared to cars at the same price point, the picture is a bit more muddled. Similarly, for $120K, the competition makes the comparison less clear. (The cheaper Audi RS7 immediately springs to mind.)

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Much of the appeal is the quicker response – no downshifts, torque converters, turbo lag, or throttle lag. It’s RIGHT NOW response.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            I’m sure it’s nice compared to the Versa, but what about to a comparable, ~$30K hot hatch? (No fair discounting my patriotic contribution in the comparison price, btw.)

            Anecdotally, I’ve had no problem out-accelerating the Model S, including the P85, trying to pull the jerk cabbie “pass you in the right turn lane at an intersection” trick.

          • 0 avatar
            Russycle

            Yep, it’s the no-drama get up and go. I was just talking to a guy who has a Fiat 500e, he said he’s always leaving everyone else way behind at stoplights, without even trying. The thing just moves.

          • 0 avatar
            johnny_5.0

            @ Russycle

            I think that says more about how slowly people accelerate in normal traffic than how “fast” a 500e is (which takes 8.7 seconds to hit 60).

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            @ Johnny_5.0

            It’s a FIAT, that’s outstanding

          • 0 avatar
            Russycle

            Sure, but it “feels” fast because it’s so quiet and linear. My MINI was about as fast, but it sure wasn’t quiet if you wanted to get to 60 in 9 seconds.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    The author of the article is reminded that the purpose is to explain and not complex information.
    The P85 standard, one 470 hp motor, has a range of 295 miles.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Tesla brings out the utter cynic in me.

    Now to the important part for these AWD D models: What’s she like in snow and ice, Shirley? You know, what with instant E-Lectric torque and all. Or are these new models mere gonad-enlarging exercises for the imagination of well-heeled fair weather dwelling uber nerds panting to spend money for the latest?

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Traction control… like you’ve never seen

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Yes, traction control. Just like they’ve been putting on cars for years now, but it’s even easier to do on an EV. Even my Leaf has it, as did my 05 xB1.

      But traction control won’t do you much good if your car is wearing summer slicks.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Wouldn’t snows be a given? I mean, if you’re smart enough to want and buy such a vehicle aren’t you smart enough to equip it properly?

        Oh, what am I saying, ok, all you folks in line with money in hand to buy this vehicle, please take the time to look into buying a set of snows if your climate dictates

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          I find snow tires to be the most under-appreciated safety measure of all.

          Marketing has convinced a lot of well-heeled and intelligent people that traction control is a New Thing that only onboard electronics and AWD systems can provide.

          Marketing has also convinced said people that all-season tires are something more than Vietnamese flip-flop material.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            I don’t think it’s marketing, per se.

            With an old, rear-drive car, you felt the chassis get squirrely when you lost traction. And you backed off (which wasn’t always the right thing to do, but at least it made you cautious.

            With a front drive car it gets even better: you immediately feel the steering go light and understeer rear it’s head. You back off immediately (which, in front-drive, is exactly the thing to do) and drive cautiously. There was a definite feedback loop, and it was evident as soon as you started to move.

            With all- or four-wheel drive, you didn’t know you were in trouble until you tried to _stop or turn_, which makes you cocky (before) and panicky (after). So you drive fast and, when things sour, you over-react, breaking all four tires free.

            Stability control is probably a good thing in an AWD car as it can help reign in that cockiness (and in a rear-driver, it helps because your natural reaction is often wrong). In a front-driver not so much: it dampens the sense of impending doom that front-drive is so good at communicating.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You’d think they would add a disclaimer to their advertising

            **Optimum driving dynamics of our exclusive Advanced Intelligent Smart-Trac AWD ETC Gyroscopic Rollover Stability Cancellation ABS System achieved when combined with proper tires

            ***But, we don’t sell tires so we don’t give a damn what you ride on

          • 0 avatar
            Vojta Dobeš

            psarhjinian, you’re absolutely correct. I can still vividly recall the moment when I cockily accelerated on a wet, wooden bridge with BMW X3 xDrive35d, only to find out that while the sucker has plenty of traction to accelerate, it has no grip to brake. And the fucking bridge had a narrow section on the other end.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            I drive on slippery roads every day for at least four months a year and learned to drive in a purely mechanical Jeep Wagoneer on all-seasons that I kept in 4WD pretty well any time it was slippery. Even as an overly-aggressive novice teenage driver, I found it very difficult to lose control of the vehicle. Unlike when it was kept in RWD, I can’t recall a single hairy incident in 4WD. A 4WD vehicle simply goes where you point the steering wheel, and pulls out of any oversteer as long as you keep the throttle on. I’ve driven many 4WD/AWD vehicles in winter conditions since then, and as long as you do the sane thing and only brake in a straight line, I don’t see how any competent driver could desire any sort of electronic interference while operating a 4WD/AWD vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          During the winter Minnesota plows the roads and then salts and sands them. If you need a set of training wheels to drive on winter roads without losing control and/or crashing then by all means get a second set of wheels w/snow tires. Even my ’81 Olds Cutlass RWD, one wheel wonder, was perfectly capable during any Minneapolis winter with nothing more than a set of AS Goodyear Tiempos.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “If you need a set of training wheels to drive on winter roads..”

            Grrr..arrgh… real men drive on their rims in the winter!

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “Grrr..arrgh… real men drive on their rims in the winter!”

            Otherwise known as “Car Hockey”

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You have rims?… Wimp!

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            Driving within a major city after the plows have come hardly qualifies you to brag about Minnesota driving. (Though it’s probably a pretty representative use case for a Tesla.)

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “You have rims?… Wimp!”

            Well, since these new-fangled disc brakes took over you can’t ride the drums like in the good old days.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You have brakes?…

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Yep… traded my Y chromosomes for ’em.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @Carlson Fan….So glad you said that. A FWD with all seasons will take you just about anywhere. I took my drivers test on a 64 chevy with three on the tree, and nylon tires. The rich people had snow tires. I can still hear my Dad. “Easy on the clutch, easy on the gas pedal.
            Oh yeah I bought my share of 4WD’s. My wife, and my daughters loved them. For sure AWD,4WD, and winter tires,are needed by some people, in some locations.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            If you don’t mind driving slowly at times and you respect the road conditions, a good set of all-seasons will get you around. If you have no interest in driving slowly or having to cons*der the road conditions before traveling, and want your driving pleasure to increase as the roads get more snowy and icy, get a set of studded winter tires. To me, installing those is analogous to taking the training wheels off and getting onto the BMX track.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Realistically, the analogy is more likely to be: If you’re stupid enough to buy a battery vehicle in a cold snowy climate, you’re probably stupid enough to not be all that aware that there are differences between tire compounds….

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            Hey I plan to pick me up a nice lease return Volt as soon as I figure out what to do with my GMC PU. Wish me luck!…..LOL

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            @stuki

            Hey, my neighbor here in Wisconsin has a Tesla. He’s rich and smart and gets around just fine in the winter. Ever see a Tesla covered in salt? Not pretty

          • 0 avatar
            Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

            Probably will be pretty in 10 years vs other cars that aren’t aluminum…

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @stuki… I came close to buying a Volt last year. I’ve seen what happens to batteries at minus 35. Maybe that explains that even with the proven technology of a Prius, there a rare sight around these parts.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            @Lie2me

            I don’t know your neighbor, hence don’t want to say the poor guy is flat out stupid. But wrt dollars per level of utility in MOST people’s common usage, Tesla’s generally don’t strike me as the “smart” choice.

            Of course, the richer you are the less you have to worry about making smart choices. And just like commuting around Manhattan in Humvees sort of worked back when that was the cool thing to do if you were rich, I’m sure using a Tesla in and around Fairbanks kind of works as well. But unless ones needs are highly atypical, I’d be hard pressed to call it the smart choice.

            Now in Silicon Valley and LA, for those too clumsy, uncoordinated, incompetent and just plain un-smart to ride a bike ( :) ), access to HOV lanes and other perks do change the calculus a bit.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            @stuki

            He is probably the exception to the rule a retired (@50) college professor he generally doesn’t go very far and spends two of the winter months elsewhere, though winter lasted 5 mos. here last year, so I had plenty of opportunity to see him slosh about in his Tesla. We all have heated garages, another contributing factor. I’m sure he’s one of the few whose Tesla is his only car

          • 0 avatar
            Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

            “I came close to buying a Volt last year. I’ve seen what happens to batteries at minus 35.”

            Funny, seems like Norwegians are perfectly happy with their EVs, and temps in that country are comparable to MN. Perhaps they keep them plugged in and do remote starts, in order to keep the battery happier? I’d rather have a Tesla than a diesel in colder climes..

            Also, Teslas are aluminum, therefore they don’t have decaying rust.

      • 0 avatar
        probert

        I think this car can be fitted with many different tires at the owner’s whim.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I want the D.

    (not my line, but it was amusing to see the reaction to Mr. Musk’s initial tweet)

  • avatar
    mor2bz

    I can’t for the life of me figure why TSLA is down 4.8% premarket.

    Ususally the tidbits Elon throws us send the stock up for a couple of days.

    And this is a bigger announcement than the usual.

    Trouble in paradise?

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Me thinks there is a model X P85Q in the future. One motor per wheel.
    As to the range comments, I am not sure what other cars out there with P85D performance have better range, and, who buys a car with performance like that for the range anyway?

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      I was expecting an incremental improvement in acceleration, but not a full second off. I was expecting the electronics to be the bottleneck, rather than the motors. Impressive how even in this age, it’s possible to under-promise and over-deliver.

      If Elon has spare motors to go around, he might have a great market for OEM tuners like Hennessey or Saleen. I can imagine both of them bolting 2 flat pack batteries and the 470hp motor at each axle into a custom chassis…just because. Knowing them, they’d probably do a 3 axle vehicle (1410hp!) as a one-off.

      Also, Mercedes’ SLS Electric Drive has no business case after this.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      It’s not the range, it’s the amount of time it takes to get ANOTHER 300 miles out of it. Until Superchargers are as common as gas stations, this is going to be an issue.

      I have no issue with spending $75k+ on a car, but it had better be ready to go anytime, anywhere. Paying for a car like that AND having to rent a car to go see your mother-in-law in west bafflefart would be very annoying. If you just need to commute, buying a Leaf/iMiev and a $50K ice car for trips makes more sense to me.

      AutoPilot sounds super cool though.

      • 0 avatar
        pktojd

        It was not that long ago that people had a similar argument for hay over gasoline.

        Edmunds.com had a P85 for a year-long test and, in addition to doing a <7 day LA to NYC cannonball run, they also used it for a family LA to Portland, OR, vacation. They found that, with just a little planning, it worked very well. They were able to travel 3-4 hours at a time, by which point wife and kids were ready to stop and eat or stretch. Some of the stops were longer (1-2 hours) to just about fully recahrge; others were shorter (~45 minutes) to top off before going on to a hotel for the night.

        http://www.edmunds.com/tesla/model-s/2013/long-term-road-test/2013-tesla-model-s-electric-holiday-road-trip.html

        Electrons certainly are not as ubiquitous as gasoline, but the infrastructure is growing. Just a moderate change in thinking can make electrics WAY more feasible for a lot of folks.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @krhodes1 Until Superchargers are as common as gas stations, this is going to be an issue.

        They’re making progress. I recently made the trip from Brunswick Maine to the northern suburbs of Boston in my 6.6KW and CHAdeMO equipped Leaf without a lot of difficulty.

        A 12 minute or so free L3 charge in South Portland Maine (there’s another in Portland) followed by a 50 cent hour and a half L2 charge in Portsmouth NH while I ate dinner was all I needed to get home.

        A bit slower than with an ICE. With the ICE I probably would have stopped at the rest stop south of Portland for a break lasting about as long as the L3 charge and had fast food. About 90 minutes added to the trip with the Leaf because of the Portsmouth stop, but far better food and a diesel Rabbit pickup sighting (with a blurry photo to prove it). I’m enjoying the trade-off.

        A string of L3 CHAdeMO chargers stretching down the East Coast as far as Virginia means that even an L3 equipped Leaf could make a long distance trip today without a lot of difficulty. I know that’s not the case everywhere, but it’s improving.

        • 0 avatar
          Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

          Batteries smaller than about 50kWh and recharge rates lower than 100kW aren’t really practical for normals driving intercity trips. The trip becomes its own adventure, whereas most folks just want to get where they’re going. 60kWh (50 usable) may get you 180mi or thereabouts, which is 3 hours of driving especially on the east coast. After 3 hours, you may want to get a drink or a meal and take a leak, at which point you really only want to spend 10-30 mins doing it. 100kW charging gets you there, barely. How many of those ChaDeMo points are 100kW? Or even 50? Are they spaced 50 or so miles apart to accomodate the small batteries installed in non-Tesla EVs? Do they all work? Are there multiples in case someone’s there ahead of you?

          Tesla has battery EVs right, _nobody_ else does. By the time they catch up (after they’ve made a lame attempt with brought-in tech, since they don’t take electrification seriously enough to develop their own batteries and motors until it’s too late) Tesla’s 2-3 generations ahead, and their lead in software engineering and systems integration is even further on.

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        Exactly my thought, buy a Leaf for regular commuting and buy a loaded up Lexus RX hybrid for $50K to go everywhere else or carry things. This car makes no sense.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          >> buy a Leaf for regular commuting and buy a loaded up Lexus RX hybrid

          I just got my Leaf. My variation of that plan is to keep the 2007 Prius and then visit the local “candy” store sometime next year. Not sure if I’ll be able to leave with just one:

          http://britbits.com/html/sales.html

  • avatar
    johnharris

    275 mile range? Sheesh, that’s pretty good if it’s real-world. My Ford Flex averages 278 miles before I have to fill up. I was under the impression the Type S was good for 80-90 miles.

    I drove a Type S last year and it was startlingly…good. Feeling my cynicism…starting to…falter…

    • 0 avatar
      greaseyknight

      Agreed, coupled with a 2nd vehicle in that is gas powered, a Tesla sounds like a fine idea. Based on my current habits, I’d be able to go a week between charges. The only problem being the price, 100k is alot to drop on a car. I will give credit to Tesla, they have made the electric car work in the real world.

      I’d rather pay fuel and maintenance on a 30mpg car that is fully depreciated, but thats just me.

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    The automatic driving features are amazing – the car parks itself in your garage and will come out and be ready to go in the morning. Add in 3.2s 0-60.

    Frankly this is the point where if I am Lexus/Mercedes/BMW I really start worrying.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      I can’t see an E63 or RS7 doing below 3.5s without breaking into the 650hp range. Tesla has an advantage: horsepower seems to scale better with AC motors than internal combustion engines, without the engineering issues of NVH, emissions, cooling, and durability. And the motors don’t appear to be much bigger than a carry-on suitcase, making packaging better.

      • 0 avatar
        This Is Dawg

        This is a future I want.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        ICEs lose vast amounts of potential energy to heat, while heat loss in electric drivetrains is very low (low enough that it’s not sufficient for cabin heating). Power electronics are easy enough to do; the main bottleneck in something like this is the battery pack’s capacity to discharge at 5 or 10C rates without the pack voltage sagging too deeply.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “And the motors don’t appear to be much bigger than a carry-on suitcase”

        Hmmm… a possible nexus to terrorism. This could save some DHS jobs.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      MB/BMW/Lexus can replicate the Model S with very little effort, once a reliable supply of sufficiently affordable batteries have proven themselves. The most valuable IP in Teslas portfolio, is related to making inherently useless batteries do one heck of a usefulness impression. But for EVs to become truly mainstream, and be profitable in volumes relevant to the big makers, battery technology itself will have to render much of what is Tesla irrelevant. Hence, the real worry, for both Tesla and MB/BMW/Lexus, is that if battery tech ever gets there, the Chinese will likely eat all their lunches.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        I don’t think so.

        MB/BMW/Toyota does not have a dedicated platform like this. The amount of work Tesla has put into just this vehicle and type of propulsion system isn’t something that everyone can just magically come up with. Hell just a simple exterior refresh starts years before in the design studio.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          But the propulsion system itself is where the changes will have to come before the cars become viable in mass numbers.

          Once (if ever) you have a fairly settled battery industry focused on building batteries for car use, many of the problems Tesla had to solve will largely be mitigated at the source.

          While the complexities of designing and efficiently building a range of reliable car platforms will not change correspondingly.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      @akatsuki, you realize what you wrote makes no damn sense, right? If I park my car in my garage, it is also going to be in my garage when I come out because that is duh, where you car is supposed to be. I don’t know about you, but I am pretty much everyone else I know leaves their homes via their garage so where is this car going to go otherwise? Should I know leave through the front door and have the Tesla open the garage door and back out because that is idiotic. Never had an issue with putting my car in or backing it out of my garage, nor did turning the steering wheel so my car could go into the other lane ever be an issue. Just out of curiosity where are you regularly doing 0-60 in 3 secs and why exactly is it a necessity?

      Also if you really want to get nitpicky, Musk ripped off the whole car coming to you, parking itself and whatnot from Audi, you know, those Germans that should be worrying right now. Audi showcased this with an A7 awhile back if I remember correctly. He also ripped off the revolutionary cars reading speed signs from BMW who has had it for years, Mercedes has it too now and I think Volvo has had it also for a while, Hyundai has it too and I am betting there are a few other cars that have it also.

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    I can’t imagine having near Hellcat torque at 0 RPM.

    If I had that car I think tire cost would replace fuel cost as the primary expense (post purchase).

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Better weight distribution? Define better weight distribution! It’s already low and rear-biased.

  • avatar
    RedStapler

    I wonder if the 118HP Front Motor will also appear in the “Model 3” mass market car?

    • 0 avatar
      wumpus

      An interesting thing would be to see the 118hp front motor in the front of the “3” (or any other Telsa for that matter) and a brushless [read DC] motor in the back. Brushless types tend to be cheaper, but aren’t [usually] capable of regenerative braking. I’m assuming that regenerative braking is light enough you can put it all on the front wheels (or at least light RW braking when getting closer to 118 “braking hp”).

      Everything I’ve seen implies that they aren’t changing the rear motor (why would they), but once you have an inductive front motor, the inductive rear motor becomes fairly extravagant and heavy (I’m pretty sure the front motor is inductive, although it would also make sense for it to be brushless as well and just regenerate the way non-D Telsas do).

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    BTW, the ‘Insane’ tier Model S in 2018-2019 will have dual 500kW motors (or 4 250kW) and 120kWh of battery, discharging up to 800kW (7C) at once, for a bit more than 1100hp. It’ll likely weigh in the neighborhood of 2200-2300kg. With wider and grippier tires, sub-3s 0-60 is pretty likely, maybe even on the low end of that. Even so, it’ll likely get about 2-2.5mi per kWh on an average daily driver cycle.

    Hell, with 2 or 4 motors, at a drag strip, add a mode where the front and rear motors spin in different directions in order to heat up the tires while staying in place.

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