Two days ago Elon Musk tweeted a teaser photo of the Tesla D, setting off a round of speculation as to what the D stands for. We now have a pretty good idea of what the Tesla D is thanks to the above picture posted to the Tesla Motors Club forum, and it appears to be a high performance or all-wheel drive version of the Model S. Possibly both!
The Tesla Model S P85+ is the highest-performing Model S, with 416 horsepower and a 0-60 MPH time of about 4.2 seconds, allowing it to outpace a lot of similar luxury sedans. The P85D could offer even more performance though the use of extra electric motors. One feature Tesla fans have been calling for is all-wheel drive, and the “D” Elon Musk is talking about could very likely stand for “Dual”, as in Dual Motor Drive, putting an electric motor at both the front and back end. Tesla was supposedly developing an all-wheel drive system that worked off of the rear-motor setup, but there’s plenty of room in the frunk (front trunk) for an additional motor or two instead.
Besides all-wheel drive providing better grip in poor weather, a Dual Motor setup could also mean a lot more power to play with. Saleen has already shown there’s a market for a high performance version of the Model S, and the Tesla Model X is supposed to come as an all-wheel drive vehicle as well. Rolling out the new dual motor tech ahead of the Model X does makes sense in that regard, and there’s no saying that all-wheel drive will be limited to only the highest performance models.
— Mike Magrath (@Mike_Magrath) October 3, 2014
Oh, there’s also the above tweet that seems to all but confirm that an all-wheel drive Tesla Model S is on tap next week.
The Tesla D is almost certainly a Model S if this picture is for realsies, which makes the most sense at the moment. But just what that D stands for is still anyone’s guess; a Dual Motor Drive makes the most sense, but Elon Musk isn’t giving out anymore hints just yet.