Tesla’s quite public effort to bring electric cars to the mainstream has been well documented, and it was only back in July that the company announced the $35,000 Model 3 to rival the 3 Series BMW. Now, another very interesting variant of the Model S includes a number of exciting new features, including an autopilot self-driving mode that will eventually allow the machine to drive itself to its owner.
The “D” variant doesn’t represent a new line, but rather an extension of the S series, and Model S 60D, 75D and P85D will also offer all-wheel drive. This will present drivers with much more traction, while also offering a very appealing 0-60 time of just 3.2 seconds for the top-of-the-line, 691BHP P85D. Not too shabby for an electric car.
The semi-autonomous driving system is clearly the most appealing to us geeks here, but while Tesla’s Elon Musk dares to suggest that it will “push the limits of what’s safe” given the mechanics of the D series, in reality, we’re probably quite a way off from seeing Tesla release a car that can drive itself.
The enhancements that the company is working on will serve more as driving assistance, as is already being demonstrated across the automotive industry, and while, in the long-term, technology will surely take us to a point where the act of driving becomes redundant, Tesla remains realistic on what it’ll be able to achieve in the near future.
Thus, the system will utilize the car’s array of sensors to offer features like self-parking, blind sport warnings and other creature comforts, making the driving experience a little less stressful if not completely passive.
Along with the plethora of new toys, the D series will also offer more range than the current S series, although we’re not talking about leaps in this regard. It’ll manage around ten more miles before requiring charge, but when put into perspective with all of the new features, it’s still quite impressive.
Firmware updates will ensure that owners of the D variant are always in tune with the latest developments, and although the prices are still out of reach to many, users can order the 60D for $89,570, the 85D for $97,570, and the P85D for $120,170.
Shipping will commence in February of next year, although it should be noted that many the autonomous features won’t be available right off the bat. The high-end P85D can be yours this December, however, but will cost you $120,170.