Tesla Adding All-Wheel Drive, Safety Features

October 15, 2014 2:29 PM

Tesla Adding All-Wheel Drive, Safety Features

" HAWTHORNE, Calif. (AP) — Luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors is making its Model S sedan faster and safer in an effort to compete better with other high-end sedans.

At an open-to-the-public unveiling Thursday night that included bumping music, free alcohol and test rides on an airport tarmac, CEO Elon Musk unveiled an all-wheel-drive version of the car that includes self-driving features he called “auto pilot.”

The announcement ended a week of speculation following a cryptic Musk tweet that said, “About time to unveil the D and something else.”

Taking the stage with more than 1,000 Tesla fans in the audience, he explained that the “D” stands for “dual motor.” The current Model S is a rear-wheel-drive car with one motor. The “D” will have two motors — one powering the front wheels and one powering the rear wheels.

Musk said unlike all-wheel-drive systems on gas-powered cars, which tend to be heavy and make the cars less efficient, Tesla’s system improves the speed, acceleration and mileage by optimizing which motor is used.

The dual motor version of the P85 performance sedan will have a top speed of 155 mph, compared with the current 130 mph "

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