2015 Tesla Model S P85D Electrifies The 2015 Detroit Auto Show


The 2015 Detroit Auto Show marked the first auto show appearance for the new dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Tesla Model S, which was unveiled last fall in a flurry of publicity and speculation that nearly destroyed the Internet.

MUST SEE: Tesla Model S P85D Cranks Out Massive 864 LB-FT On The Dyno: Video

The dual-motor versions of the Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] sedan, the standard 85D and performance-oriented P85D, feature an extra drive motor powering the front axle, in combination with the larger 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack. Tesla decided not to offer all-wheel-drive Model S with the 60-kWh pack almost immediately after unveiling the system.

In the top P85D, a 470-horsepower rear motor is teamed with a 221-hp front motor for a total of 691 hp—making this four-door electric car as powerful as a Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4. An independent dyno test also showed 864 pound-feet of torque.

So it's not surprising that the P85D is quick. Tesla claims a 0-60 mph time of just 3.2 seconds, which likely makes this Model S the quickest four-door car in production. It's electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph can't match the likes of the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat or 2016 Cadillac CTS-V, though.

CHECK OUT: 2016 Cadillac CTS-V Debuts In Detroit: Live Photos & Video

Tesla also says the dual-motor system improves the efficiency of the Model S, leading to range gains. It says the 85D should be able to travel about 295 miles per charge, while the P85D's range is pegged at 275 miles.

For 2015, Tesla is also adding an Autopilot system to the Model S. Right now, it can read speed limit signs and allows the driver to change lanes by simply flicking the turn signal, but the company said the system will gradually grow more sophisticated.

Tesla did not hold a press conference at Detroit, but CEO Elon Musk did give an interview at the Automotive News World Congress event that followed media preview days on Monday and Tuesday.

He commented on Tesla's (lower than expected) China sales, and challenged the Detroit automakers to build more electric cars more quickly, among other things.

For more from the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, check out our dedicated hub.

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