Another day, another fast Tesla. Silicon Valley's automaker has released an update to its quickest offering, the Model S P90D: the P100D, a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive sedan that can out accelerate Europe's most potent supercars.
Available for $135,700, the Model S P100D will be the fastest-accelerating vehicle that Tesla has ever sold. It was a natural decision to also create a more powerful version of the Model X SUV, since it's so closely related to Model S. Both are available for pre-order now. Tesla will allow customers waiting for P90D orders to swap that battery pack for the P100D at a cost of 10 grand; current P90D owners can have theirs changed out for 20.
If you're wondering why a 10-kWh increase is significant for Tesla, consider that Nissan only recently introduced a 30-kWh battery for its aging Leaf EV. Is the P100D an evolution or a revolution? Here's what you need to know about Tesla's most recent news spectacle.
It's stupid fast.
Do you really need to hustle to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds on a regular basis? Probably not, but it's nice to know that you can. If the P100D is anything like the P90D, expect neck-snapping acceleration that is exciting, if not actually very pleasant.
It boasts the largest battery capacity of any production EV.
With traditional, gas-powered cars, more power usually doesn't have anything to do with longer range. But the larger, 100-kWh battery means that the Model S P100D can achieve a range of 315 miles per full charge, according to Tesla. That's an increase of about 15 miles per charge over the Model S 90D and P90D, and 300-plus miles-per-charge is a significant milestone for any electric car. According to Musk, most battery capacity in the EV industry improves by 8 percent per year. The 10 kWh upgrade from P90D to P100D represents an 11 percent improvement, outpacing Musk's own estimation. (Or was he lowballing the figure to begin with?)
It lasts longer, no matter how you drive it.
Most EVs' anticipated range pales in comparison with a Tesla's, and the P100D is no different. Even with the A/C turned on, the biggest wheels installed, and the temperature above average, with your foot set to 70 mph, the P100D should still have a range of about 250 miles per charge.
No kidding, it has Autopilot.
This isn’t the first car to steer, accelerate, and brake without driver input. But by you giving up control to Autopilot mode, the system has nearly full autonomy to do the driving, and goes so far as to get you from point A to B by using only one radar camera and one sensor (most other cars’ systems require multiple sensors, at least). The semi-autonomous driving capability that we love to extol and criticize remains an option, even on the top Model S and Model X.
It's extremely kid-friendly.
It has child seat integration and a spacious rear bench, but If you love your children, don't subject them to a rear-facing experience when you quietly tear up and scorch the earth.
You can pre-order yours now.
A few months ago, a clever forum user noted a glitch in the Model S firmware that predicted the eventual appearance of a "P100D" model. Tesla is known for hiding Easter eggs in its software, but this was a significant and likely unexpected find.