Telsa Motors’ website back-end code appears to have already confirmed at least part of what’s in store for the company’s big press conference scheduled for 7 p.m. PDT in Hawthorne, California. Nestled in the code that would be gibberish to the average person are two phrases that are easily understood: “Driver’s Assistance” and “Dual Drive Motor.”
This is the most compelling evidence so far that Tesla will be announcing an all-wheel drive version of the Model S and some form of driver aid such as front-to-rear crash avoidance and/or adaptive cruise control.
According to the code, Tesla’s “Dual Drive Motor” would be “Included,” which suggests the dual-motor version would be exclusive to another version of the Model S. On Friday, a photo of a Model S bearing a P85D badge appeared on Twitter and in Tesla fan forums. A “Single Drive Motor” also appears as “Included” in the code, meaning the standard rear-wheel drive Model S will remain in the other versions of the luxury electric sedan.
Currently there are three base configurations of the Model S in the U.S.: one with a 60 kWh battery pack that has an advertised range of 208 miles per charge; and two versions with the 85 kWh battery pack, the 362-horsepower version and the 416-horsepower P85. Both 85 kWh models get an advertised range of 265 miles per charge. A P85D all-wheel drive Model S would give Tesla buyers the option of improved handling in icy or wet climates.
Photos of what appear to be two radar sensors and two forward-pointing cameras in a recently made Model S sedan is “Optional,” according to the configuration code. Similar to other luxury automakers, Tesla is likely hesitant to make this option standard because of the costs. Mercedes-Benz offers driver’s assistance for $2,800 and all-wheel drive for $5,000, so whatever the case may be, what Tesla announces Thursday evening in California will include a bigger price tag.