Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., announces its new car Tesla "D" in Hawthorne, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
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."
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.
It will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds, akin to exotic sports cars.
"This car is nuts.
It's like taking off from a carrier deck," Musk
said at a municipal airport near Los Angeles where another of Musk's companies - the commercial rocket firm SpaceX - is based.
The crowd obliged with cheers and applause.
left the stage came the rides, which demonstrated both the car's acceleration and safety features.