It’s been a while since we’ve heard an update on Tesla , as it’s remained relatively quiet for the past few months — except for the fire issues. Well the silence is now broken, as the always-vocal Elon Musk has confirmed that the Model S will receive and all-wheel-drive option.
We already assumed that this was in the works, given the Model X — Tesla’s upcoming SUV — will be all-wheel drive and that it will share some of its drivetrain with its sedan sibling. We expect to see the Model X sometime in 2015, so the AWD version of the Model S will likely arrive in the late 2015 model year or early 2016.
Imagining the extra traction in bad weather is awesome, but what really gets me amped up is the thought of how this will affect the performance of the already fast sedan. The Model S Performance already hits 60 mph in an insane 4.2 seconds, and AWD may push that down into the sub-4-second range, rivaling gas-guzzling supercars .
On top of this fantastic news, Musk also outlined plans to release higher-capacity batteries for next year, and how he expects the new "giga factory" to reduce battery costs by up to 40 percent, making Tesla cars more affordable.
Click past the jump to read more about the Model S.
Gallery Tesla Model S
The Model S is one of the most successful electric cars in the market, as it not only ranges 230 to 300 miles on a single charge, but it also zips to 60 mph in as little as 4.2 seconds (Performance model). On top of that, its 5+2 seating arrangement — five main seats and two jumper seats in the rear hatch — gives it the passenger-carrying capacity of an SUV. Sure, those jumper seats aren’t comfortable, but they get the job done.
For 2014, Tesla added in the Performance Plus model, which includes upgraded bushings, dampers and stabilizer bars, plus it includes Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires that are 20 mm (0.78 inches) wider on the rear. These upgrades all help increase the handling characteristics of the already agile Model S without hampering its smooth ride.