Tesla Model D Announcement: No Flying, Driverless Car; Details Revealed (+Video, No Live Stream)

October 9, 2014 Updated: October 9, 2014    

The Model D was unveiled by Tesla on Thursday, October 9.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had been keeping the details under wraps but teased the announcement recently on Twitter.

“About time to unveil the D and something else,” he said.

USA Today reported late Thursday that the announcement is actually a suite of driver-aid and safety features, such as a Model S with an all-wheel drive that can hit 60 miles per hour in about 3 seconds. 

It also said that the electric charge for the all-wheel-drive versions will have a slight increase of about 10 miles from previous models, for a maximum of 275 miles.

Musk called his system “a huge improvement” that he claims is “taking the technology to the next level.” He says that the new system will move the car over a lane when the driver uses the turn signal and that the car reads speed-limit signs and adjusts the car to the speed on the sign. Also, 12 sensors on the car will allow it to “see” 16 feet to enable the safety technology.

The AWD drive cars are being tagged the Model D, with the first models being deliverd to buyers in December. Other models will start arriving in February 2015.

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The unveil event will be held at the Hawthorne Municipal Airport, which is in Los Angeles County in California.

The event is reportedly going to start at 7 p.m. PDT.

Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be a live stream available, or even a television channel.

Speculation has been rampant over what exactly Musk, who is famous for being a pioneer in multiple fields, will reveal at the event.

Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research said in a note that the D stands for Driverless, claiming that he spotted a new Model S car in Fremont, California but that it may have actually been the Model D. His pictures show two cameras and several sensors, which could back up the driverless theory.

Analysts at Barclays Capital, meanwhile, say that they think they’ve figured it out. 

“Based on previously announced Tesla product plans, we believe the announcement will be around two ‘Ds’: driver assistance systems and a dual motor Model S (to provide all-wheel drive capability),” Barclays said in a statement.

“All-wheel drive is a mainstream feature that many of today’s luxury shoppers expect,” Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, told the Los Angeles Times. “The technology is now seen as a premium feature, and luxury buyers will pay extra for the increased confidence it provides.”

The biggest rumor is that Musk will unveil a flying car.

Musk, who also founded SpaceX, told the Independent earlier this year that “We could definitely make a flying car.”

But he said that the hard part is “How do you make a flying car that’s super safe and quiet? Because if it’s a howler, you’re going to make people very unhappy.”

SpaceX billionaire founder and chief executive, and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, poses beside a Tesla, after his interview on "Countdown to the Closing Bell," on the Fox Business Network, in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
SpaceX billionaire founder and chief executive, and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, poses beside a Tesla, after his interview on “Countdown to the Closing Bell,” on the Fox Business Network, in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

He also made a case against flying cars at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit on Thursday, saying he’s not sure about them.

“If the sky was full of cars flying all over the place, it would affect how things look. It would affect the skyline. And it would be noisier and there would be a greater probability of something falling on your head. Those are not good things,” he said, reported the Verge.

But he said it would be nice to have a sky full of flying Teslas. 

“On the other hand, you’d be able to go from one place to another faster,” he said. Musk said we could see similar same gains in travel speed through easier methods, namely eliminating traffic “choke points” and constructing giant systems of underground tunnels.