The much-anticipated announcement of Tesla’s (TSLA) Model D has come and gone. On October 9th, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to the stage at Hawthorne Airport to reveal Tesla’s “third” electric car model. Musk, also the founder of SpaceX and Chairman of Solar City (SCTY), enjoys exhilarating vehicles and innovative ideas. His futuristic mindset and unfettered determination have led to the creation of a truly remarkable new vehicle.
While the outside of Tesla’s Model D may resemble its current Model S, the D is anything but ordinary; the interior is packed with mind-blowing features. In terms of technology, the Model D is packed to the brim. It still features the familiar touchscreen control panel, cellular Wi-Fi capabilities, and refined interior architecture. However, the new electric supercar is also outfitted with all-wheel drive, a larger battery, and a 691 HP electric engine that will rocket the car from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds (faster than a Ferrari 458 Italia). More impressively, the Model D is equipped with autopilot capabilities.
Outfitted with a series of cameras and front mounted radar, the Model D is capable of sensing everything within its immediate vicinity. This impressive technology allows the vehicle to constantly survey its surroundings for threats. The lane guidance system automatically guides the Model D, even if the driver begins to drift. The car can also instinctively apply the brakes if its front-facing radar detects a potential collision. However, arguably the most interesting aspect of the autopilot capability is that the car will change lanes for you. Simply engage the blinker and wait for the Model D to sense an opening; it will then effortlessly move the vehicle over. Not surprisingly, the Model D will also parallel park itself and drive to you upon request.
If you’re sitting in awe, good (you should be), but if you’re still not impressed, take into account the performance of this electric supercar. At the introductory event, Musk described the Model D by stating, “this car is nuts. It’s like taking off from a carrier deck. It’s just bananas.” The electric car is outfitted with a dual-motor engine that can launch it from 0-60 mph in just over 3 seconds. This kind of acceleration, and power, rivals many pure sports cars. The Model D also has a higher top speed than past models, at 155 mph instead of 130 mph, and can travel an additional 10 miles.
Tesla shares soared after Musk’s announcement, proving there was much enthusiasm and interest in a new product. However, after the release, the news underwhelmed investors and Tesla traded much lower (shares have since remained relatively low in price). Nevertheless, Tesla has a bright future. After receiving final approval for its new battery factory to be built in Nevada, and unprecedented fanfare for its cars, investors should remain bullish on the U.S. automaker. Look for Tesla stock to rebound in the following weeks, as the company continues to dominate the luxury car market.