Tesla P85D to get even faster - by itself

Published: 30 January 2015

► Upgrade your Tesla like your smartphone
► Over-the-air update cuts 0.1sec from 0-60mph
► Reflects growing use of telemetry

As our recent first drive confirms, the Tesla Model S P85D is not a slow car. Not content with matching the iconic McLaren F1’s 3.2-second 0-60mph time, however, Tesla is about to make the car even faster.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted yesterday (29 January 2015) that Tesla P85D 0-60mph acceleration will soon be improved by around 0.1 seconds. The extra pace comes via a software update to the car’s inverter algorithm completed ‘over-the-air’ – there’ll be no need for owners to take their car to a dealership for the work to be carried out.

‘Over-the-air’ update trims a tenth from 0-60mph

One of many aspects that make Tesla’s all-electric Model S such a unique proposition is its ability to be updated by the company remotely, in the same manner as a smartphone’s operating system.

Software for the charging system, lane-keeping assistance and even suspension settings can be altered over the air, without the car going anywhere near a workshop. The addition of a creep mode, like that of a typical automatic transmission car, is one such Model S update completed over the air.

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Tesla Model S P85D: a recap

The P85D is the fastest car Tesla currently makes. Much of its extra speed over the regular Model S comes from the addition of a second motor up front (hence the ‘D’ for ‘dual’ in the name) to power the front axle, making the P85D four-wheel drive.

Musk also tweeted that the regular single-motor Model S P85’s acceleration will also improve, but by a smaller margin.

In other Tesla news, the company has opened its 20th 'Supercharger' fast-charging station in the UK. That infrastructure's on its way...

Click here to read CAR’s review of the Tesla P85D

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer