It’s not just “the D.” It’s the Model S D.
Would it be an autonomous drive system that allowed drivers to essentially become passengers in their own personal electric transporter? Or, would it be a lower-cost version of the Model S aimed at the budget-conscious Toyota (TM) Prius set?
Neither of those possibilities did anything for me as a “car guy,” or as a stock guy.
The one possibility floating around among the Tesla-watchers set was the unveiling of a supercar version of the Model S that would appeal to performance enthusiasts like me, and to shareholders like me who also would likely benefit from the increased profit margins captured from an ultra-high-end new Tesla.
On Thursday night, the car gods (and I suspect the stock gods) were likely smiling, as Elon Musk delivered once again by announcing the Tesla Model S D.
According to my sources in attendance at the Tesla announcement event Thursday night, the new Model S D will be built on the same groundbreaking technological platform that the original Model S is — only now it will be on steroids.
The D will be an all-wheel drive, souped-up version of the electric carmaker’s flagship sedan, and one that comes complete with two electric motors that enhance the vehicle’s performance to supercar stats.
So, what type of stats are we talking about? How about a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds? That puts it right up there with its gasoline-powered supercar competition such as Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren and many other blindingly fast automotive rocket ships. The D also is said to increase the vehicle’s range, albeit slightly, from the current 265 miles to 275 miles.
Now, because Tesla is as much a technology company as it is a car company, Musk was sure to include a bunch of new high-tech driver assist features on the D, including the car’s capability to “read” speed-limit signs and to adjust its pace accordingly. There also are new features such as lane-change signals, lane-departure warnings and parking assist.
For Tesla bulls like me, Thursday’s announcement is exciting on multiple levels.
First, the tweet that started it all last week shows that not only is Elon Musk a genius inventor and CEO, he’s also a master marketer and pioneering social media trendsetter. I mean, can you imagine General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra generating the same kind of buzz with a tweet about the Chevrolet Volt? Hardly.
I also can’t imagine Barra, or any other auto company CEO, using Twitter (TWTR) to foreshadow an announcement—not to mention one capable of sending their company’s share price up some 7% in a week the way Musk can.
The one thing we don’t know about the new Model S D is what it’s likely to cost. We do know, however, that the first D models are expected to be available in December, with subsequent versions of the D model slated to be ready by early next year.
The other thing we know is that TSLA stock has proven the naysayers wrong ever since it began trading.
So, if you are still a Tesla skeptic … well, you have my sympathies.
As of this writing, Jim Woods was long TSLA.