Tesla’s newest Model S variant was only revealed to the world in mid-October, but the new performance hero has already been confirmed for an Australian launch.
Called the P85D (the ‘D’ signifying ‘dual’), the latest Model S lifts performance of the already-impressive P85 by adding a second electric engine.
With an electric motor at both ends, the P85D is the first Model S to offer all-wheel-drive which improves the 0-100km/h time to 3.2 seconds.
And soon Australian customers will be able to purchase one, with the model scheduled to arrive in Q3 next year.
Also on the agenda is Tesla’s upcoming Model X SUV, with Marketing and Communications Manager, Heath Walker saying the variant would be ideal for Australian customers.
The (delayed) production schedule for the X is set to begin in Q3, 2015 for the US market.
“The Model X is of high interest to us locally,” Mr Walker said.
“All you have to do is look at volume figures for SUVs in Australia to see that it would be a great car for this market. So we need to wait for right-hand-drive production but now that we’re established in this market, we can adopt that vehicle once it’s ready for us.”
A large portion of initial Model S sales in Australia are predicted to be top-shelf P85 and mid-range 85 models, but Mr Walker said Tesla customers could usually be separated into ‘performance’, ‘technology’ and ‘EV’ groups; and that the latter will be drawn to the entry-level 60.
Annual servicing is recommended, but the eight-year, 200,000km battery and power train warranty or four-year, 80,000km warranty on everything else will not be voided if the service isn’t carried out.
Customers can download their own Model S software updates between services.
“We believe we’re the leader in the technology,” Mr Walker said. “The more people looking and cross-shopping against multiple products of the same type; the better for us.”
Mr Walker said Tesla was talking to several governments around the world including Australia about possible future tax or infrastructure incentives, but the local arm was focusing on the Model S launch for now.
“If you’ve got an established presence, can show that you’re committed to the country and you’re selling vehicles, that’s only going to help when we have those [government] chats,” Mr Walker said.
On the issue of fleet sales, Mr Walker said there were “multiple private companies” in Australia expressing interest in the Model S, but that the carmaker would not discount its cars for fleet buyers.
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