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All-wheel-drive coming to Tesla Model S? Maybe.

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Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor/File

(Read caption) Tesla's Model S electric sports sports sedan is shown in Boston, Mass. in June 2013. The Model S may come equipped with all-wheel-drive, according to The Verge.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said in the past that more Model S variants were in the pipeline, which led us to speculate that one would likely be an all-wheel-drive version built using the dual-motor setup previewed in the Model X crossover. Since both cars are spun from the same underlying structure, installing the Model X’s all-wheel-drive system in the Model S should be a no-brainer for the Californian electric car startup.

Now The Verge, citing an inside source, is reporting that the all-wheel-drive Model S is a sure thing and that the car may be launched as early as next year. Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] is likely to initially offer it on its range-topping P85 trim and, depending on demand, may extend it across the range.

All-wheel drive would improve the car’s popularity in the Northern states, where winter driving demands extra traction for performance-oriented vehicles. It’s one of the reasons Mercedes-Benz’s go-fast division AMG is gradually switching its full lineup to all-wheel-drive cars and Jaguar is offering the option for the first time on its XF and XJ sedans.

If you’re a performance fan, which you must be since you’re reading Motor Authority, you’re probably wondering what the extra traction could do for the Model S’ acceleration times (we've seen one do 0-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds). Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to find out.


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