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Mysterious Tesla Model S 'D' photo appears after Musk tweet. What could it be?

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Chattanooga Times Free Press/AP/File

(Read caption) Charles 'Chip' Monk recharges his Tesla Model S electric car at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Chattanooga, Tenn. A photo leak of a Model S plugged in to charge, at an unnamed airport with no license plate has sent speculation over what the company will be unveiling next week into overdrive.

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The Internets exploded yesterday following a photo tweeted by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, with the caption, "About time to unveil the D and something else".

Feverish speculation over what it meant took up terabytes of server space.

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Then, yesterday afternoon, a photo surfaced that purports to show a Tesla Model S "P85D".


The photo in question was posted to the Tesla Motor Club by forum member Adelman, in a thread discussing Musk's mysterious tweet.

It's a remarkably high-resolution image of the rear of a Tesla Model S, plugged in to charge, at an unnamed airport. The car has no license plate.

Whether the photo is happenstance or a convenient "leak" remains unknown, but the net effect was to stoke the flames of discussion further.

Forty-two pages of forum discussion seem to have settled down to a consensus that "D" will be the designation for "Dual" motors--which is to say the all-wheel-drive option long expected as a new Model S option.

Such a car would be a spinoff from Tesla's AWD work on the upcoming Model X crossover utility vehicle, which will be offered only with all-wheel drive.

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A number of commenters--among them Green Car Reports' own Chris O--suggested that perhaps the AWD model might be called "DD," for Dual Drive.

Which would, as Chris suggests, explain why Musk didn't particularly want to tweet that it was time to unveil the DDs.


We'll find out late next Thursday, October 9, the date of Tesla's scheduled press and owner event.