2013 Tesla Model SEnlarge Photo
Three months ago, we speculated that Tesla's next product might not be the delayed Model X crossover, but an all-wheel drive version of the Model S.
Guess what? It turns out we might have been right.
Sources for The Verge say a new all-wheel drive Model S could debut as soon as 2014, possibly in a high-performance trim with performance equal to or better than the current range-topper, the 85 kWh Model S Performance.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk had previously denied that an AWD Model S was imminent, speaking at a Tesla store in a country where such a system could be quite popular--Norway. Musk reasoned that "unless you're going to go off-road, I would say you probably don't [need it]."
Tesla already offers a $750 Subzero Weather package for the Model S, incorporating 3-zone rear seat heaters, wiper blade defrosters and washer nozzle heaters. The company says the package is recommended "for climates where temperatures regularly fall well below freezing".
While the Model S works pretty well on snow and ice by the standards of many rear-drive cars, all-wheel drive would still be a popular option for buyers in colder Snowbelt states.
With no front-mounted engine to nudge out of the way as you would in a regular car, and the simplicity of an electric drivetrain, it wouldn't be too difficult to implement. The Model X is proof Tesla is already developing such a system, and adapting it for the sedan probably isn't a huge undertaking.
Nothing is confirmed of course--but such an option would give the Model S an even broader range of talents.
Would the option of all-wheel drive make the Tesla Model S even better? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.