Tesla Motors to ‘Unveil the D’ Oct. 9

PALO ALTO, Calif. (San Jose Mercury News/MCT) -

A cryptic tweet from Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk sparked buzz among his 1 million followers and devotees of Tesla’s all-electric car.

“About time to unveil the D and something else,” tweeted Musk.

Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule declined to comment Thursday, saying all will be revealed on the evening of Oct. 9, when the company has a Model S-related product announcement in Los Angeles.

Let the rampant speculation begin.

Is it a Model S with All Wheel Drive? A Model S outfitted with Mobileye collision-avoidance technology? Is it the Model 3, or a totally new car? No, wait, Elon is building an all-electric pickup truck!

“You know that D doesn’t stand for diesel,” said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, in an interview.

“Could it stand for delivery? I think it could be a small pickup or delivery truck. Elon mentioned a truck several months ago, and a lot of people blew that off. But the truck market is very dynamic right now: volumes are high, and there are a lot of new models on the market. If you are a small business and you deliver pizzas or flowers, it would be great to be able to do it on electricity.”

Nowhere is speculation more rampant than among current Model S owners, who pay close attention to every move of the company.

“The All Wheel Drive S has been rumored to be in the works AND in existence for months,” said Al McKersie, 51, a Model S owner in Delaware. “I have several relatives in Maine and Massachusetts that will not order a Model S until AWD is available.”

Tesla sells the Model S in all 50 states, but the vast majority of its sales are in California, the East Coast and along the southern swath of the country.

Andrea James, an analyst with Doughtery and Co., said that all-wheel drive is a huge must-have for people who live in snowy climates.

“You’ve got people holding out for that, especially after a brutal winter last year,” said James.