A white-hat hacker in the USA has discovered what appears to be code and an image referencing the Tesla Model S P100D in the vehicle's latest firmware update.
Jason Hughes, a white-hat hacker (the term is often used to refer to hackers who hack for good, instead of bad) discovered the code in version 7.1 of Tesla's firmware.
Instead of just exposing the information, Hughes posted the details in a SHA256 hash to the Tesla Motors Club forum.
It didn't take long before a forum user decrypted the code to reveal the phrase "P100D".
Hughes explained that he found references to P100D in two revisions prior, but stumbled across the P100D graphic in the latest version of the firmware.
The Model S P90D, coupled with Ludicrous Mode, was announced in July 2015 and brought with it a larger battery pack (90kWh instead of 85kWh) which increased range and allowed the company to introduce Ludicrous Mode.
The numbers following the Model S name refer to the capacity of the battery packs in kilowatt hours (kWh). So where the P90D refers to the performance version with 90kWh and all-wheel drive, P100D suggests a performance version with 100kWh battery capacity and all-wheel drive.
We asked Tesla Motors Australia senior marketing and communications manager, Heath Walker, about the rumours, but he was predictably cagey.
"Tesla is constantly innovating and adding new features to our vehicles, including over the air updates. However, we don’t comment on speculation about future releases.”
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has suggested in the past that Tesla aims to increase battery capacity by 10 per cent per year and predicts over 1000km range within several years.
Last year Musk told Dutch media, "My guess is that we could probably break 1,000km within a year or two. I'd say 2017 for sure...in 2020 I guess we could probably make a car go 1,200km. I think maybe 5-10% a year [improvement], something like that."
This suggestion by Musk confirms that it's highly likely we will see the P100D announced around mid-2016, not long after the Model 3 launch, which is currently slated for March 31.
Hughes claims that there is even more to be found in the firmware relating to future Tesla product, but he has withheld the information in good faith.
Do you think the Model S P100D needs to be quicker than the P90D, which currently does 0-100km/h in around 3.0 seconds?