Tesla targets cold-weather states with new P85D

LeBeau tests Tesla's insane mode
LeBeau tests Tesla's insane mode

Tesla is looking to expand sales in cold-weather states with its new Model S P85D, a performance edition of its flagship Model S. The luxury car touts the vehicle as the "fastest-accelerating four-door production sedan ever made."

The dual-engine vehicle, which is basically Tesla's version of all-wheel drive, allows for better performance and traction in the snow. Many have complained the rear-wheel drive Model S underperformed in cold-weather climates.

The P85D features 19-inch wheels and a so-called insane mode that enables it to go from zero to 60 mph in as little as 3.2 seconds.

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Tesla does not break down its sales by state or region, but industry experts says about a third of the company's U.S. sales come from cold-weather states.

Tesla has gathered the bulk of its sales in California and other warm-weather states, much of that due to California's pushing incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles and the greater infrastructure in terms of charging stations.

Tesla Model S P85D is revealed to the media at the 2015 North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center on January 12, 2015 in Detroit.
Scott Legato | WireImage | Getty Images

California accounts for approximately 40 percent of all U.S. plug-in car sales, in part due to the state's push to get 1.5 million electric vehicles on the its roads by 2025, according to the California Air Resources Board.

However, the electric car maker has struggled in its other key market: China. Tesla sold about 120 cars in China last month, which was well below the company's aggressive targets, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has threatened to fire or demote top executives in the country if they are "not on a clear path to positive long-term cash flow,'' according to the Reuters report.

The company will report report fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday after the bell. Wall Street expects the firm to report earnings of 31 cents per share, which would be a 7 percent decline from a year ago. Meanwhile, revenue is projected to grow 61 percent, year-over-year, to $1.23 billion.

The stock declined about 3 percent in mid-day trading ahead of the report.

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—CNBC's Phil LeBeau contributed to reporting.