2014 Tesla Model S So hot it’s on fire! Autonet ca

29 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2014 Tesla Model S So hot it’s on fire! Autonet ca отключены
TESLA Model S – P85 kWh Auto

2014 Tesla Model S: So hot it’s on fire!

Editor’s Ratings:

Tesla ignited the electric-car revolution all on its own with the Model S sedan. Some of its customers ignited their car batteries, but that wouldn’t stop them from buying another!

That’s the most unusual way to start off a car review, but this is, in many ways, an unusual car (it’s also an efficient way to sum up the California-based carmaker’s recent struggles). After all, here’s a large five-passenger sedan, about the same size as a Porsche Panamera, that can go about 400 km without burning a drop of gasoline.

The Model S costs about the same as a Panamera too between $77,800 and $99,500, depending on options and, in most provinces, government subsidies and performs similarly. It can go from 0 to 100 km/h in about 4.5 seconds, and its frame is so rigid it does not emit any of the squeaking noises you would expect from a car built in very limited numbers (about 20,000 this year).

So this, it turns out, is a very worthy opponent to high end cars from brands such as Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz. And they feel it: the Model S accounted for up to 8% of luxury car sales in the United States since the beginning of the year.

Ironically, taking a closer look at the car interior reveals that several components are sourced from suppliers who also do business with Mercedes-Benz, since they’re identical. On the other hand, the pop-out door handles and the long panoramic roof prove this car was not simply made from other manufacturers’ spare parts.

Shockingly roomy

The Model S sports two other exclusivities. First, by having the battery pack under the floor and by using very compact electrical components, the car leaves a lot of room for passengers and their luggage. The trunk hatch also maximizes storage room, which also creates more headroom for the three passengers in the back seat (we could probably sit four if there were four safety belts).

In front, Tesla designers didn’t seem to know what to do with all that extra space in the console area. A thin but long compartment can hold spare change, documents, cell phones, etc. without offering any kind of way to keep them from moving around all the time.

The most obvious trait of the Model S, however, is the enormous 17-inch touch screen display located right in the middle of the dashboard. Along with the LCD screens found in the cluster behind the wheel, this screen can display all types of information, from trip data to navigation info to the multimedia system settings. It also has a built-in browser to surf the web, and since it’s always connected, its firmware can be updated whenever Tesla feels like it.

400 km of silent comfort

Unlike other EVs such as the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Energi, the Model S sports a much higher range: up to 425 km per charge. It can go down to 300 — 350 km depending on weather conditions and driving style, at 80% of charge. Such a charge would take four to five hours from a custom wall-charger, which is highly recommended (Tesla actually includes a twin 240V, 40A charger, for even shorter charge times).

Like the Leaf, this car is very quiet on the road. You can almost hear the electrons speeding by to the motor. What you will really feel is the car’s enormous amount of available torque, creating powerful acceleration that pushes you hard against the seat.

Needless to say, passing on the highway is a breeze with this car. The regenerative brakes also have a lot of power and can stop the car in rather short distances.

TESLA Model S – P85 kWh Auto

All that said, it’s no surprise that the company’s instant success — on the roads and on the stock exchange — irritates its rivals, as well as those who criticize the coming of age of the electric powertrain. Like the gas-powered car, the EV is obviously far from perfect.

It is, nonetheless, promising: Tesla plans to release a seven-passenger Model X next year, and is still pondering the production of a smaller, more affordable sedan. If this happens, expect the fire to continue spreading.


•••

2014 Tesla Model S

Trim level: P85

Price as tested (before taxes and rebates): $99,500

Options on test vehicle: More powerful motor, extended range

Configuration: rear-engine, read-wheel drive

Engine/transmission: 85 kW electric motor / fixed-gear

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