Driving the Tesla Model S Quickly And Briefly Autopia Wired com

3 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Driving the Tesla Model S Quickly And Briefly Autopia Wired com отключены
Tesla Model S

Driving the Tesla Model S Quickly, And Briefly

FREMONT, CA – It s been nearly four years since Tesla announced plans to expand its electric line-up from a singular sports car to a four-door, five-seat sedan. In the interim, the upstart automaker has grown its dealer network, secured more funding, revealed a crossover concept, and purchased and converted the former NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA to begin production of the Model S.

And that s where we re at today, joined by a smattering of press, investors, and a handful of EV early adopters who ve plunked down deposits and are finally taking delivery of one of the first 10 full-size, fully electric, U.S.-built sedans.

The road from inception to production is a long one, and we ve covered the Model S extensively since its announcement. But today, we finally get to drive it. Albeit for a very specific 7 to 9 minutes.

In typical Tesla fashion, this is a highly choreographed affair.

In typical Tesla fashion, this is a highly choreographed affair. Between owners arriving, investor briefings, the assembled masses of journalists and photographers, and us, everything has been planned down to the minute – if not the second.

Which is why this is not a comprehensive test of the Model S.

We can tell you that it accelerates, stops and turns. It s got more than enough shove to power you up an on-ramp, an interior that s capable of carrying you and a few companions for an EPA-estimated 265 miles on a six-hour charge, and an infotainment screen that takes up more dashboard real-estate than a three-story row home.

What we can t tell you is what the Model S is like to commute in or what it s like to cane through the twisting roads of Mount Hamilton. And more importantly, we re unable to put Tesla s range claims to the test.

But if our brief seat time is any indication, Tesla hasn t just delivered a functional, all-electric sedan – it s made a luxury EV that can outpace and outclass the stalwarts of the premium sports sedan segment, while changing the perceptions of electric mobility.

It s also a complete hoot to drive.

If you need a refresher on the Model S stats and features, brace yourself for the numerical barrage.

Three battery capacities are available: a 40 kWh pack, a 60 kWh battery, or a range-topping 85 kWh of juice. Tesla is citing range figures of 160 miles for the low end, 40 kWh module and 230 miles for the 60 kWh pack. The EPA just put out its own stats on the maxed-out 85 kWh battery, and rates it at 265 miles on a single charge and a combined rating of 89 MPGe.

Until the EPA does its thing with the other models, it s safe to assume the lesser packs will be rated around 10 percent less than what Tesla is citing.

The price discrepancy between each battery capacity is easy to calculate – start with $49,900 (after the $7,500 federal tax credit) and add $10k for each upgraded pack, with the 85 kWh model topping out at $69,900.

Tesla Model S

No matter the battery spec, you re getting a Model S with 362 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, and fitted with the 17-inch, Nvidia-powered touchscreen infotainment system, 19-inch wheels and seating for five, or up to seven if you fit the optional and entirely daft hatch-mounted, rear-facing seats.

The Model S Performance adds a high performance drive inverter boosting output to 416 hp from 5,000 to 8,600 RPM and 443 pound-feet of torque from 0 to 5,100 revs, which combined with the upgraded tire and wheel package is good for a 0-60 MPH run of 4.4 seconds. Along with the 85 kWh battery pack, the Performance model also comes standard with Nappa leather interior, alcantara and carbon fiber accents, a sport-tuned traction control system that allows a minute amount of slip and an active air suspension that goes from spongy to sporty depending on the conditions. All that for $84,900.

With a total tonnage of well in excess of 4,000 pounds, the Model S drives surprisingly light on its feet.

What we re driving today is the Signature Performance model, one of 1,000 limited edition variants that have been set aside for the earliest of Tesla s early adopters. While the $87,900 base Signature edition packs the same high-range battery pack and air suspension, along with red exterior paint, coke dealer chic white interior, and a claimed 0-60 run of 5.6 seconds, the performance model comes with the same kit but commands a cool $97,900 for its exclusivity.

Acting like a proper consumer electronics company, Tesla will only be offering the topped-out 85 kWh pack at launch, with the 60 kWh pack coming this fall and the 40 kWh version arriving in the winter.

Tesla s pre-planned, six-mile route covered short blasts of urban and highway driving, along with a few fast, sweeping bends that put the drivetrain, suspension and steering in its best light.

We make a hard left out of the former NUMMI plant and mat the throttle down a straight leading to a long, slightly on-camber left hand turn. Acceleration in this Performance model is beyond brisk and the complete lack of any engine or transmission noise feels odd as we re whisked in near silence to over 90 MPH.

A quick lift off the accelerator and the regenerative braking comes on at full force, slowing the Model S down to near 70 MPH before we lightly dab the brake entering the bend.

No need. The regen handles most of the deceleration and we get back on the throttle to power through at a few ticks over 60 MPH.

Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
TESLA Model S – 85 kWh Auto
TESLA Model S – 85 kWh Auto
TESLA Model S – 85 kWh Auto
TESLA Model S – 85 kWh Auto

Interesting articles

Other articles of the category "Tesla":

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts



About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.

Catalog ALL Electric Cars and hybrid/ News and Information about Electric Car and Electric Vehicle Technologies, batteries for vehicle catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about Electric and Hybrid cars - Green energy