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Tesla Model S Specs: Performance, Technology, Efficiency


2010 Tesla Model S

2010 Tesla Model S

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Given Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk's claims today, Tesla's Model S all-electric sedan would seem to one-up the stunning Fisker Karma, an E-REV that uses a small gasoline engine to turn a generator. The zero emissions Model S is said to accelerate to 60 mph in roughly the same time (5.6 seconds) as the Fisker. And with the top-option battery pack, Tesla Motors promises a 300-mile range. The standard battery pack yields 160 miles of driving, the second-tier pack 230 miles. Musk envisions Model S owners renting 300-mile battery packs for travels, or upgrading some time after purchasing the vehicle if their driving needs change.

2010 Tesla Model S

2010 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

Top speed of the Model S was given as 130 mph for the upcoming sport variant. Just like the Tesla Roadster, a one-speed drive is used. While that sounds decidedly low-tech, it actually means less weight, complexity, and cost. As electric motors have only rotating - not reciprocating - mass to deal with, their maximum speed is much higher and smoother than any internal combustion engine can muster.

2010 Tesla Model S

2010 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

To fast-charge a Tesla Model S, buyers can purchase extra transformers, boxes, cables and such from the Tesla dealer and enjoy a quick 45-minute charge time. Standard charge time from a household 220V (i.e., clothes dryer) outlet is a little under four hours. Musk claims that the cost - and environmental impact - of this charge time is hugely below that of a tank of gasoline.

2010 Tesla Model S

2010 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

Much of the Model S' chassis and body panels are said to be constructed of lightweight aluminum. Still, this vehicle rings in at just over 4,000 lbs, reflecting a sizable battery pack, plenty of luxury trappings, a huge glass greenhouse, and a large luxury sedan footprint. Musk claims a roughly 45/55 front/rear weight distribution for the sedan and points to BMW and Audi as his ride/handling benchmarks."This thing will have a ridiculously low center of gravity," he said, pointing out that the drivetrain and battery pack reside low and between the rear wheel wells.

2010 Tesla Model S

2010 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

A particularly interesting detail is the center control screen that can perform remote vehicle diagnostics, in some cases actually allowing technicians to fix issues from a different locale.

For an even more in-depth look at the technology and statistics - and their ramifications - point your browser to over to John Voelcker's Green Car Reports.

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Comments (5)
  1. "WOW"

    That's a good looking car, and with the price that's going around, I think it's a relative bargin, and it looks a ton better than the Volt...
     
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  2. "CAR"

    Neat! I like the reliability of the battery pack of the car. Also, the car looks so sleek...
     
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  3. "Styling"

    I agree with Wayne.....Volt looks like the ugly step-sister.
     
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  4. "Very good looking"

    Reminds me of the Quattroporte
     
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  5. "Fisker?"

    Acvtually looks a lot like the Fischer Karma, then again they did employ Fisker to design this originaly, obviously just modified his design. Will be interesting tosee what the actial price is not the overly optomistic low ball figure that was given, same thing happened with roadster.
     
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