Tesla Model S

October 4, 2011 by staff 

Tesla Model STesla Model S, In events of this past weekend and the following Monday, Tesla gave its customers and a group of journalists the opportunity to see the beta version of its Model S, the new electric sedan intended to put into production next year. I joined this happy few, but I knew that, unlike most car model introductions, which should not actually drive the car.

Enter the passenger seat, one of the first things I noticed, along with every other journalist present at this event was that the stem-mounted unit of selection was the same found in Mercedes-Benz. Apparently, the power steering unit and steering partners, including control column and the brain stem, was provided by ZF automotive equipment manufacturer. Jim Dunlay, vice president of powertrain engineering, told me that, for the production, Tesla could have its own unit of selection, along with other controls that could share supply with another automaker.

And that illustrates the shift lever which means Tesla Model S calling this a beta, and why not get your hands on the wheel, not today. Tesla did much of its transparency, as other car manufacturers do not allow you to see a model at this early stage of development. The car was one of the top five in this race, built at a plant hired in Detroit. The next phase, the Beta 2 will be built on the new Tesla Fremont, California factory. 50 of these vehicles will be built starting this month. The model Beta 2 will not only help employees improve the Tesla car, but will also test the new plant.

Not that this Beta 1 Model S was not so advanced. Electric transmission check. The steering wheel control. Cover control. Good interior trim, check. The car, known as Beta 1 Tesla, although he had a working system, basically, information and entertainment on the center console and instrument panel all-digital. There were still many details to resolve, as the shifter, the programming interface for information and entertainment, and fine tuning, but this Beta 1 is a working car.

Tesla as an employee Graham Sutherland beta tested the S model through a short slalom, the first part of the track for this ride along, explained how the battery hanging under contributed to the excellent stability. After seeing the unique design of the car in the fashionable cut, I need not tell me, relegated to the passenger seat, the way the weight distribution and the great assembly, flat battery would help the car handle. As Sutherland is responsible for the car’s suspension that he was aware of the information much more interesting.

Noticing a bit of influence in the first moves, I began to ask him about the suspension tuning, currently a work in progress. According to Sutherland, CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk wants the S model for the handling of a Porsche and comfort of an Audi. Those are pretty high bar to set, especially for conventional suspension technology to support car, double wishbone front and multilink configuration in the rear. No air suspension technology, Magnetic Ride no.

However, the ride was very smooth, the feeling, probably reinforced by the lack of a car’s combustion engine. Remove the sound of repeated explosions that occur right in front of the cabin, and the car already has a great advantage in front of luxury.

The next section of the course was a straight line, which Sutherland made actual use of the accelerator. The S model, but much larger than the Roadster, made the push. I was pressed into the seat of the car quickly hit 60 mph, then 70, and up to 80 before having to slow down.

As I have experienced in other electric cars, the acceleration was smooth and inexorable, free gear and engine speed changes. The only surprise here is how well the electric propulsion technology to Tesla scalar bigger car. The Roadster, which has some contortions to get in, has a battery that looks like a refrigerator and a motor the size of a watermelon.

The S, on the other hand, have their batteries in an apartment about four inches thick with mounting bolts under the car. The engine, sitting on the rear axle is a little larger than the Roadster. Even with what are essentially lithium ion laptop batteries, Tesla packs enough of them on the flat roof, along with a liquid cooling system to produce 85 kilowatt-hour, or 300 miles range for the car.

The electric motor is rated at 362 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque, the latter figure available from 0 to 7,000 rpm. Place the Model S at 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. At the launch weekend, Elon Musk revealed that Tesla also create a sporty S model, which reaches 60 mph in under 4 seconds.

I had no trouble believing that the configuration of the Tesla Model S unit would work, but it was nice to feel that pushing the car to the test track. Tesla replaced faith with the test. Sutherland finished the course with some fast loops in Tesla own factory test track, including a curve.

The S model cabin looked much better than you might expect from a first beta release. I had a glass roof retractable portion. Leather seats were comfortable cover. All doors closed with a single click reassuring soft.

But it really calls attention to the interior was its simplicity. The dashboard and other surfaces of the cells lacked I’m used to used to seeing in most cars. Sure, there are controls on the window in the door, a pair of scroll wheels, you can click on the steering wheel spokes, and the selector unit. But most of the cckpit appeared on the large touch screen center, a large entertainment interface Elon Musk compared with IPAD.

Boblett Brennan, in charge of interface design, showed a series of system features. A row of icons at the top allowed access to various vehicle functions, such as telephone, navigation and stereo. The top half of the navigation screen can display, courtesy of Google Earth, with background music shows, telephone, or other functions. Or the navigation could be moved to the bottom half with a Web browser at the top. The demonstration also showed how the map could take the whole screen.

Boblett showed Slacker radio integration, but warned that Tesla has not concluded any agreement with developers of applications. The system assumes that the local music store, including advanced voice command that allows you to select the music, saying the artist name, like Ford’s Sync.

With the car’s data connection, downloading imagery from Google Earth to show the location of the vehicle. As you download a part consisting of 300 km radius around the car, more than the capacity of the vehicle itself should always be available satellite images. But Tesla also include a standard navigation system Navigon license.

Linux builds this system of information and entertainment, and only takes 35 MB, according to Boblett. And food is a Tegra2 chip from Nvidia, a graphics processor larger than a dime, but powerful enormous. By the time production of the Model S hits, use the chip Tegra3.

A separate chip Tegra2 powers the car dashboard. Tesla ends with fullanlog gauges, the solution of a flat glass panel behind the wheel with the gauges virtual representations of speed, range, and other useful information. The infotainment interfaces and instrument panel are subject to adjustment until such time that the software must be loaded in the S first out of the production line.

The Tesla has made obvious progress in the S model ensures that the company reached its production plan, which is actually quite modest. Only 5,000 units of the model S are scheduled for production the first year, even though you have already registered 6000 Tesla orders. The following year, the company enters full production, and yet only plans 20,000 cars a year, which is the capacity of its planned production line of one shift each day.

With a base price of 57,400 and before the credits, the Model S looks like a good value proposition. However, a base model only have a range of 160 miles. Tesla estimates that the version of 300 miles of range and cost around 77,400. Tesla has not suggested any difference other content, plus range for the different versions.

Tesla has already announced it is working on a second car for its model line, the Model X, which will take the form of a cross. Expected to be more affordable than the S model

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