You’ve probably seen Tesla’s newest jaw-dropping car, the Model S, cruising around town and have heard a few things about the technological wonder. It’s been touted as the latest and greatest in electric cars, but there’s much more to the Model S than whatís been reported. Here are some aspects of this amazing car. Let’s start with the fact that the Tesla Model S is the first viable, non hybrid electric car ever to hit the road. Sure, we’ve had the Nissan leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and other all-electric vehicles roaming city streets for years, but they’ve been limited in range. Tesla’s Model S makes many otherwise impossible road trips a reality, thanks to its 200+ mile range per charge. This is more than double the range of other mainstream electric cars per charge.
The Model S is the first electric car with a dedicated infrastructure to support long-distance driving. As a matter of fact, 2 of these cars recently drove from San Diego to Vancouver using Tesla’s Supercharger stations. After every 200 miles or so, stops were made to recharge the car’s batteries. Charging only took 30 minutes at each stop, which isn’t too bad considering most drivers will stop for 30 minutes to eat after a few hundred miles of driving anyways. And while a lengthy road trip like this isn’t an issue for a gasoline-powered car, the fuel costs for such an adventure can be enormous. But that wasn’t the case with these 2 Tesla – their trip, minus food and hotel costs was free. That’s right – they didn’t pay a dime for fuel, because Tesla Supercharging stations offer free recharging to Tesla owners.
The Tesla Model S tears up the track and does it reliably. The amazing thing here is that the Model S is heavy car and tips the scales at a portly 4,647 lbs. But this car isnít a slug. With 416 hp and 443 ft-lbs. of torque on tap, drivers can throw down low 12 second quarter mile times. Best of all, they can do it again and again with less risk of breaking something. Unlike the ’67 Chevelle in the other lane, your Tesla Model S, being an electric car, has far fewer moving parts in it. That gnarly Chevy has over 1000 individual components inside of its rumbling V8. And if 1 of those parts breaks, the entire motor can come to a catastrophic halt. Tesla’s electric motor has only 1 moving part and it’s built to take a beating. Also, the Model S handles like a dream. That’s because a large portion of its weight is in its battery pack, so Tesla put it on the floor of the car. This lowers the car’s center of gravity, boosting handling characteristics in spite of the car’s heavy curb weight. In some tests the Tesla Model S handled as well as a BMW 3 series coupe and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.
Fit and Finish
The Tesla Model S is an ultra-luxurious car that’s meant to compete with high-end BMW’s, Mercedes Benz, Lincoln and anyone else around its price range. The car’s body is made from aluminum thatís formed into sleek & exotic curves. All panels fit neatly and the paint job appears deep and orange-peel free. The sensuous flow of the car’s body is accentuated by classy 19″ wheels, but you could give the Model S a performance-oriented look by installing a set of custom wheels in their place. One look at the Tesla’s interior is sure to impress, with an enormous 18″ touch screen display, which surprisingly is made in house at their factory. The seats are wrapped tightly in your choice of leather colours. As a side note, you may want to add a custom set of floor mats or liners to the Model S to contrast its black carpet flooring. This will allow the floor area to blend with the rest of the car’s two-toned interior styling.
Tesla’s trial by fire
There’s no denying Tesla’s tour of the west coast was an incredible achievement that makes not only Telsa, but the electric car seem like a more viable mode of transportation. But what happens when an electric car crashes? We’ve seen the results in news videos, fully of smoke and fire, but in reality electric cars are safer than cars with internal combustion engines. That’s because unlike traditional cars, electric cars don’t carry a large tank with thin walls, full of extremely flammable fuel just behind their bumpers. Instead, most electric cars incorporate their batteries in a location where they’re least likely to be affected in a crash – the vehicle’s floor. Recently, several Tesla’s were involved in major crashes which resulted in fires. But before you convince yourself that every electric car is fire-prone, consider a few points. First, one of the crashed Model S’s was traveling at around 65 mph and slammed into road debris, a large, arched piece of metal that fell off the back of a semi-truck.