2013 Motor Trend Car of The Year: Behind The Wheel Of The Tesla Model S

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Tesla Model S

The Model S is like no other on the market as far as electric cars go. Visiting a Tesla dealership/retail store is an experience  like none other. For one, the look of a Tesla dealership is like a high-end retail boutique. Car dealerships are usually a stand alone building that have their car servicing center attached to it. Tesla dealerships are located in mall settings. We found this to be very awkward, but cool and innovative at the same time. Unlike the traditional distribution of cars from the manufacturing house to third party dealerships/ car distributor’s, Tesla designs their cars, manufactures them then ships their cars straight to their own stores and sells directly to consumers. That unique business model is one of the reasons why DFRAGG wanted to get in depth coverage of the Tesla brand and Model S.

Design

Tesla Model S

As of now, the Model S can out perform luxury sports cars and its the first really appealing electric vehicle on the market. The minimal competition it has is the Leaf by Nissan, Ford’s electric Focus and the Coda only because they too operate solely on electricity. Now when you look at these contenders, you laugh right? Its like comparing a Mercedes-Benz S-Class to a Dodge Dart. The Model S is equipped with two storage compartments, one in front (where the engine usually is in cars) and the other in the rear (usual trunk space). You have the luxury of having two spaces because the battery is located underneath the base (floor) of the car. Another design advantage Tesla made was to the front chassis. Since the Model S lacks an engine upfront, the front of the car was designed much better than any other. They had the opportunity to implement lightweight aluminum body reinforcements with high strength boron steel beams and other elements.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Other than the window switches and indicator lever, there are very few buttons in the Model S. The center console’s infotainment system is a huge vivid 17″ touch screen panel. Think of it as a control center. From there you can control every single setting of the car you can think of from climate control, navigation to exterior/ interior lighting adjustments and more.

Navigation

Tesla Model S

The Tesla’s native navigation system is Google Maps®. This is cool because nowadays everyone likes to use their smart phones and tablets just for the Google Maps app. You get to have all the same, if not more, detailed features and configurations such as finding nearby restaurants, shopping centers and other attractions.

Powertrain and Battery

Tesla Model S

The Model S is a rear wheel drive electric vehicle. The liquid-cooled powertrain consists of a battery, motor, drive inverter (the inverter converts DC to AC to make the car go), and a gear box.

Pricing

The Model S starts at a base price of $52,400, including a $7,500 Federal Tax Credit. Once you begin to add on extra features and choose the Model S sport with luxury enhancements like carbon fibre dash inserts, a full panoramic glass roof, 21″ rims and their most powerful 85 kWh battery option, your calculator begins to add up to around $80-90,000+.

Tesla’s Mission

Tesla Model S

In the near future, Tesla plans on developing a charging network called superchargers (across the country) that’ll allow mobile travelers to charge their cars for free. The power available at the charging stations will gain and generate power from solar and wind powered generators. Tesla’s goal is to produce affordable cars now in order to gain the capital to develop the technology to produce even cheaper more affordable electric cars down the road from the revenue gained from the Model S.

Find out more about the Tesla Model S and other range here: Tesla Motors. Meanwhile, check out the video and image gallery below…

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