Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Last week Tesla undertook a world-record continental crossing with what it dubbed the Tesla Cross Country Rally. The goal was simple; take a pair of Model S sedans from Los Angeles to New York while spending an absolute minimum of time charging by using the new Supercharger network.

As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, the team decided to take a northern route during what has been one of this country’s worst winters in decades. Along the journey the team encountered temperatures well below zero, closed interstates, and more than a foot of snow in some places.

Despite all these challenges, a full seventy-six hours after leaving Los Angeles, the team rolled into New York City. The total trip was 3,427 miles and the team only spent 15 hours and 57 minutes tied to a charger.

The going was tough enough that one of the gasoline powered support vehicles for the trip suffered a breakdown.

I was part of a cross country record attempt last year with Audi , and I can attest that this type of journey is anything but easy. It is a grueling punishment of your mental and physical health. Aside from the sleep deprivation, sitting in a car for that length causes cramps, muscle spasms and many other maladies.

I personally applaud Tesla for their outstanding effort.

If you would like to see some of the crazy weather they traveled through, as well as see a few more facts about the journey, click the play button on the video we have above.

Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S.

Tesla Model S

It’s been a while since we’ve heard an update on Tesla , as it’s remained relatively quiet for the past few months — except for the fire issues. Well the silence is now broken, as the always-vocal Elon Musk has confirmed that the Model S will receive and all-wheel-drive option.

We already assumed that this was in the works, given the Model X — Tesla’s upcoming SUV — will be all-wheel drive and that it will share some of its drivetrain with its sedan sibling. We expect to see the Model X sometime in 2015, so the AWD version of the Model S will likely arrive in the late 2015 model year or early 2016.

Imagining the extra traction in bad weather is awesome, but what really gets me amped up is the thought of how this will affect the performance of the already fast sedan. The Model S Performance already hits 60 mph in an insane 4.2 seconds, and AWD may push that down into the sub-4-second range, rivaling gas-guzzling supercars .

On top of this fantastic news, Musk also outlined plans to release higher-capacity batteries for next year, and how he expects the new "giga factory" to reduce battery costs by up to 40 percent, making Tesla cars more affordable.

Click past the jump to read more about the Model S.

Whenever the end of the year is upon us, we all spend enough time to take a break from all the holiday shopping to reflect on the year that was.

The same holds true in the automotive industry, except that instead of merely reminiscing, there are those that are in positions to hand out what they deem are the best cars of the year. Last week, 48 journalists from North America voted on the North American Car and Truck of the Year, whittling down the list to three finalists in each category with the winners being announced at the 2014 North American International Auto Show this coming January.

Well, Europe has its equivalent in the aptly named "Car of the Year jury." It consists of 58 members from 22 countries in Europe with representation depending on a specific country’s market size and its "importance in car manufacturing."

A subjective criteria, but okay, we’ll roll with it.

What’s important is that the list of contenders for the prestigious award has been narrowed down to seven finalists, all of which have as much chance as the other to succeed the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf . The winner will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March, giving the "Car of the Year" jury enough time to exhaust every analytical measure possible before making a decision on which car to vote for.

Good luck to all the finalists!

Click past the jump to read about the seven finalists for the Car of the Year award

Posted on by Tushar  
Tesla Model S

Elon Musk, CEO of electric car maker Tesla , has categorically denied any plans to recall the company’s flagship Model S electric sedan. This comes as numerous reports of the Model S’ fires came to light. News of multiple Tesla Model S fires have been reported to date, and an official investigation into the matter is yet to be undertaken.

That said, U.S. regulators are yet to confirm any form of investigation into the Model S fires. If the government regulator does find a fault, we could be looking at a potential recall of select models. However, Tesla boss does not think a formal investigation should be required and that Tesla cars are way safer than any other fossil fuel-powered automobile.

Musk was quick to attack those media channels that, according to Elon Musk, had blown the whole thing out of proportion. "Reaction to the fires reported by some media are extremely inaccurate and unreasonable," he added. Since, the first report of the fires, Tesla stocks have plummeted by 22 percent, sparking fears among investors.

The NHTSA is in constant contact with the authorities investigating the accidents. The agency had earlier chosen not to investigate into the fires when the first incident came to light.

More on the Tesla Model S after the jump

Source: Autonews

With the Fisker offices all boarded up and awaiting a final sale to some random foreign country, who are we to turn to for high-end vehicle fires? Well, since Tesla has been everything that Fisker has not since, well, forever, who better to step into the automobile-flambé role than Fisker’s one time competitor that wasn’t really a competitor, but still was — or however the two used to spin that whole deal...

Yup, what you see in the video above is a Tesla Model S doing its best Fisker Karma impression, and we must say that it’s doing a mighty fine job indeed. Reports from Tesla claim that this Model S struck metal debris on the roadway and the debris caused damage to the battery pack. The driver continued on his merry way, despite the vehicle’s warning systems telling him to pull over and shut the vehicle off. The end result is the expensive BBQ you see above.

Mental note to all Tesla Model S owners; this is not a 2002 Cavalier where the check engine light is safe to ignore and easily blocked out by a few inches of electrical tape. This is a high-tech electric car with enough juice to make Texas’ electric chair blush in envy. When it says "pull over," you just may want to listen to it.

Fortunately, the driver wasn’t physically hurt, but we’re sure his wallet will feel the pain when it comes insurance premium time. Unfortunately for Tesla, its stock didn’t take too kindly to the flaming Model S, as it dropped 6 percent on Wednesday and continued to fall as of noon on Thursday. It is on a slight upswing for now, but this just goes to show just how badly one driver’s negligence can harshly impact a company.

We’ll keep you updated.

Click past the jump to read more on the Tesla Model S.

Posted on by Simona  

Last time we saw the Tesla Model S on a dyno, it turned in 388 horsepower, but the folks over AutoCar wanted to see for themselves just how much power the electric Tesla Model S can deliver.

They took the electric sedan to the folks at Surrey Rolling Road Ltd., and put the Model S to the horsepower test. The resulting 428.2 horsepower is rather impressive, considering Tesla only rates it at 416 horsepower. This also makes us wonder what the other testers did wrong to lead to the Model S pumping out drastically less power.

This amount of power is enough to make the new Tesla S Performance into a super-fast electric sedan that can sprint from to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 130 mph. All of this while putting off zero emissions — not bad at all.

Tesla just keeps on rolling out new programs that make electric cars a real possibility for the majority of daily commuters. First came the introduction of the up-to-300-mile Tesla Model S, which was a revolution in EV technology in itself. Then came the release of the Supercharger network, which is free on any Model S with an 85 kWh battery – a $2,000 option on any Model S with a 60 kWh battery.

Sure, the Supercharger network is still small, but Tesla promises to have 98 percent of the U.S. covered by 2015 and enough to enable coast-to-coast driving in the winter of 2013. You can actually see a cool interactive map on the Tesla site. However, we’re not here to plug the website; we’re here to tell you that Tesla has again revolutionized the EV world with its pack-swap option at Supercharger stations.

This gives Model S owners the ability to choose waiting 20-plus minutes for their Model S to recharge and pay nothing or pay a fee and have their Model S’ battery pack swapped for a fully charged one. You’re likely thinking that these battery packs are so complex that it has to take hours to replace. But that’s not the case at all.

Thanks to Tesla using automation and a drive-over system, you can pull up to a station and drive over a small pit – similar to a quick oil-change place – and an automated system removes the discharged battery and replaces it with a fully charged one in just 90 seconds.

With Elon Musk being as flamboyant as he is – and rightfully so – he challenged the fastest gas pump in Los Angeles to a duel. Well, Tesla managed to swap out two Model S batteries before the gas pump could fill up an empty tank.

So it’s your choice: free or fast? We are just concerned with exactly how much this “fee” is for the pack swap. We bet it’ll run about the same price as a tank of gas: $50. Unfortunately, there is no ETA for the roll out of this program.

Click past the jump to read more about the Supercharger stations

Tesla Model S

If we told you that an electric car outpaced BMW , Mercedes and Audi to start of the year, you would likely be making sure you haven’t figured out time travel by mistake. Well, folks, this is no glimpse into the future; it’s reality (sort of).

During the initial three months of 2013, the Tesla Model S actually managed to beat BMW, Mercedes and Audi in total registrations in the U.S. for similar models. The S-Class saw 3,077 registrations, the BMW 7 Series had 2,338 registrations and Audi pulled up the rear with 1,462 A8 deliveries. In the same amount of time, the Model S saw 4,750 new registrations, beating all three of the German giants.

Sure, the Model S is a totally different kind of car that is prone to seeing sudden spikes in registrations and it lacks the internal competition between models that Bimmer, Benz and Audi all have. Additionally, buyers get a hefty $7,500 tax credit just for buying the model S. But, the Model S is severely handcuffed by its limited sales avenues, thanks to weird laws in most states that prohibit direct builder-to-buyer sale and Tesla refusing to sell independent franchises.

Another handcuff to consider is the fact that the Model S is an electric car that can easily leave you stranded, should you run out of charge.

Despite the fact that this new information only covers the first few months of the year and is likely skewed by other factors, the pure fact that the Model S can hang with the big boys in sale is a promising sign for Tesla and all electric vehicles.

Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S

Source: Autoweek
Posted on by Simona  

A few months ago, Elon Musk announced Tesla’s intention to develop an optional package that would put Tesla Model S on same level as the McLaren MP4-12C . Quite an interesting decision, but it finally came to life – sort of – with the announcement of a new "Plus" package priced at an extra $6,500.

The new package can only be ordered with the 85-kWh Performance version of the Model S and, according to Tesla, it improves "performance, comfort and efficiency."

The package will add revised suspension dampers and bushings, updated stabilizer bars and tires. The rear tires are 20 mm (0.78 inches) wider and staggered for improved acceleration on low-grip surfaces. Range improves 6 to 12 miles with 21-inch wheels.

Alongside to the new Plus package, Tesla also plans to offer a Plus Retrofit package for current Model S owners. It will be available this summer and will cost $13,500. According to the first details, this new package will "provide the enthusiast driver with a more responsive car and added cornering grip while maintaining excellent ride quality."

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Tesla Model S.

Source: InsideEVs

Have you ever noticed that the most impressive tests aren’t being made by the automaker itself? For example, Tesla never published enough information to show us what a truly amazing car the Model S Performance is. The folks over at DragTimes.com, however, put it to an extreme test at the Palm Beach International Raceway.

The result was pretty astounding, as it ran the quarter-mile in just 12.371 seconds at a speed of 110.84 mph, making the quickest production electric vehicle in the quarter-mile. The result was booked by the National Electric Drag Racing Association (NEDRA), so this is as official as it gets. Additionally, DragTimes.com clocked the model S from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds – 0.5 seconds faster than Tesla’s published time.

To add a little flavor to the mix, the above video shows said model S laying the beat-down on a Dodge Viper. Sure, the person driving the Viper likely needs to go back to racing school to learn how to correctly launch from the starting tree, but it still beat a Viper...

The Model S put to test was equipped with a special set of 21-inch wheels that weigh more than the standard 19-inch rims offered by Tesla, making the results doubly impressive. Under the hood, the electric car has an AC induction motor that delivers a total of 416 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.

As a reminder, DragTimes is the same site that put the Tesla Model S Performance on the dyno and obtained a pretty monstrous 388 horsepower at the rear wheels.

Source: DragTimes

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