Tesla Model S instrument cluster and center console (touch screen) display

Tesla Model S
Tesla breaks out the big guns when it comes to display technology in its new Model S electric sedan

It's been nearly two years since Tesla Motors took the wraps off its Model S electric sedan. The Model S represents the second vehicle to join automaker's fleet after the Tesla Roadster/Roadster Sport. Whereas the Roadster is high-performance two-seater with little real-world usability, the Model S features five seats and a trunk for stowing your luggage.

Today, we're getting a bit more info on the huge LCD display that we first saw (in rough form) on the vehicle when it was announced. We now know that the center dash is taken up by a huge 17" touchscreen -- the largest ever installed into a production automobile. The display, which is powered by a single NVIDIA Tegra processor, provides full 3D graphics for the driver/passengers. The Tegra processor also controls the infotainment systems and the navigation system.

In addition to the massive center display, a traditional gauge cluster is replaced by a large 12.3" LCD display that also will provide 3D graphics.

"Model S is designed for performance-oriented efficiency. NVIDIA allows us to use the highest graphics with the lowest energy use," said Tesla Motors CTO JB Straubel.

NVIDIA senior vice president Dan Vivoli continued, "The Model S is a modern marvel -- a blend of beauty, performance and efficiency. Tegra's combination of graphics power and energy efficiency make it a perfect match for the Model S."

The Model S will carry a base price of $57,400 (before $7,500 tax credit) and features a battery pack that weighs 1,200 pounds. Despite a total curb weight of 4,000 pounds, the Model S can dart to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and has a driving range of “up to” 300 miles.

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