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
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
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
"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
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.
quote: The base model will have a range of 160 miles (260 km) when fully charged using a 42 kW·h battery pack (24 kW·h/100 mi, 108 mpgge). Larger, longer range battery pack options will be available as well; the options announced include a range of 230 miles (370 km) from a 65 kW·h pack (26 kW·h/100 mi, 100 mpgge) and a range of 300 miles (480 km) from an 85 kW·h pack (26 kW·h/100 mi, 100 mpgge). The base battery pack will contain 5,000 lithium-ion cells, reported to be sourced from Panasonic, while the larger battery packs will both contain 8,000 cells and weigh approximately 1,200 pounds (540 kg). The largest pack will use the same number of cells, but each cell will have a 30% higher specific energy to enable the pack to store the additional energy. A 45-minute QuickCharge of the 42 kW·h pack will be possible when a 3-phase 480 volt, 100 amp circuit is available (80 amp continuous draw from a 100 amp breaker).