Print 48 comment(s) - last by Jkm3141.. on Jan 20 at 12:25 PM

Tesla Model S "Alpha"

The Model S' 17" center display
First comes Alpha, then comes Beta

When we think of the terms Alpha and Beta in the technology sense, we normally think of software applications that are in development or early revisions of computer hardware. Tesla Motors likes to use the terminology as well, and the company is showing off its latest "Alpha" hardware:  a running prototype of the Tesla S sedan.

Tesla explains that there will be both Alpha and Beta versions of its Model S sedan before it finally settles on a production model to make available to the public. Tesla explains that the Alpha version of its Model S first began testing last year, but the public is just now getting its first look at the test vehicle.

Things have changed slightly from the version of the Model S that was first shown in 2009. The front bumper/grille/headlights have been slightly tweaked, and the rear valance panel has also seen some updates (likely to meet federal bumper height, and lighting requirements). You can see the changes that have been made along with footage of the Model S in motion here.

"The first Alpha is amazingly agile for a car of its size. It has great handling balance and poised ride with communicative steering," noted Tesla Motors in a blog post. "Just goes to show what combining a low center of gravity with a very stiff body structure can achieve." 

Tesla Motors will continue with Alpha testing throughout 2011 in various climate conditions and will likely move on to the Beta phase either later this year or early next year. The production Model S is due out in 2012. 

The 4,000-pound Model S will have a driving range of up to 300 miles and can move from a standstill to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. Preliminary pricing for the Model S puts the base model (160-mile range) at $57,400 before a $7,500 federal tax credit. 

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RE: Inaccurate information
By dsumanik on 1/19/2011 2:25:40 AM , Rating: 2
pffffftt.........Why try and make the car sound better than it is?

I know very little about electric vehicles or tesla motors in general...after reading this article I was left with the impression the car pictured above costs 57,000 and will go up to 300 miles on a charge. Good thing i read the comments section.

I was already thinking 57,000 was a little pricey heh...seriously who's gonna pay 100 grand to save on gas money????


copy and paste this into the article, and its all good:

The base package for the alpha sedan starts at $57,000 USD and has a range similar to the nissan leaf. For those with deeper pockets, the vehicle can achieve *UP TO* a 300 mile range. However, in this configuration the tesla will cost closer to $100,000 USD which may put it out of the price range of a budget conscious consumer trying to save on fuel costs.

RE: Inaccurate information
By therealnickdanger on 1/19/2011 8:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
If you want the article dumbed down for you, that's fine, but it's plenty understandable as it is. DT is reporting on the official pricing released by Tesla, which does not include the $100,000 price. Either way, it sounds like this car is not for you.

Choosing between the Leaf and the Model S is like choosing between sex with a fat, ugly girl or a supermodel. Both will get the job done, but you'll only want your friends to know about the latter.

RE: Inaccurate information
By corduroygt on 1/19/2011 9:35:06 AM , Rating: 2
This car is not for most people. It's way too expensive.
Leaf is a better car because it's much more affordable.

RE: Inaccurate information
By Iaiken on 1/19/2011 10:13:43 AM , Rating: 2
It's way too expensive.

It's no more expensive than any similarly sized and appointed luxury sedan. In fact, it comes well under most after the tax credit.

It also depends on what you as an individual are paying for when you buy a car. My current car is a 2006 Mini Cooper JCW that ran me $41,000 after all options and taxes. I got, 0-60 in 5.7, 175mph top speed, handling that makes even a Porsche 997 blush, leather everything, dual panoramic sunroof, heated everything, everything is automagic and a $27,000 resale value after 4 years.

Every day I look forward to getting into my car even when I am not taking it to the track or autoXing it, do you?

RE: Inaccurate information
By gregpet on 1/19/2011 1:55:57 PM , Rating: 2
WAIT...STOP....Mini Coopers cost $41,000??? I thought these were like the German version of the Scion! $15,000 tops...

RE: Inaccurate information
By Spuke on 1/19/2011 2:26:45 PM , Rating: 2
The Mini Copper S John Cooper Works edition (JCW) with lots of options does indeed cost $41k. I personally would never have left the dealer lot with that large a dent in my wallet for a Cooper, especially when a used Cayman S can be had for the same price, but that's how much they CAN get. That said, I do like the Coopers and would own one if they were RWD. Yes, I have driven them, yes they handle well, but my car handles much better (especially once the stock garbage tires were replaced) and cost a lot less.

RE: Inaccurate information
By therealnickdanger on 1/19/2011 11:53:18 AM , Rating: 2
This car is not for most people. It's way too expensive. Leaf is a better car because it's much more affordable.

With that line of thinking, do you only buy White Castle instead of making your own food or going to McDonald's? Cost is most certainly not the only factor in determining a qualitative state. This car is "way too expensive" for you. Don't push your unwillingness or inability to purchase the vehicle upon others.

Have you seen the prices that most new midsize and fullsize vehicles go for in today's market? This car is a bargain by comparison after factoring in fuel costs! Considering the high number of vehicles I see on the road every day that have starting prices in the high 40s to low 50s, I could definitely see this car being much more than a niche once production ramps up.

The Model S has a $57,000 base price, with a 7K federal tax credit with potentially thousands more in state or local tax credits, depending on location. Take a gander at the vehicles that fit this price segment (45-55K). You've probably seen these cars on the road:

RE: Inaccurate information
By corduroygt on 1/19/2011 12:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, B.S. on the 175mph top speed of a mini, LOL. Even Mini themselves say 147 mph, and that's for the new version.

Second, maybe you missed, but the median price of cars in the US is something between 20k-30k. By that measure, the Tesla at 57k is way too expensive, especially with something with only 160 mile range under the best of conditions.

RE: Inaccurate information
By therealnickdanger on 1/19/2011 5:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares about median prices? In order to have a median, you have to have cars priced below and above it! Derp. 57K for a car is not very much for many people, especially after a 7K rebate (do the math, it's 50K). Total bargain for a car with no gas to buy. Why don't you just give up your dumb argument and realize that you can't afford it and don't want to buy it and that other people will? You can crap all over the Model S as much as you please, but it's still going to be successful.

And BTW, the just because the Mini is programmed for a fuel cutoff of 147 mph doesn't mean you can't reprogram it to exceed the speed governor. My car (Dodge Magnum) came from the factory with a 126MPH limit due to the crappy tires it came with, but thanks to my tuner and amazing tires, I can hit over 165 before aerodynamics restrict me. Plenty of RPMs left in 5th gear, just not enough power to overcome physics. Some guys have hit closer to 180 with power adders and tunes, but there's only so much speed the boxy LX platform can get. Before you call BS, there are plenty of videos on Youtube to back up these claims.

RE: Inaccurate information
By AssBall on 1/19/2011 5:18:53 PM , Rating: 2
So You're one of the 10 guys who bought I mean was suckered into a dodge magnum? Where, pray tell, do you drive it 165 miles an hour? Probably to the mechanic.

You can crap all over the Model S as much as you please, but it's still going to be successful.

I doubt,it, because if you really were psychic you never would have bought a Magnum.

By therealnickdanger on 1/20/2011 9:07:19 AM , Rating: 2
What's with the Magnum hate? It's a great car - same exact car as the 300C and Charger, but with great cargo space. I've got 110K on the odometer over the past 5 years and my largest expense has been multiple sets of rear tires! :)

Where and when I drive above the speed limit is no concern of yours. haha

RE: Inaccurate information
By corduroygt on 1/19/2011 5:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
Besides the LOL at Dodge Magnum, cars sold below 50k, VASTLY OUTNUMBER cars sold at 50k or above, this is a fact. I could in fact afford this car if I wanted to,
and even if I couldn't, I didn't know being poor was a crime, what a douchebag.

Also the Mini is not a Magnum with a V8, 200 or so horsepower in a hatchback will only get you so far. It's not governor limited, it's drag and/or gearing limited. So stop your ignorance. If you see 165 on your speedo going downhill with a tailwind, that doesn't mean it's your top speed anyway.

Given the reliability issues of the roadster, I don't think the model S would be anything but a niche vehicle.

RE: Inaccurate information
By ZaethDekar on 1/19/2011 12:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see any buicks on the road. Lol

RE: Inaccurate information
By gregpet on 1/19/2011 2:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
You need to leave your mom's basement more often...

RE: Inaccurate information
By Spuke on 1/19/2011 9:24:22 PM , Rating: 2
This link is probably more accurate. Yours lists some incorrect prices for some cars.

RE: Inaccurate information
By Qapa on 1/19/2011 12:34:46 PM , Rating: 2
I guess it was you that had a double fail:

1 - "Preliminary pricing for the Model S puts the base model (160-mile range) at $57,400 before a $7,500 federal tax credit." If you didn't get it, it is clearly YOUR problem, not the article's!

2 - Lots of people that can afford cars with those prices, would buy electric NOT to save on gas money but for too many other reasons to mention, but here go some examples: greener, quieter, no gas dependency, completely self sufficient if you have solar panels at home, ...

So, you FAIL!! Dumb!

RE: Inaccurate information
By corduroygt on 1/19/2011 12:53:00 PM , Rating: 2
The 160-mile range clarification was added later to the original article, so why don't you use your brain and double check before insulting other people.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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