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 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.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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