Tesla Model S - pretty nice

Apparently leaked on Digg’s founder’s Flickr account. Don’t you love the internet?

I like it, but I think it isn’t as nice as a Jag XF. Which also makes me think, it’s not distinctive enough.

I think all the lines are pretty nice. The rear end chrome detail strip is more than a little Jag though. I’m withholding judgment until we see the front though. Could turn out to be a butta face.

$57,400 base… but not until 2011. Even so, I’d put upwards of $20 on Tesla Model-S being available before the Volt. And I’d also wager it drives further, with better performance. Suck it GM.

It is very jag meets Maserati Quattroporte but it looks good. I like it.

Hey Congress, give these guys some money. If my tax money is going to start subsidizing companies, can I at least choose which ones?

More pics:

I like it, it has nice form. The front especially…but lets hope they ditch that seriffed font font eh “MODEL S” plate before production.

The front is nice. The only thing I don’t like, is that it looks so normal. I think the geek factor of the Prius helped its sales.

Rumour is that the chassis is either a Mercedes C or E class. Tesla doesn’t have the money or ability to build their own cars. I don’t think that’s a bad thing though…leverage the existing intelligence.

It looks a bit like the front of the maserati GT. less elongated but similar graphic elements.

Hey Congress, give these guys some money. If my tax money is going to start subsidizing companies, can I at least choose which ones?


I totally agree. I don’t know what Tesla’s business plan is like, but I’d rather take the risk of investing in them than a bleeding monster like GM. I heard on NPR this morning that they are looking for $350 million from the U.S. government.

I like it too. The roofline is so sweet, I keep forgeting it has 4 doors. The face is pleasant…If I’m nitpicking, I wish could have bared at least a little resemblance to the Roadster though.

I don’t see how they can possibly bring this in for $50k, especially assembled in California, the land of low wages and business-friendly legislation (wait, what?). Don’t they reckon the lower-capacity battery pack on the Roadster costs $25-30k? And it uses laptop cells so it’s not like there’s imminent economies of scale to take advantage of, they are already making the things by the billions. Plus Tesla’s business practices over the last year have started to seem increasingly sketchy, and Elon Musk is looking kind of erratic and crazy.

However, if they do manage to pull this off, I’m in. A useful, good looking battery electric car is something I’ve been waiting for for a long time.

[quote=“Scott Bennett”]I don’t see how they can possibly bring this in for $50k, especially assembled in California, the land of low wages and business-friendly legislation (wait, what?). Don’t they reckon the lower-capacity battery pack on the Roadster costs $25-30k? And it uses laptop cells so it’s not like there’s imminent economies of scale to take advantage of, they are already making the things by the billions. Plus Tesla’s business practices over the last year have started to seem increasingly sketchy, and Elon Musk is looking kind of erratic and crazy.

However, if they do manage to pull this off, I’m in. A useful, good looking battery electric car is something I’ve been waiting for for a long time.[/quote]


Scott, can you elaborate on the sketchy business practices? I haven’t been following their progress.

http://gawker.com/5151769/elon-musks-electric+car-fantasy

This may all be a bunch of crap (and some it surely is), but there have been a string of bad stories coming out for nearly a year, starting around when they fired Tesla founder Martin Eberhard.

From Musk himself, each Roadster currently costs ~$95k to produce, and they hope to get it down in the $80k range this year. ( Elon Musk Explains the Roadster Price Increase - Tom Saxton's Blog ). The Roadster is a Lotus Elise with a different body and a few structural differences. It’s similar enough that Lotus builds it on the same line. If you go to the factory in Hethel, you can see Teslas and Elises running together.

A base Elise retails for $34k in England (that’s with a drivetrain of course). Let’s be extremely generous and assume Lotus charges Tesla $40k per rolling Roadster. They then ship it to California and add the electric drivetrain, and that apparently costs $55k. Yet they now are claiming they can build the Model S with the same drivetrain, a bigger battery pack, a far more complicated structure and interior, and make a profit at a $50k retail price.

That kind of math might work on Congress, but I sure wouldn’t put down a non-refundable deposit. Like I said though, if they actually bring it to market as advertised, I would be very inclined to buy one.

The secret to the sedan price is the same as the Volt. GM and Tesla are expecting a huge drop in the price of L-ion batteries. If that doesn’t happen, prices will be adjusted.

Note that Tesla isn’t all that hampered by cost of manufacturing, because they subcontract so much out. Maybe Scott can give us a better idea, but with 300 employees, I suspect their in-house abilities to be quite limited. It’s not a bad idea though, look at bicycles and computer hardware!




I am in love.

Yikes. Thanks for the links Scott. Sounds like they need that $350 million from the government, and soon.

I applaud Tesla’s efforts, but I don’t think they will be successful.

1 - While very nice, the car’s design looks too generic - not distinctive enough for people who want to brag/preach through their car’s looks.

2 - How impactful will it be at such a high price point? If the government is going to subsidize Tesla, I think Tesla should shoot for the mainstream price range. Then again, it is the entrepreneurs and wealthy whose tax money who pay most of the taxes, so I guess it fits.

It’s been said that, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

A-M DB9

Liquid cooled … . . hmmmm, so there’s still anti-freeze to deal with :neutral_face: that explains the “grill”.

GM can afford to sell the Volt at a loss (well, sort of), because they’ve got other stuff going on. They can also absorb billions of dollars of government money and shell game it to subsidize cars if they want. With such a big company they can hide all kinds of sins. The Volt also has a much smaller battery pack than the Model S, the difference between a 40 mile range versus 200 miles.

Tesla seems to be off on their pricing by at least a factor of 2. The Volt is essentially a Malibu with a hybrid drivetrain and it’s going to cost over $40k. This is a far more complex car, and it’s only 25% more expensive?

Tesla should be subbing out everything but the design and drivetrain engineering, but they keep talking about building an assembly plant in California. First they said they would put it in Silicon Valley, which is batshit crazy insane, and now they are talking about southern CA, which is just plain insane. They are going to be shipping stuff all over the place. Setting up a volume car factory is really hard, really expensive, and really unnecessary when car sales are down 40% and factories are idle all over the place.

I think Fisker has a much better plan here- they are letting suppliers handle all the detail design and supply the components, and having the car assembled by Magna Steyr. They started later and will probably deliver much sooner.

Again, I hope I’m wrong.

I remember when Tesla sued Fisker, supposedly Henrik Fisker had done the design for the Model S. (He of course also did the Aston.) The suit alleged that his work was subpar and they would have to start over. Have they changed it? This sure looks like it could be his work.

Has something more about the interiour been published yet?

This TFT Interface monitor pretty much looks like it will be
tunable to ones personal taste with software “Skins”.

Would be pretty slick.

hope I never get a bluescreen on that one… :unamused: