Tesla Model S Declared Car Of The Year By Motor Trend

The new Tesla Model S has received a extraordinary accolade: it is the first electric car to win Motor Trend's prestigious Car of the Year award.


(Tesla Model S, according to Motor Trend)

At its core, the Tesla Model S is simply a damned good car you happen to plug in to refuel.

Tesla claims it has 250 patents covering the Model S, and more pending. The body is light, thanks to its all-aluminum construction, yet strong and stiff. The front and rear suspension are also mostly aluminum. At the rear are extruded rear suspension links that provide the strength of forgings at much lower cost, while up front are hollow-cast front knuckles that weigh 25 percent less than a conventional knuckle of similar strength.

The electric motor sits between the rear wheels, contributing greatly to the 47/53-percent front/rear weight distribution. The motor is an AC-induction type, the basic principles of which were demonstrated in the 1880s by Nikola Tesla himself, and it doesn't need expensive rare earth metals.

Tesla offers three lithium-ion battery packs for the Model S -- 40-kW-hr, 60-kW-hr, and 85-kW-hr -- that are claimed to provide ranges of 140, 200, and 265 miles, respectively. The base 85-kW-hr powertrain delivers a stout 362 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, while the performance version makes 416 hp and 443 lb-ft.The battery packs are assembled at Tesla's plant in Fremont, California, using Panasonic cells with nickel-cobalt-aluminum cathodes. Situated under the floor, the battery pack is a stressed member that further improves torsional rigidity, and helps lower the car's center of gravity to just 17.5 inches, about the same as a Ford GT's.

Science fiction writers did not create the idea of electric cars; electric vehicles of different types (2,3 and 4 wheels) were in use in Europe in the late 19th century. Electric vehicles also had a brief vogue with well-to-do buyers in large cities, who weren't bothered by their relatively short range, considering it a reasonable trade-off for quiet, odor-free operation.

In his 1894 novel A Journey in Other Worlds, however, John Jacob Astor IV painted the following utopian picture of a transportation system that used electric phaetons which may seem quaint today, particularly given the speed and handling characteristics of the Tesla Model S:

"The electric phaetons, as those for high speed are called, have three and four wheels, and weigh, including battery and motor, five hundred to four thousand pounds. With hollow but immensely strong galvanically treated aluminum frames and pneumatic or cushion tires, they run at thirty-five and forty miles an hour on country roads, and attain a speed over forty on city streets, and can maintain this rate without recharging for several days. They can therefore roam over the roads of the entire hemisphere, from the fertile valley of the Peace and grey shores of Hudson Bay, to beautiful Lake Nicaragua, the River Plate, and Patagonia, improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...

"...we feel that `Excelsior!' is indeed our motto."

Be sure to read the full review at Motor Trend, then head over to Tesla and reserve your Tesla Model S!

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/13/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Vehicle ")

Autonomous Vehicle By Delphi Goes Coast-to-Coast
''All right, sir or madam,' the MacMillan robot answered...' - Philip K. Dick, 1954.

Volvo's 'Drive Me' Program Offers Autonomous Cars In 2017
'She woke just before the signal from the car which would have called her...'- Robert Heinlein, 1941.

Autonomous Car Outperforms Professional Race Driver
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''- Daniel Suarez, 2009.

Vroom! Your Car Or Truck's Engine Noise Might Be Fake
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'- Robert Heinlein, 1985.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Autonomous Vehicle By Delphi Goes Coast-to-Coast
''All right, sir or madam,' the MacMillan robot answered...'

NASA's VestaTrek - Visit Asteroid Vesta
'At the Asteroids Homesteaders' School in Chicago... he had been shown diagrams and photographs of Vesta.'

Periscope App Signals End Of Journalism
'Jerry berry... panned the camera...'

Rollkers Walking Skates
'Each had three small, rubber-covered wheels, one in front and two in the rear.'

Google Patents Douglas Adam's Genuine People Personalities For Robots
'Let's build robots with Genuine People Personalities,' they said.'

Fix Michigan Roads, Or Get Hovercars?
'Dead for many years was the old concept of smooth, hard-surfaced, almost polished highways...'

eMotionButterfly Ultralight Robot From Festo
'Artificial butterflies darted along invisible beams...'

XM82 Personal Flamethrower Now In Development
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'

Graphene Cytobot - Cyborg Bacterial Spores May Help Astronauts
'[It] had not yet objected to being made over into a portion of an electronic system... '

Delightful Plen2 Mirror Robot - The Anti-Terminator
Time for fun, Will Robinson!

LiquiGlide Will Be Everywhere
'They poured the remnants of eggs out of their frictionless cups...'

US Customs Now Doing Facial Recognition At DC Airport
Are you who you say you are?

How Many Systems In That Galactic Empire Now?
'An Empire to twenty million stellar systems...'

Petman Robot Pushes Itself To The Limit
'There was the butler robot, hard at work, his copper face expressionless...'

Coleus LED 'Skylight' Dispenses Natural Sunlight Indoors
'How do they work it so that the sky is visible at every level of the city?'

UR3 Robot At Work On Copies Of Itself
'I don't mean that you should construct this ultra-microrobot with your own fingers, of course...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.