Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • tesla model s
  • tesla model s

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
Tesla has said the highest-end Model S has a range of 300 miles (at 55 miles per hour), but until recently, it's been tremendously difficult for anyone outside the company to verify this number. When the EPA did its testing thing, it came up with a 265-mile range estimate for the version with the 85-kWh battery pack. Tesla is even offering a prize of some sort to anyone who drives a Model S over 400 miles on one charge.

Now, Motor Trend writers has had the chance to spend some time in Tesla CEO Elon Musk's personal Performance Signature Model S to see just how far the electric car can be driven. The result? Your results may vary.

First, the good news. Motor Trend ran a battery of tests on the Model S, and its independent measurements discovered the following ways that their independent testing beat the manufacturer's official numbers:
  • 0-60 time: 3.9 seconds (Tesla official number is 4.4 seconds)
  • Quarter mile: 12.5 seconds at 110.9 mph (12.6 seconds)
  • 100.7 MPGe during a 200+ mile drive (EPA says 89 MPGe).
So, then, what's the bad news? At roughly 65 mph with no A/C, MT "only" got 238 miles out of the battery. That's less than advertised, but MT offers an important and reasonable take on this issue:

"But the range that matters is really a psychological/perceptual one, not a specific number. Think about it: We drove from Fontana on the eastern edge of the L.A. basin to San Diego and all the way back to L.A.'s Pacific edge on one charge. Five hours of continuous driving. This is a breakthrough accomplishment that ought to knock down the range anxiety barrier that's substantially limited EV sales."

Word.


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  • 89 Comments
      kopter28
      • 2 Years Ago
      So you mean to tell me electric cars and hybrids don't have to be as attractive as gangrenous wounds and have the sex appeal of a camel with gingivitis? I'm looking at you Prius, Leaf, Volt, I-MiEV, etc.
        QCRamAir
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kopter28
        My thoughts exactly. The Model S not only looks like a car and not some feminine spacecraft, but it's also a D*MN sexy car as well. I'm completely drawn to this thing.
      xyzabomination
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a HUGE step for EVs in the automotive industry.
      Tabs Luther
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really like Mr. Musk and his forward thinking. I wanted to like the Karma alot but it is obvious which one was properly thought out and executed. Great job Tesla! They made these good looking, reasonably affordable considering the technology involved, and FAST. Kudos!
      LBJ's Love Child
      • 2 Years Ago
      That puts the Tesla Model S right in Camaro ZL1 territory... speed and range! Dayum!
      domingorobusto
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, the more I see of this thing the more I like it. For one, it's bloody gorgeous. Simply a beautiful car, especially in black. And those performance figures are damned impressive. That's bloody quick for a sedan no matter what powers it. And that range is actually quite useful. Impressive stuff. If they can meet their projected price point and production volumes, it sounds like they'll have quite the success on their hands.
      mycommentemail
      • 2 Years Ago
      3.9 seconds?? Wow. Once these start getting into affordable territory, ICE won't stand a chance (and having just had my old 3 series worked on again, I can't wait for the reliability that comes with an electric). yet another step forward.
      EvilTollMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mr Fisker is sweating bullets.
      mawhalen53
      • 2 Years Ago
      Still excited about this car - spotted my first one in the wild on Saturday, pulled over by LA's finest on PCH. Hopefully the other owners are having better luck! 0-60 in 3.9 is damn impressive.
      Camaroman101
      • 2 Years Ago
      wow thats fast. Fiskers got some real stiff competition
        tump
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Camaroman101
        Fisker is its own worst enemy. Tesla will be over there selling cars.
          axiomatik
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tump
          Well, to be fair, Fisker has delivered a lot more Karmas than Tesla has Model S's. So far.
      chest rockwell
      • 2 Years Ago
      While this car wouldn't get the range I require all the time, it would about 99% of the time! I think the range is suitable, as most people could probably go several days before charging. Amazing performance numbers!
      mapoftazifosho
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope this tech "trickles down" into something I can afford in the near future...I love this car!
      wooootles
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's an electric that doesn't look like crap! Ok, that huge LCD touchscreen center stack is weird, but overall the car looks great.
        Slizzo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wooootles
        Yeah, this car has a great look to it. I would love to have one but it's priced out of my range for the most part (I'd want to get the model with the most range).
        suthrn2nr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wooootles
        Yea, i wish they didnt make it that big and had some buttons instead. There's no buttons that I know of on the dash which i think is a bad idea, but hopefully I'm proven wrong.
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