Two months ago, Tesla hired Chris Porritt to be the vice president of its vehicle engineering program. Tesla's purchase last week of a 35-acre parcel abutting its factory in Fremont, California will give Porritt, formerly the boss of Aston Martin's Vehicle Engineering team (he's the father of the One-77 supercar), at least a portion of a test track where he can challenge and hone the EVs of the future.

The land was part of a parcel of more than 160 acres that had been owned by the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc., the former joint venture factory built by General Motors and Toyota. When NUMMI (shown above) closed, the land was bought by Union Pacific Railroad, which sold the lot to Tesla.

While Tesla hasn't laid out its plans, we're guessing they'll eventually expand the track as the factory footprint grows; CEO Elon Musk has said Model S production could equal 800 cars per week by the end of next year. As for Porritt, from his new base in Fremont and with that new test track, he'll oversee further development of the Model S and the birth of the Model X, Roadster successor and the "affordable Tesla" due by 2017.


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  • 27 Comments
      Car Guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think given Tesla's recent success the $7,500 credit is no longer needed.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Car Guy
        [blocked]
          sdn
          • 1 Year Ago
          To be fair, they should then stop subsidizing oil as well.
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          It's not a cash hand out for Tesla either. You just get to keep some of your hard earned money instead of giving to the government to spend. I'd like to know, when did keeping some of your money become a bad thing?
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
        methos1999
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Car Guy
        $7500 credit was pioneered by GM's lobbying and applies to an automaker for up to 200,000 units sold... Tesla has not yet achieved 200,000 cars sold, nor has any other EV maker. Also the credit goes towards the consumer, so if the consumer buying the EV owes less than $7500 taxes, they do not get the full credit.
          Jim Illo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @methos1999
          " if the consumer buying the EV owes less than $7500 taxes, they do not get the full credit." Yes, and no. If the consumer leases the vehicle, the consumer gets the full benefit of $7500, even if they pay no federal taxes. But you're right for purchasers: A purchaser that pays less than $7500 in federal taxes will not receive the full $7500 tax credit.
          methos1999
          • 1 Year Ago
          @methos1999
          @ Jim IIIo Oops, yeah I forgot about people leasing, good catch.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Car Guy
        Yes, taxpayers are subsidizing $100,000 cars for the rich.
          gpmp
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          Just like taxpayers are subsidizing $1,000,000 houses/mortgages for the rich.
      thenewrick
      • 1 Year Ago
      go go power rangers!
      Brodz
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's something to have on one's resume. Project leader of the Aston Martin One-77. He will undoubtedly make Tesla's a force to be reckoned with. Elon means business.
      flammablewater
      • 1 Year Ago
      2017 for the 'affordable' Tesla... Hopefully I can afford whatever they think is affordable by then.
      Scooter
      • 1 Year Ago
      Gosh, 2017? My fear is by the time its produced its pricing will start over $40,000.00 and will probably be bested in value by other EV's by 2017. I sincerely hope Tesla is able to produce a handsome car without over-doing it in material cost and luxury bits. There are literally a handful of Model S standard components that if "replaced" with cheaper alternatives would probably put the car well under $50,000.00, while maintaining most of its silky appearance. My other hope is the car wont look as "luxuriously-mature" as the Model S.
        methos1999
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Scooter
        I'm a fan of Tesla and the Model S, and your fear is my hope. Elon Musk had said that his goal of founding Tesla was to speed adoption of EVs. So if they do not have stiff competition by 2017, I'd say they would be failing in that founding goal. I'm actually disappointed how the Model S pretty much stands alone as a purpose built EV. Sure, there's the Nissan Leaf & upcoming BMW i3, but neither of them is anywhere near as quick, boast as far a range, nor anywhere as good looking...
          Scooter
          • 1 Year Ago
          @methos1999
          I'm not worried about competition, and I love the Model S, but I'm not sure about its future price point. I'm just a psy. grad student, so I'm hoping that a future Tesla "affordable" car will be under $40,000 instead of well over. Soon I will be buying a premium car, and I would like to say it could be a Tesla, but I wouldn't be willing to buy a $40,000+ car at this stage in my life, that's what I'm saying.
      Alex K
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla was already leasing the old test track on the property before their purchase. See http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/07/19/tesla-buys-big-chunk-of-fremont-land.html for more info regarding the purchase deal.
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      What's wrong with using the empty interior of the factory for track-testing?!?! Kidding. Just another 'working billboard' for the company, like the superchargers or 'Tesla stations'. If the cars being tested are visible I can see fans lining up to watch. Maybe they'll block the views and my idea is moot but in any case it is smart to buy a test track that's next-door if you are a car builder. It looked like there was a large dirt lot right next to both properties that should still be available to buy. Maybe GM will buy it and build a tower full of instruments to spy on Tesla and steal their designs and IP. What am I saying? That would take smarts and cunning which no one at GM possesses. So that idea will just fail too. Piss off GM! Good luck mimicking Tesla.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @purrpullberra
        @ purrpullberra Why is it that in nearly every post you denigrate other manufacturers, in an effort to show your enthusiasm for Tesla ? GM is a huge US company with hundreds of thousands of US workers, and billions of US investment. Over the years, GM has had it's up's and downs. Currently GM is undergoing a renaissance, building better quality, and technically advanced models like the Volt, Spark, ELR etc. Why be so negative ? Tesla certainly doesn't need you pointlessly stirring up hatred toward other marques.
      cowsqueezer
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ah, this is all so exciting ;)
      otiswild
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let's see a Tesla GT w/5 seats and 80" combined front/rear legroom, 150kW for each rear wheel, 100kW for each front, 120kWh battery, torque vectoring, etc.. That would kick major ass and beat Merc's CL class quite handily...
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @otiswild
        The next Roadster should be an electric monster. Under 3 seconds for 0-60 for sure. It will showcase the very best in EV technology.
      RGT881
      • 1 Year Ago
      Chris Porritt is an excellent chassis guru - DBS, Vantage, DB9 are all very fluid cars to drive, driveable at the limit and controllable beyond it. If he can deliver his magic to Tesla then it'll be another solid step forward.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wanna see a shoot out with this! ' Mitsubishi’s long-awaited 21st century replacement for the Lancer Evolution is inching closer to reality. But if it happens, Autocar can reveal, it won’t be an Evo as we know it but, in all likelihood, a 500bhp plug-in hybrid rival to the Nissan GT-R. With the new-generation Lancer hatchback being readied for global launch next year and a plug-in hybrid version of that car already in the product plan, highly placed Mitsubishi executives are discussing options for a petrol-electric performance car. The model would inherit technology directly from the company’s MiEV Evolution II Pikes Peak prototype racer and take the Evo into a new performance dimension. It’s still early days for the car, whose viability depends on market acceptance of Mitsubishi’s new plug-in hybrid PHEV technology. But with the company’s all-electric prototype demonstrating the sporting potential of a fully asymmetric electric powertrain for performance and handling at the Pikes Peak event, there is renewed interest in transferring that performance to the road. The potential is for a high-end, technologically sophisticated sporting option with greater all-wheel drive performance than any Lancer Evo has had before, combined with low emissions and the option of all-electric running.' http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/next-mitsubishi-evo-be-500bhp-hybrid Hot or what?
      jazzyhands
      • 1 Year Ago
      As a lifelong Fremont resident, it warms my heart to see the economic progress of an innovative automotive company. The land on which the future test track is to be built is empty, barren, and not zoned for anything but industrial/commercial uses. As as aside, perhaps in the future, I will see fewer Tesla Model Ss pulled over the the side of the roads. Range anxiety realized = annoyed engineers = hilarity (for me, at least)!
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