Archives for August 2nd, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S Beats 2013 BMW M5 In Straight-Line Drag Race

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There’s no denying that electric cars have lots of torque from standstill, meaning they can out-accelerate most cars in the stop-light derby to 30 mph. 

But what happens beyond that? Could a car like the 2012 Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA] Model S Performance beat the sporty, race-bred 2013 BMW M5 in a 0-100 mph drag race, for example? 

Automobile Magazine’s Ezra Dyer decided to find out, with a straight-line drag race.

On paper, the 2013 BMW M5 looks to be the clear winner: it is almost 300 lighter than the 2013 Tesla Model S, and produces both more power and more torque than the all-electric luxury sedan. 

In reality, the instant 443 pound-feet of torque at 0 rpm gave the Tesla Model S Performance a clear advantage off the line, smoothly accelerating away while its gas-guzzling competitor scrabbled for traction. 

By the middle of the 0-100 mph dash, there was a clear car length or more between the quietly humming Tesla and the snarling M5. 

As the end of the race approached however, the M5’s 4.4 liter, twin-turbocharged, V-8 started to close the the gap, crossing the finish line  a few feet from the Tesla’s rear bumper. 

From the video, it’s clear to see that the M5 didn’t get the cleanest of starts, possibly due to its notoriously difficult-to-engage launch control.


2013 BMW M5

2013 BMW M5

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And had it continued beyond 100 mph, the M5 would have continued to close the gap, with its 155mph electronically limited top speed easily beating the Tesla Model S’s electronically limited 130 mph. 

In everyday–or legal–driving, however, the Tesla Model S wins hands down. 

With both cars costing roughly the same, which would you choose, and why? 

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below. 


By Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

Tesla Model S Prices Bumped by $2500 to $59,900, Battery Replacement Costs $8000-$12,000

Tesla Model S Prices Bumped by $2500 to $59,900, Battery Replacement Costs $8000-$12,000

Tesla has opened up about the Model S four-door’s recently announced price bumps: for all reservations placed after the end of 2012, Tesla Model S prices will increase by $2500. Before federal tax credits, that means the 40 kW-hr model will now cost $59,900, add $10,000 for the 60 kW-hr model and $20,000 for the 85 kW-hr model, while the 85 kW-hr Performance model will carry an MSRP of $94,900.

Tesla Model S profile red1 300x187 imageAll Tesla Model S cars with the revised pricing will add as standard equipment 12-way power seats and heated front seats. At a constant 55 mph, Tesla estimates the ranges of the three different motor choices at 160, 230, 300 miles. Claimed acceleration from 0-60 mph times take from 4.4 to 6.5 seconds, though we tested a Performance model completing the sprint in 3.9 seconds.

Tesla notes that the $2500 price increase is half the rate of inflation, and with plenty of press — it was the Motor Trend 2013 Car of the Year, after all — luxury customers may still be willing to pay the premium. Speaking of premiums, Tesla is also offering a four-year/50,000-mile extended warranty above the car’s standard four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty.

The automaker has also revealed pricing for battery replacements. Taking the mystery out of the one maintenance detail that scares many about electric cars, Tesla says that $8000 will buy 40 kW-hr Model S customers a new battery to be installed at any time after the eighth year of ownership. The cost rises to $10,000 for the 60 kW-hr battery and $12,000 for the 85 kW-hr battery.

Those battery replacement option prices cover the battery and all installation labor and parts needed to make a Model S whole again. Customers who don’t select the option at time of order will have up to 90 days from date of delivery to choose it, and the prepaid battery will apply to second and subsequent owners even if the original owner sells their car. And while it states the fresh battery reprieve comes after the magic 8-year mark, there “will likely be economic outcomes (incentives or drawbacks) tied to early or late exercise options,” per a Tesla spokesperson.

Considering Tesla’s vehicle servicing strategy, we had to ask if a mobile battery swap was foreseeable in the year 2020. Representatives seemed amused by our image of an electric-powered box truck with enclosed lift being the 2020 version of the electric-car maker’s Service Ranger, but it appears the B&M route is the safe bet for the time being.

Read more about the Tesla Model S in our First Test and Range Verification article.

Source: Tesla

Benson Kong contributed to this post.

By Zach Gale

Tesla Model S Needs $600 Annualy to Maintain Warranty

Talk about hidden costs… Apparently, Tesla Model S owners and a few of those currently on the waiting list, are reportedly not pleased with the company’s $600-per-year service program.

The fees include an inspection, replacement of parts such as the brake pads and wipers, as well as roadside assistance, system monitoring, remote diagnostics and software updates.

One of the less-than-pleased owners is David Nolan, who is on the list to receive a Model S – he currently owns a Chevrolet Volt. He is displeased with the extra fee, which is considerably higher than what he has to pay to maintain the Volt – $49 annual check, and $35 oil change once every two years.

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, answered questions regarding the fee, saying that "We are matching service cost to be less than a Mercedes of comparable purchase price [. . .] This basically amounts to $50/month and covers all software upgrades as well as concierge level service,” more or less answering Nolan’s question. However, when asked if any owner could opt out of the program, he reportedly didn’t get a reply.

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By Andrei Nedelea

GM's Volt and Nissan's Leaf Sales Fell Behind the Tesla Model S

Tesla's Model S is the best sold EV in North America, leaving behind other electric powered cars, such as the Nissan Leaf or the Chevrolet Volt.

According to an interview with Detroit Nerws, Tesla's spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks said that the company sales reports will came out at more than 4,750 Model S deliveries in US and Canada in the first quarter of 2013. That is over the 4,421 Chevrolet Volt and 3,695 Nissan Leaf sales in the same interval.

It seems like people want their EV to be luxurious, despite the big price tag of the Model S. Starting from $69,000 in basic setup, the Model S is about twice as expensive compared to the other two EVs, priced at $28,000 for Nissan's Leaf model and $39,000 for the Chevrolet Volt. The Tesla Model S also comes with the no-physical-buttons concept, every knob and switch being operated from a big 17-inch touchscreen mounted on the central console.

By Gabriel Brindusescu