Archives for August 18th, 2013

2012 Tesla Model S Shows Up On eBay, Will Owner Profit?

2012 Tesla Model S Signature

2012 Tesla Model S Signature

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Well, that didn’t take long, did it?

It’s not unusual to see rare and exclusive cars pre-sold to buyers before cars are delivered–the practice has been going on for decades, every time the latest supercar hits the streets.

We didn’t expect to see a 2012 Tesla Model S sold so soon, though–and with a Buy It Now price on the eBay auction of $145,000, the seller stands to make a healthy little profit should they find a buyer.

The model being sold is one of the thousand limited edition Signature models, and the buyer will get the actual car, rather than a reservation slot–something Tesla will not allow.

With Signature Red paint, a white leather interior and the 85 kWh, EPA-rated 265-mile battery pack–as well as other Signature edition features–the car will certainly be to a high specification.

It also features an upgraded tech package, Dolby 7.1 premium sound system, and other Model S amenities.

The car is already being built, and is set to be delivered on October 14. The auction itself runs until 10:18 PDT on September 20, provided someone doesn’t pay the full price–over $47,000 more than MSRP–to end the auction early.

So why is the car for sale so soon? The seller doesn’t say, but it’s not beyond possibility that they were banking on pre-selling it all along, hoping to make a tidy little profit in the process from someone wishing to jump the queue.

It also has us wondering–how long until more Model S Signature editions appear on the market? And what price would you pay to get behind the wheel?…

Hat tip to Martin at


By Antony Ingram

Tesla Model S To Be Evaluated By Consumer Reports

2012 Tesla Model S

2012 Tesla Model S

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Let’s hope that the Tesla Model S fares better than the Fisker Karma did.

That’s the first thought that sprang to mind when we heard the news that Consumer Reports had bought its very own Model S all-electric sport sedan to test.

The respected consumer testing magazine notoriously savaged the Fisker Karma in a review last September.

Specifically, the $106,000 range-extended electric luxury sport sedan died on the test track and otherwise proved to be badly built, with confusing controls and minimal interior space for such a large and heavy car.

The magazine was more impressed with the Tesla Model S following an early drive in a borrowed car last November.

The Model S “shatters every myth,” it wrote, and redefined the experience of traveling on all-electric power.

Two weeks ago today, after waiting more than two years following its $5,000 deposit, CR took delivery of its 2012 Tesla Model S.

It specified the Model S with the largest 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack and the $1,500 additional charger to bring charging capacity up to 20 kilowatts.

As an early-build car, the magazine’s Model S also comes with the air suspension, along with a large sunroof, and tan Nappa leather upholstery.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

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The total price was $89,650, roughly in line with the Audi A7 or Porsche Panamera luxury sport sedans.

Confronted with the option to pick up its Model S at Tesla’s Queens service center or have it delivered to the door on a flatbed truck, the magazine chose the latter alternative.

As usual, Consumer Reports masked the identity of the buyer so that Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] likely didn’t know that the magazine was actually buying the car.

As CR’s Gabe Shenhar says, “We can’t wait to pile some break-in miles on our Model S and start testing it.”


By John Voelcker

Tesla Model S Top Speed: More Than 130 MPH, Emission-Free

Top speeds are more relevant than many people think.

That even applies to cars like the Tesla Model S, though perhaps more for bragging rights than any practical purpose. And as bragging rights go, 133 mph isn’t too bad for an electric car.

While there aren’t many places you can legally explore a modern car’s top speed, those three-figure numbers are usually a good indication of how well your car will cruise at freeway speeds.

A car designed to travel two or three times the speed limit will generally be relaxed, quiet and economical at the limit itself.

The Tesla Model S Performance is relaxed and quiet at pretty much any speed.

In fact, as you’ll see (and hear) in the video above (via our sister site Motor Authority), wind and road noise are only really audible on camera at 90-100 mph, more than most people will regularly cruise at.

Acceleration only starts to tail off as the car breaks into the 120s, and it’s all done at 133 mph. We make no guesses as to what the range might be at that sort of speed, even with the 85 kW battery pack–not that the Model S’s gasoline-powered rivals will be particularly economical at 133 mph and above…

What’ll be most remarkable to anyone unfamiliar with the Model S is just how quickly it reaches its top speed. Motor Authority measures it at 12 seconds to 100 mph (it could be less, as the driver appears to pull away fairly gently at first) and 26 seconds to 133 mph.

We don’t condone exploring your car’s top speed on the roads, of course, but it’s nice knowing the Model S has plenty in reserve when you’re at a steady highway cruise.


By Antony Ingram

Full Disclosure: Tesla Anticipates 300-Mile Model S to Be EPA-Rated for 265 Miles – Rumor Central

Full Disclosure: Tesla Anticipates 300-Mile Model S to Be EPA-Rated for 265 Miles

Tesla is preparing to deliver its first Model S electric sedans to customers next month, but in the spirit of full disclosure, has outlined why it anticipates its 300-mile version will be rated by the EPA for 265 miles.

The Model S’ drawn-out unveiling has ingrained three specific driving ranges related to battery size – 160, 230, and 300 miles – but the EPA will have its own stamp of approval. An official blog bylined by CEO Elon Musk and CTO JB Straubel dives right into the matter, presumably foreseeing questions and concerns about the 35-mile disparity with the farthest-traveling selection.

The difference between 265 and 300 miles extracted from the Model S’ substantial 85-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery comes down to the EPA’s testing methodology. The stated 300-mile range with the highest-capacity battery was always Tesla’s target. From one perspective, it has actually exceeded the mark, claiming 320 miles under the EPA’s old 2-cycle fuel economy evaluation. It’s when the EPA’s updated 5-cycle test enters frame that “265 miles” rears its head. For comparison, the 245-mile-rated Roadster and Roadster 2.5 endured the elder cycle while the Nissan Leaf has a 73-mile range under the 5-cycle assessment.

Going from the 2- to 5-cycle test can drastically impact vehicle ratings. The simpler 2-cycle had an approximate weighting of 55-percent city and 45-percent highway use; the more comprehensive 5-cycle is more representative of 43-percent city and 57-percent highway driving. The certifications are run on dynamometers, and the specifics are as follows:

1)      Federal Test Procedure: 2-cycle, 5-cycle

2)      Highway Fuel Economy Driving Schedule: 2-cycle, 5-cycle

3)      Cold Federal Test Procedure (run at ambient 20 vs. 75 degrees Fahrenheit in standard FTP): 5-cycle

4)      SC03 (air conditioning test at ambient 95 degrees F): 5-cycle

5)      US06 (aggressive acceleration test, up to 80 mph): 5-cycle

Exactly how much the 85-kW-hr battery’s claimed range figures matters will likely be determined as Model S driving impressions roll in from customers and media outlets.

Tesla hasn’t disclosed its anticipated EPA ranges for the 160- and 230-mile batteries, but a 12-percent loss like the 300-mile option would peg them at a predicted 141 and 203 miles under the EPA 5-cycle, respectively. The 160- and 230-mile estimates from the respective 40- and 60-kW-hr packs can be achieved from a steady 55-mph cruise, per Tesla spokesperson KC Simon.

Interestingly, the blog gives insight into the Model S’ range and electricity consumption behavior with graphs. These graphs often have little bearing on the real world since Main Street USA is not a laboratory with fixed inputs. Nevertheless, considering the less expensive Model S is considerably heavier, it’s reassuring to see the family-friendly electric four-door head and shoulders above the Roadster from an efficiency standpoint.

The Model S costs from $57,400 (160-mile battery) to $105,400 (Signature Performance model with 300-mile battery) depending on battery size and trim, excluding the highly touted $7500 federal tax credit that gets applied to your income tax return. Depending on your state of domicile, there may be additional state and local tax credits or rebates as well.

Source: Tesla

By Benson Kong

Tesla Model S Scores 99 Rating From Consumer Reports

2013 Tesla Model S CAPTIONS ON | OFF

There have been a lot of questions swirling around the practicality of owning a Tesla Model S. But with booming sales, and a bevy of raving critic reviews, the cherry on top may be a gushing article in Consumer Reports today that scores the Model S a 99 out of possible 100 points – their highest score for any vehicle in eight years. Is this a turning point for the EV leader?

Consumer Reports scores aren’t always taken seriously by the buying public. In 2011, CR scored the 2012 Honda Civic so low that they knocked it off their Recommended Buy list. Outraged customers responded by buying nearly 318,000 of the econoboxes. But the 99 score is still an eye-popping total from the notoriously stingy CR, and only lends more credence to the rapidly rising reputation of the Model S.

For sure, there’s a lot to like about the Tesla Model S. It even got Consumer Reports to liven up their normally dry text with some sass – “There, we said it.” – and a Back To The Future reference. The review makes the case that the Model S doesn’t score well in spite of its EV powertrain, but that it does so because of it. That’s high praise for a vehicle no one could guarantee would make it to market last year.

Consumer Reports does point out the main obstacles of owning a Model S: Price and range. The model they tested was an 85 kWh Model S, retailing at over $89,000. They also loaded it to the gills with options like the third row jumper seat and extra charging equipment. Meanwhile, they noted that while the 280-mile range is impressive, it’s still not as convenient as gas in some cases.

Still, there were no glitches or breakdowns, no defects or frustrations. The Model S came and saw the status quo, and by conquering Consumer Reports, it’s on the way to stardom.


Visit theautoMedia.comTesla Research Centerfor quick access to reviews, pricing, photos, mpg and more. Make sure to followautoMedia.comonTwitterandFacebook.


By Ryan ZumMallen

Tesla Model S: More New Versions Coming, Says CEO Elon Musk

2012 Tesla Model S Signature

2012 Tesla Model S Signature

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Tesla being what it is–a venture-funded startup battery-electric automaker in Silicon Valley–every utterance from its CEO Elon Musk becomes newsworthy.

So a generalized hint at future development of its main product, the 2012 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan, becomes fodder for news stories.

In this case, the brief mention came during Monday’s earning call covering the third-quarter financial results of Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA].

As noted by AutoblogGreen, CEO Musk said, “There are a few other variants of the Model S that we’ll come out with next year that I think are going to be pretty exciting.”

He also then mentioned ongoing work on the company’s next new vehicle, the 2014 Tesla Model X electric crossover, as well as the start of work on the third-generation car it hopes to launch later in the decade.

Frankly, we suspect that Musk may have been talking about an upcoming handling package for the Model S, already widely discussed as an option on the Performance model.

But speculation runs rampant around any Tesla news, so a few other possibilities might include:

  • An all-wheel drive version of the Model S, using the optional AWD being developed for the Model X
  • An even higher-capacity battery pack, to take the highest-range Model S above its current 265-mile EPA range estimate
  • Additional electronic features, some of which could be retroactively downloaded into existing Model S cars.

If we had to guess, we’d put our money on all-wheel drive.

It’s become a necessity in the high-end luxury market, included on more than 80 percent of Mercedes-Benz S Class sedans ordered in snowy markets.

And Jaguar’s addition of an all-wheel drive option to its XF mid-size and XJ full-size luxury sedans shows just how important it is.

To retrofit AWD into existing cars, much less those already two to four years into their model cycle, is no small task–but Jaguar says the sales gain will be well worth it.

So let’s start the guessing games here: How much should Tesla charge for an AWD option on, say, the high-end 2014 Model S electric sport sedan?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.


By John Voelcker