Archives for September 3rd, 2013
A new option pack for the Tesla Model S electric car is supposed to give it “supercar handling.” The Performance Plus option is a $6500 suspension upgrade for the Model S that is designed to improve the car’s handling.
The upgrade package is available only for the Tesla Model S Performance, which has an 85-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Its electric drive motor is rated for 416 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, and Tesla says the 0-to-60-mph run takes just 4.2 seconds. (We found that a car so equipped can even outrun a BMW M5.)
Opting for Performance Plus adds Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires on 21-inch wheels; 19-inch all-season tires are standard on the Model S and 21-inch Continental ExtremeContact DW tires are optional. In addition, the Performance Plus rear tires have a 265 section width, 20 millimeters (0.8 inch) wider than the standard 21-inch tires. Tesla also installs upgraded suspension dampers, bushings, and anti-roll bars to further improve handling. The upgrades are said to add between six and twelve miles of driving range to a Tesla Model S Performance; according to the EPA, the luxury sedan can normally drive about 265 miles on a full charge, so adding the Performance Plus treatment pushes the range to as much as 277 miles.
Tesla recently enhanced its warranty program to cover the lithium-ion battery pack no matter how the owner charges the car, for eight years or 125,000 miles. Owners can borrow a Roadster or Model S loaner car while their Model S is being serviced. Tesla also announced a unique leasing program for the car earlier this spring, which makes the car available for between $1051 and $1199, depending on trim level and before various discounts.
By Jake Holmes
2013 Tesla Model S
Without any fanfare, the EPA has released its range rating for the second version of the Tesla Model S to come to market.
The 2013 Tesla Model S fitted with a 60-kilowatt-hour battery pack has a rated range of 208 miles.
That compares to 265 miles for the Model S version with the largest 85-kWh battery pack.
The new 60-kWh Model S has a higher efficiency rating (95 MPGe versus 89 MPGe) and uses slightly less energy to cover 100 miles: 35 kWh versus 38 kWh.
The Miles-Per-Gallon-equivalent (MPGe) rating measures how far a vehicle can travel on the amount of electricity equivalent to the energy content of one gallon of gasoline.
The 85-kWh Tesla Model S received its 265-mile range rating in June.
The new model’s 95-MPGe efficiency rating is close to the 99-MPGe rating of the 2012 Nissan Leaf, an impressive number for a larger, heavier, more capacious, and faster luxury sport sedan.
The differences in the two Model S versions may be attributable to the 60-kWh version’s lighter weight and some differences in standard features.
Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] will begin delivering the 60-kWh Model S versions early next year.
The final and lowest-range version of the Model S, fitted with a 40-kWh lithium-ion battery, will be the last to enter production–by March, Tesla has said.
That version has not yet been rated by the EPA.