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Tesla Model S gets June release date and personalization updates

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May 22, 2012

Tesla has announced the first of its Model S sedans will be delivered to customers from Ju...

Tesla has announced the first of its Model S sedans will be delivered to customers from June 22

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Tesla Motors has announced it will begin deliveries of its long-awaited Model S sedan next month. The first customers to slap down a reservation for the battery electric vehicle will be put behind the wheel from June 22, a month ahead of schedule. And despite being just a month away from launch, the company also revealed a number of new features that will allow drivers to personalize the feel of their ride by using the car’s 17-inch touchscreen to adjust steering, suspension and regenerative braking settings.

Through the touchscreen interface, drivers can lower the suspension to reduce drag, or raise it to clear speed bumps or when carrying a heavy load. The steering wheel turning resistance can also be adjusted, ranging from Comfort, Standard, and Sport, depending on whether you like a light touch or a bit of a workout.

A 17-inch touchscreen interface allows adjustment to steering, suspension and regenerative...

Additionally, in response to feedback, Tesla has made the car’s regenerative braking (which Tesla calls simply “Regen”) driver adjustable. Maximizing the Regen will apply more resistance when the foot is taken off the accelerator to increase the amount of energy being fed back to the battery and increase the car’s range. But for those that prefer the feel of less Regen and aren’t suffering any range anxiety, the Regen level can be reduced.

As the Model S nears launch, Tesla has also released a graph showing the predicted range of the 85 kWh Model S (in ideal conditions) against constant speed, as calculated by a computer model.

Graph showing the predicted range of the 85 kWh Tesla Model S (in ideal conditions) agains...

It reveals that a constant speed of around 20 mph (32 km/h) is expected to provide a range of just over 450 miles (724 km). That’s obviously not very practical in the real world and Tesla says it hasn’t achieved such a result in real world testing – but it is planning a prize for the first customer to go over 400 miles (644 km) on a single charge.

At the more practical constant highway driving speed of 50-70 mph (80-113 km/h), the Model S should achieve a range of 250-350 miles (402-563 km) – an improvement over the 55 kWh Tesla Roadster and aided by the sedan’s drag coefficient (Cd) of approximately 0.24.

Under the older 2-cycle EPA test procedure that blends 55 percent city cycle driving and 45 percent highway cycle driving, the Model S delivers a range of 320 miles (515 km). The new “5-cycle test” that includes a cold driving cycle that requires heater use, a hot weather cycle with air conditioning use, and a high speed cycle that takes the car up to speeds of 80 mph (129 km/h) with rapid accelerations, returned a range of 265 miles (426 km).

The 85 kWh Model S sedan gets 265 miles (426 km/h) in the EPA 5-cycle driving test

The first reservation holders will be able to put these figures to the test in just a month’s time when the first Model S sedans start making their way into customer garages. Orders for the Model S currently exceed 10,000, with the company expecting to fill 5,000 of these orders by the end of the year, so there’s sure to be plenty of real-world performance data before too long.

The announcement marks a banner week for Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk, whose SpaceX company this week successfully launched its Dragon spacecraft into orbit headed for a rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) atop its Falcon 9 launch rocket. This marks the first time a private company has sent a spacecraft to the ISS.

Source: Tesla

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
7 Comments

The styling of the 'Model S' was done by mr. Henrik Fisker, of Aston DB9 and BMW Z8 fame, in the same period as he laid out his own 'KARMA' project.

Seeing the Model S in pictures now at Gizmag.com, I would say that he, again, did a very fine job, creating distinct and commercially viable lines for a sporty luxury car !.

Algreen-ussing Søren
22nd May, 2012 @ 10:31 pm PDT

No data on recharge time though. Anyone know what its standing power loss rate is? This would make a great city car but what about when it spends the entire day in the office parking lot without access to power? Will i get back to it and find that its range is significantly shorter?

MasterG
23rd May, 2012 @ 12:43 am PDT

Fisker has his own competing car company. I've seen pictures of a designer at Tesla and it doesn't look like Fisker. So I don't think you're right on that one.

Ken Heslip
23rd May, 2012 @ 04:55 am PDT

Please! Please! Please!

Remove all of the computer touch screens and gizmos from the cockpit of the cars now being produced!!! Just one damned component go’s bad and your sitting at the side of the road wishing that you had the money to fix the damn thing!

Call me old school but when some jerk fires off an EMP bomb or we have massive sun flare, the only ones that will be driving around will all of us with the old school cars…..so when your standing at the side of the road with your thumb out…..Sit on it and spin!!

graywolf
23rd May, 2012 @ 10:40 am PDT

what about price? and i don't see the major auto company's letting this go unchallenged. who can build it cheaper will get the buyers. still think Elon Musk is pretty cool.

frogola
23rd May, 2012 @ 12:09 pm PDT

I'm hopeful their next car which will likely come out in 2015, is affordable to the masses. They have said they think they will have a sub 30k electric car out...hopefully I will own own of those, since the Model S...while awesome, is outta my price range. :(

Keep on keepin on Elon.

Derek Howe
23rd May, 2012 @ 04:27 pm PDT

@Algreen - Nope, Franz von Holzhausen designed the Model S. Like Ken said, wouldn't it be a bit strange for a competitor to design your flagship product?

@MasterG - standing power loss is minimal. Even if it were substantial, you would have to have an extremely hefty commute to use up ~160 miles (base model, 42kWh pack) of range in a single day.

MrRodgers
24th May, 2012 @ 07:15 am PDT
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