View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently December 21st, 2014, 1:27 am



Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S 
Author Message
Modmin Dude
User avatar

Joined: December 31st, 2004, 9:55 am
Posts: 12248
Post 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
MotorTrend wrote:
2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
Shocking Winner: Proof Positive that America Can Still Make (Great) Things

By Angus MacKenzie | Photos By Andrew Yeadon, Motor Trend Staff | From the January 2013 issue of Motor Trend

The 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year is one of the quickest American four-doors ever built. It drives like a sports car, eager and agile and instantly responsive. But it's also as smoothly effortless as a Rolls-Royce, can carry almost as much stuff as a Chevy Equinox, and is more efficient than a Toyota Prius. Oh, and it'll sashay up to the valet at a luxury hotel like a supermodel working a Paris catwalk. By any measure, the Tesla Model S is a truly remarkable automobile, perhaps the most accomplished all-new luxury car since the original Lexus LS 400. That's why it's our 2013 Car of the Year. Wait. No mention of the astonishing inflection point the Model S represents -- that this is the first COTY winner in the 64-year history of the award not powered by an internal combustion engine? Sure, the Tesla's electric powertrain delivers the driving characteristics and packaging solutions that make the Model S stand out against many of its internal combustion engine peers. But it's only a part of the story. At its core, the Tesla Model S is simply a damned good car you happen to plug in to refuel.

Engineering Excellence
Tesla claims it has 250 patents covering the Model S, and more pending. The body is light, thanks to its all-aluminum construction, yet strong and stiff. The front and rear suspension are also mostly aluminum. At the rear are extruded rear suspension links that provide the strength of forgings at much lower cost, while up front are hollow-cast front knuckles that weigh 25 percent less than a conventional knuckle of similar strength. The electric motor sits between the rear wheels, contributing greatly to the 47/53-percent front/rear weight distribution. The motor is an AC-induction type, the basic principles of which were demonstrated in the 1880s by Nikola Tesla himself, and it doesn't need expensive rare earth metals. Tesla offers three lithium-ion battery packs for the Model S -- 40-kW-hr, 60-kW-hr, and 85-kW-hr -- that are claimed to provide ranges of 140, 200, and 265 miles, respectively. The base 85-kW-hr powertrain delivers a stout 362 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, while the performance version makes 416 hp and 443 lb-ft.The battery packs are assembled at Tesla's plant in Fremont, California, using Panasonic cells with nickel-cobalt-aluminum cathodes. Situated under the floor, the battery pack is a stressed member that further improves torsional rigidity, and helps lower the car's center of gravity to just 17.5 inches, about the same as a Ford GT's.

Advancement in Design
Refreshingly, Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen resisted the temptation to make the Model S look different for the sake of being different to call attention to the fact it has an electric motor. Former GM design boss Wayne Cherry, a consultant judge this year, summed up the exterior design theme of the Model S as "somewhat safe and conservative," but noted the beautifully executed design-enhancing proportions, the excellent stance and gesture, and the harmony and grace of its lines. His only criticism? "The front end is a missed opportunity to establish brand identity." The Model S takes advantage of the packaging opportunities afforded by the compact EV powertrain. The cabin is roomy, though the raked roofline impinges on rear-seat headroom. With no engine up front, the "hood" covers a useful luggage space, and the rear hatch opens to a cavernous load area that gets even bigger when you fold the rear seats flat. Total load capacity is 63.4 cubic feet, not that far shy of the 63.7 cubic-feet in a Chevy Equinox, and despite its rakish looks, the Model S is the first hatchback in the world to offer third-row seating. A number of the interior design solutions need more polish. However, all judges were impressed with the Tesla's unique user interface, courtesy of the giant touch screen in the center of the car that controls everything from the air-conditioning to the nav system to the sound system to the car's steering, suspension, and brake regeneration settings. The system means the Model S interior is virtually button-free, and the car has been effectively future-proofed: More functionality is only a software update away.

Efficiency
Whatever what you use -- gasoline, electricity, hamsters in a wheel -- making a vehicle move requires the consumption of energy. The laws of physics are immutable. The question is, how efficiently can it be done? In the case of the Tesla Model S, the answer is very. The best energy consumption figure we've returned is 118 mpg-e for a 212-mile run from the eastern fringe of the Los Angeles sprawl to Las Vegas, Nevada. For the 313 miles of road loops during the COTY evaluation, where the car was driven at normal speeds by all the judges with the air-conditioning running, it averaged 74.5 mpg-e. Impressive numbers, especially considering the 4766-pound Tesla Model S Signature Performance version will nail 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and the quarter in 12.4 seconds at 112.5 mph, with a top speed of 133 mph.
Safety
In terms of active safety, the Tesla Model S is at the top of the class. With all the car's mass down low and between the wheels, the Model S is a very stable platform, and the electric motor's instant torque means the car is quick and responsive in traffic and during overtaking moves. The stability control and anti-lock braking systems are calibrated to the unique instant-on torque and regenerative braking characteristics of an EV. When a crash does happen, the usual complement of passive safety devices, including an array of airbags, kick into play. Beyond that, clever engineering such as the double octagon extrusions front and rear, and the immensely strong roof structure, is working to protect you. Tesla claims the Model S outperforms federal crash standards, having been impact-tested at 50 mph (the mandatory standard is 35 mph) and exceeding the roof crush requirement by a factor of 2.

Value
With a base price of $58,570 (before a federal tax credit of $7500), the 40-kW-hr Model S is competitive with entry-level Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series, and Audi A6. A loaded 85-kW-hr Signature Performance series, like the $106,900 (before tax credit) car Tesla founder Elon Musk drives, is priced right on BMW M5 and the Mercedes CLS63 AMG -- cars of similar performance, remember. Tesla buyers likely don't need to watch their pennies, but the calculation's worth doing all the same: At an average of 74.5 mpg-e, the Model S costs about 6 cents a mile to run, based on California's 13 cents per kW-hr.

Performance of Intended Function
The Tesla Model S nails the formula established by the German brands that currently dominate the midsize luxury sedan sector. It's fast and great to drive. It's well-equipped and high-tech. It won't look out of place rolling up the drive of a leafy country club or at the curb of a hip hotel. It's a credible alternative to a Mercedes, BMW, or Audi for someone who lives in metroplexes such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta. We've covered more than 1400 miles in cars equipped with the 85-kW-hr battery pack, and can confirm that version of the Model S will easily handle 200 miles of mixed city, suburban, and freeway driving without any hypermiling techniques. For the typical daily diet of commuting and short trips (the average American drives about 40 miles a day), the Model S is a compelling proposition. The mere fact the Tesla Model S exists at all is a testament to innovation and entrepreneurship, the very qualities that once made the American automobile industry the largest, richest, and most powerful in the world. That the 11 judges unanimously voted the first vehicle designed from the wheels up by a fledgling automaker the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year should be cause for celebration. America can still make things. Great things.

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/car ... z2M1Azdzo4

_________________
Quote:
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right....


February 26th, 2013, 11:09 am
Profile
ST Coordinator – John Bonamego
User avatar

Joined: March 30th, 2006, 12:48 am
Posts: 3902
Location: Davison Mi
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
I still believe that Tesla would have benefited huge if we didnt bail out GM and Chrystler.

Stensn originally brought them to my attention, and i hear they have been doing very well. It's good to see them winning some big awards!

_________________
2013 Lionbacker Fantasy Football Champion


February 26th, 2013, 4:51 pm
Profile
Player of the Year - Defense

Joined: September 13th, 2007, 12:43 pm
Posts: 2785
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
The CEO, Elon Musk, is a hustler, and the car is supposedly top notch.

But I think they bet on the wrong horse. Just guessing here, but I would bet the future involves natural gas powered trucks and 80+ mpg hybrid cars.


February 27th, 2013, 1:31 am
Profile
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
I think it's embarrassing that a 3rd party, small boutique car maker is putting out a better electric product than virtually everyone else.


February 27th, 2013, 2:30 pm
Modmin Dude
User avatar

Joined: December 31st, 2004, 9:55 am
Posts: 12248
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
wjb21ndtown wrote:
I think it's embarrassing that a 3rd party, small boutique car maker is putting out a better electric product than virtually everyone else.
Embarrassing? Really? Personally, I think its awesome a small car company can compete with and exceed the big boys.

_________________
Quote:
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right....


February 27th, 2013, 5:15 pm
Profile
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
TheRealWags wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
I think it's embarrassing that a 3rd party, small boutique car maker is putting out a better electric product than virtually everyone else.
Embarrassing? Really? Personally, I think its awesome a small car company can compete with and exceed the big boys.


That GM can't do a better job with literally 3-4X's the budget and resources, yes, I think that's embarrassing.

That Ford and Chrysler aren't even in the market? (I excuse Chrysler, they're pretty "small" at this point)... I also find that embarrassing. Those companies used to be the leaders and hallmarks of technology, now they're getting beat out by a few engineers in a small cap company. That is pathetic.


February 27th, 2013, 5:39 pm
QB Coach
User avatar

Joined: August 21st, 2005, 3:36 am
Posts: 3169
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
wjb21ndtown wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
I think it's embarrassing that a 3rd party, small boutique car maker is putting out a better electric product than virtually everyone else.
Embarrassing? Really? Personally, I think its awesome a small car company can compete with and exceed the big boys.


That GM can't do a better job with literally 3-4X's the budget and resources, yes, I think that's embarrassing.

That Ford and Chrysler aren't even in the market? (I excuse Chrysler, they're pretty "small" at this point)... I also find that embarrassing. Those companies used to be the leaders and hallmarks of technology, now they're getting beat out by a few engineers in a small cap company. That is pathetic.

That's how business and innovation has largely gone since, well, forever. Big companies are historically bad at embracing new technologies, especially when they are disruptive and will cannibalize sales from their existing products. It's one reason why the biggest, most successful companies typically don't last. This is not new, nor should it be surprising. There are very, very few companies that are huge and successful that have embraced real change or transformation in their industry, and the auto industry in general is not exactly known for revolutionary decisions. The underlying technology that drives their product is over a hundred years old. Think about it across various industries: transportation - the first automobiles were not built by large transportation firms. They were built by people who had an idea, like Karl Benz. Communication - the invention of the telephone wasn't done by a telegraph company or some other communications firm. It was a combination of inventors and tinkerers who came up with the ideas, tested them, etc. Computer/Electronics - The first computers were essentially created by big companies like Xerox, but they didn't see the market for them and left the idea to someone else. Along comes guys like Jobs, Gates, & Wozniak, and they create products that everyone wants. Again, not huge firms creating them. Some people with big ideas that weren't associated with big firms did.

The one common thread that pops up with the big firms is that they do tend to get on board at some point, and because of their huge resources they can catch up. But, I think that is more rare than not, especially now.

As for Musk specifically, he's an interesting guy. I don't know if Tesla will ultimately succeed, but it is an interested concept and company, and I think it's good that they're trying to push the boundaries of what an electric car can be.

_________________
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” - Neil deGrasse Tyson


February 27th, 2013, 8:18 pm
Profile
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
I think it's embarrassing that a 3rd party, small boutique car maker is putting out a better electric product than virtually everyone else.
Embarrassing? Really? Personally, I think its awesome a small car company can compete with and exceed the big boys.


That GM can't do a better job with literally 3-4X's the budget and resources, yes, I think that's embarrassing.

That Ford and Chrysler aren't even in the market? (I excuse Chrysler, they're pretty "small" at this point)... I also find that embarrassing. Those companies used to be the leaders and hallmarks of technology, now they're getting beat out by a few engineers in a small cap company. That is pathetic.

That's how business and innovation has largely gone since, well, forever. Big companies are historically bad at embracing new technologies, especially when they are disruptive and will cannibalize sales from their existing products. It's one reason why the biggest, most successful companies typically don't last. This is not new, nor should it be surprising. There are very, very few companies that are huge and successful that have embraced real change or transformation in their industry, and the auto industry in general is not exactly known for revolutionary decisions. The underlying technology that drives their product is over a hundred years old. Think about it across various industries: transportation - the first automobiles were not built by large transportation firms. They were built by people who had an idea, like Karl Benz. Communication - the invention of the telephone wasn't done by a telegraph company or some other communications firm. It was a combination of inventors and tinkerers who came up with the ideas, tested them, etc. Computer/Electronics - The first computers were essentially created by big companies like Xerox, but they didn't see the market for them and left the idea to someone else. Along comes guys like Jobs, Gates, & Wozniak, and they create products that everyone wants. Again, not huge firms creating them. Some people with big ideas that weren't associated with big firms did.

The one common thread that pops up with the big firms is that they do tend to get on board at some point, and because of their huge resources they can catch up. But, I think that is more rare than not, especially now.

As for Musk specifically, he's an interesting guy. I don't know if Tesla will ultimately succeed, but it is an interested concept and company, and I think it's good that they're trying to push the boundaries of what an electric car can be.



That would make sense, TDJ, if the "electronic car" was in fact a new idea. GM was the leader in solar tech since the late 80s early 90s, they've invested literally billions of dollars into the volt, and there are other alternatives like the Leaf that just flat out suck.

There's nothing particularly "cutting edge" about the Tesla vehicle, it's just done better.


February 27th, 2013, 8:36 pm
Player of the Year - Defense

Joined: September 13th, 2007, 12:43 pm
Posts: 2785
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
TDJ alluded to it, but didn't flesh it out.

Xerox had the idea for an operating system with a GUI and a mouse in the 1970s. They even had a prototype. But they never did anything with it. Literally their R+D department just tooled around with it in a lab. Steve Jobs saw it, copied it, and turned it into the Mac, which was in turn coppied by Microsoft for Windows. Thus, Xerox missed out on a market worth hundreds of billions of dollars to two college dropouts.

R&D budget is completely irrelevant to innovation. To stay within the tech industry, Steve Jobs retook Apple in the late 1990s with about 3 months worth of cash. He then proceeded to out innovate Microsoft for 10 years, despite the fact that Microsoft had more cash than it knew what to do with. Think of Amazon. How could one guy in his garage build a website that has put retailers worth hundreds of millions of dollars (Circuit City, Borders Books) out business (not to mention those that will soon follow like Best Buy, RadioShack and Barnes & Noble).

Businesses, like people, have life cycles. They find a new business model, exploit it, and when it eventually fails, they die. There are all sorts of reasons for this.

The point is, GM dropping the ball on the electric car isn't unique to them as a big company. It's just the nature of the universe. There are very, very few companies that have made the switch from one business paradigm to another. I can only really think of two: IBM and GE.


February 27th, 2013, 8:58 pm
Profile
QB Coach
User avatar

Joined: August 21st, 2005, 3:36 am
Posts: 3169
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
Blueskies wrote:
TDJ alluded to it, but didn't flesh it out.

Xerox had the idea for an operating system with a GUI and a mouse in the 1970s. They even had a prototype. But they never did anything with it. Literally their R+D department just tooled around with it in a lab. Steve Jobs saw it, copied it, and turned it into the Mac, which was in turn coppied by Microsoft for Windows. Thus, Xerox missed out on a market worth hundreds of billions of dollars to two college dropouts.

R&D budget is completely irrelevant to innovation. To stay within the tech industry, Steve Jobs retook Apple in the late 1990s with about 3 months worth of cash. He then proceeded to out innovate Microsoft for 10 years, despite the fact that Microsoft had more cash than it knew what to do with. Think of Amazon. How could one guy in his garage build a website that has put retailers worth hundreds of millions of dollars (Circuit City, Borders Books) out business (not to mention those that will soon follow like Best Buy, RadioShack and Barnes & Noble).

Businesses, like people, have life cycles. They find a new business model, exploit it, and when it eventually fails, they die. There are all sorts of reasons for this.

The point is, GM dropping the ball on the electric car isn't unique to them as a big company. It's just the nature of the universe. There are very, very few companies that have made the switch from one business paradigm to another. I can only really think of two: IBM and GE.

Bingo. This is exactly what I was getting at. The fact that GM was an early developer of electric car technologies is essentially irrelevant at this point. It's fine that they did, and I'm sure some of what they discovered/invented led to where Tesla (and other similar companies) are today. But it should not be surprising that they are not leading the charge on this. Big companies almost never do.

_________________
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” - Neil deGrasse Tyson


February 27th, 2013, 10:09 pm
Profile
Player of the Year - Defense

Joined: September 13th, 2007, 12:43 pm
Posts: 2785
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
Wjb, have you worked at a variety of different types of companies? I've been at many small businesses, venture-backed startups and a utility. In all these instances, the setup and expectations were vastly different, so different things were possible.

Startups, for example, generally don't have management structure. There is the founder who ultimately calls the shots, and then everyone else. So, if you have an idea for something, you only have to convince the founder and sometimes not even that. Creativity is encouraged.

Corporations are vastly different, particularly given how old they are and how safe their business model is. To get something changed, one must work through a large hierarchy, and even then things move slowly. Creativity is stifled.

That's why I'm so anti-bailout, because you are screwing with the natural process, which is to let old companies die when their time has come.

But to me, I don't think the electric car is going to be the challenger to unseat the auto industry.

Rather, there are bigger forces at work. Technology that enables cars to drive themselves, for example. Fundamental changes in the way people travel, services like ZipCar and the like.

I don't see the model of suburban living where everyone owns their own car that has dominated for the last 50 years, dominating for the next 50. But perhaps I'm wrong.


February 28th, 2013, 1:20 am
Profile
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
Blueskies wrote:
Wjb, have you worked at a variety of different types of companies? I've been at many small businesses, venture-backed startups and a utility. In all these instances, the setup and expectations were vastly different, so different things were possible.

Startups, for example, generally don't have management structure. There is the founder who ultimately calls the shots, and then everyone else. So, if you have an idea for something, you only have to convince the founder and sometimes not even that. Creativity is encouraged.

Corporations are vastly different, particularly given how old they are and how safe their business model is. To get something changed, one must work through a large hierarchy, and even then things move slowly. Creativity is stifled.

That's why I'm so anti-bailout, because you are screwing with the natural process, which is to let old companies die when their time has come.

But to me, I don't think the electric car is going to be the challenger to unseat the auto industry.

Rather, there are bigger forces at work. Technology that enables cars to drive themselves, for example. Fundamental changes in the way people travel, services like ZipCar and the like.

I don't see the model of suburban living where everyone owns their own car that has dominated for the last 50 years, dominating for the next 50. But perhaps I'm wrong.


I agree with both you and TDJ that electric cars aren't where it's ultimately going, but I still think GM could do a much better job putting out a better product, and more importantly, I think they could do it in a profitable manner. Maybe I'm fooling myself, and maybe what makes Tesla "work" is that they're not a huge organization filled with red-tape and bureaucracy, but that's sort of my point... Some of these "giants" get to the point where too many hands (or minds) are in the pot. I can't count the number of really cool concept cars that the Big 3 have had over the last decade that were really awesome cars, but once they were dummied down to production models they flat out sucked.

I said over 10 years ago, I don't know why every car out there doesn't come with a turbo. Ford is finally jumping on the bandwagon, but really... Why has it taken so long? We have this invention that allows you to have high horsepower, good pickup, AND good gas mileage, and we just refuse to use it. I don't get it....

I do think in the short term turbo and diesel is the way to go. I don't see natural gas taking off, mainly because I don't see politicians and delivery systems getting behind it. It sure would be nice to get home, flip a natural gas valve in the garage, and fill up a tank and be able to head right back out. I realize the PSI difference that vehicles will likely operate under, but the compression should be able to be done somewhere, safely, using the natural gas at home.

That said... we did just have a house blow up in Royal Oak yesterday, without high pressure natural gas... People are idiots... that's 1/2 the problem with everything.


February 28th, 2013, 3:26 pm
Player of the Year - Defense

Joined: September 13th, 2007, 12:43 pm
Posts: 2785
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
I think it's a structural problem more than a issue of having stupid workers. Most of Tesla's top engineers were recruited from other car companies, including the big three.


February 28th, 2013, 10:00 pm
Profile
QB Coach
User avatar

Joined: August 21st, 2005, 3:36 am
Posts: 3169
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Post Re: 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S
wjb21ndtown wrote:
I agree with both you and TDJ that electric cars aren't where it's ultimately going, but I still think GM could do a much better job putting out a better product, and more importantly, I think they could do it in a profitable manner. Maybe I'm fooling myself, and maybe what makes Tesla "work" is that they're not a huge organization filled with red-tape and bureaucracy, but that's sort of my point... Some of these "giants" get to the point where too many hands (or minds) are in the pot. I can't count the number of really cool concept cars that the Big 3 have had over the last decade that were really awesome cars, but once they were dummied down to production models they flat out sucked.

I said over 10 years ago, I don't know why every car out there doesn't come with a turbo. Ford is finally jumping on the bandwagon, but really... Why has it taken so long? We have this invention that allows you to have high horsepower, good pickup, AND good gas mileage, and we just refuse to use it. I don't get it....

I do think in the short term turbo and diesel is the way to go. I don't see natural gas taking off, mainly because I don't see politicians and delivery systems getting behind it. It sure would be nice to get home, flip a natural gas valve in the garage, and fill up a tank and be able to head right back out. I realize the PSI difference that vehicles will likely operate under, but the compression should be able to be done somewhere, safely, using the natural gas at home.

That said... we did just have a house blow up in Royal Oak yesterday, without high pressure natural gas... People are idiots... that's 1/2 the problem with everything.

Some of these giants? Try all of them. We're all saying essentially the same thing here with regard to big companies, bureaucracy, and innovation. Large corporations rarely ever come up with something truly innovative. That's why it's so remarkable when one does. It's human nature, not just corporate nature. The more people involved in something, the more difficult it is to do something truly innovative, and often, the more difficult it is to actually create a good design. Hence the phrase: a camel is a horse designed by a committee.

_________________
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” - Neil deGrasse Tyson


February 28th, 2013, 11:49 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 14 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.