The S model may have a pretty conventional silhouette – but what’s behind it is far from it. Yes, that was in 2012. Two electric motors draw power from a 75 or 100 kWh battery pack and drive all four wheels via a single transmission.
The drive train lives on in a kind of skateboard on which the body is mounted. This keeps the center of gravity nice and low (batteries are heavy old stuff, and the Model S has a lot more than most other popular electric vehicles) which makes it easy to use and means there’s plenty of storage space in the cabin.
The changes in the design are subtle on the outside, with new headlights, aerodynamically optimized bodywork and new, performance-oriented wheels, all of which are supplemented. The passive collision structure under the new metal and plastic works is coupled with the usual active safety and automation systems, including a 360 degree camera system, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and a forward-facing radar that can see 160 meters ahead.
Tesla’s famous “Autopilot” is back and offers drivers on the highway extensive assistance as well as the possibility to park cars themselves and to be “called” from their parking lot.
Although early examples were available with a seven-seater with a rear child seat in the hatchback, the current Model S is offered exclusively with space for five people. Passengers in the front seats enjoy 42.7 inches of legroom, and rear passengers are happy with an acceptable 35.4 inches of legroom. The cargo volume under the rear stern is 26.6 cubic feet or 58.1 with the rear seats folded down. If you just need a little more space, there are 2.1 more cubes in the front trunk.
Part of what made the Model S so distinctive when it debuted was the 17.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, an arrangement that continues to stand out in the market to this day. While there are no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features, the interface is easier to use than most of the others. You will also find Easter eggs and streaming options in this system.
With electric motors for the front and rear axles, the S model offers all-wheel drive around the clock, regardless of the version selected. The acceleration of various models ranges from extraordinary to violent. The Plaid and Plaid + models have a third electric motor that increases the combined output to 1,020 hp.
Tesla hasn’t released the animals into the wild, but claims they can go anywhere from zero to 60 mph in less than two seconds. The standard S model has proven to be an agile sports sedan with controlled body movements and direct steering. Two different settings allow the driver to choose between heavy and light steering effort, but neither allows more feedback from the road. Good driving comfort, sharp handling and self-confident and almost quiet on the highway.
The new Model S starts at $ 79,990 for the dual motorized “Long Range” version that covers 412 miles. Or you could spend $ 119,000 on one with the new, more powerful “Checkered” powertrain that ran 390 miles in 0 to 60 seconds in less than 2 seconds. The 520-mile “Plaid +” version starts at $ 139,000.
|Engine||Electric (front, center)|
|Power||275 hp (205 kW)|
|Torque||310 lb·ft (420 N·m)|
|Engine||Electric (rear, center)|
|Power||259 hp (193 kW)|
|Torque||247 lb·ft (335 N·m)|
|Top speed||250 km/h (155 mph) (manufacturer)|
|Battery type||Lithium-ion (Li-ion)|
|Charging times||240V: 12.0 h|
400V : 0.7 h
|Trunk||804 l (28 cu ft)|
|Length||4,970 mm (196″)|
|Width||2,189 mm (86″)|
|Height||1,445 mm (57″)|
|Wheelbase||2,960 mm (117″)|
|Front track||1,662 mm (65″)|
|Rear track||1,700 mm (67″)|
|Weight||2,215 kg (4,883 lb)|