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Engineering Tesla's 2013 Model S

  • Magazine Feature Article
  • 11EVSD0824_01
Published August 24, 2011 by SAE International in United States
  • English

The world's first near-luxury BEV abounds with innovation, promises serious performance-and makes the issue of range an option.

For Tesla Motors, this is the big one. The Model S sedan, scheduled to enter production late next year in Fremont, CA, as a 2013 model, carries all the company's aspirations on its svelte, aluminum-intensive body. It's more than a single nameplate-Model S is the first use of a new Tesla vehicle architecture from which multiple vehicles will come, company executives say.

But just getting to its current Beta-build stage of development, let alone to the first-year volume projections of 20,000 units, has been a saga more akin to the old-school Detroit industry than the shining Silicon Valley model that was supposed to bury it.