Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S comes with one of three basic powertrain choices, two of which are available in the standard Model S and the third of which is only available on the Model S Performance. The standard Model S comes with 60kwh and 85kwh battery options, the 60kwh version is powered by a 302 hp electric motor and has an EPA certified range of 208 miles. The 85kwh Model S ups the range to 265 miles, while simultaneously increasing horsepower to 362. The Model S Performance also utilizes 85kwh batteries for a 265 mile range, but the electric motor has been boosted to 416 hp.

All three versions will go from 0-60 in under six seconds, but the Performance model is the quickest with a 0-60 time of just 4.2 seconds, comparable to many top-end sports cars. The Model S also handles much better than its size would suggest thanks to an extremely low center of gravity, made possible by the low, flat battery pack stored under the floor.

The interior of the Model S is as groundbreaking and unconventional as the rest of the car. Where traditional cars have a vast array of buttons on the dashboard between the two front seats, the Model S simply has a huge 17-inch touch screen. All of the media, communication, infotainment and in cabin controls function through this screen, resulting in an amazingly uncluttered interior.

The standard feature list is extensive on the Model S, and includes 19-inch wheels, a 200 watt stereo system and the 17-inch touch screen in the dashboard. The options list also quite lengthy. A variety of charging options are available, including a twin charging system to help reduce charging times, as well as access to Tesla's "Supercharger" network, the infrastructure Tesla is currently being building all around the United States. Tesla claims that a Supercharger station can give the Model S a fifty percent charge in just half an hour.

Other interesting options include a glass panoramic sunroof, two rear facing jump seats, a 580-watt stereo and 21-inch wheels. An optional tech package consists of xenon lights, memory seats, a power rear lift gate, keyless entry, a high definition back up camera, GPS navigation and electrochromic side mirrors.

Tesla has also done their best to make sure that the Model S is an extremely safe vehicle. The batteries are spread out beneath the floor of the car, actually helping to improve chassis stiffness while simultaneously lowering the center of gravity. Tesla were also able to design a front crumple zone unhindered by the need to fit an engine in the front of the car, further improving safety. Of course standard safety features such as anti-lock brakes and traction control are standard, as are eight airbags.

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Editors' First Take

Tesla claims 1,800 Model 3 orders daily; S and X up, too

Antuan Goodwin

In the wake of last week's Tesla Model 3 hand-off event, it's no surprise to see a torrent of buzz around the new EV and a surge in consumer interest. However, Tesla Motors reported in its second quarterly update of 2017 today that its Model S and Model X, er, models have also seen an uptick in orders.

The brand's new entry point Model 3 has seen a reported average of "over 1,800 Model 3 net reservations per day" since last week's hand-off event where 30 production cars were delivered to Tesla employees. Presumably that's the difference between new reservations resulting from all of the buzz and cancellations as prospective buyers learn that deliveries to customers won't start until later this year, with current wait times stretching well into 2018. Still, with numbers like those, it appears that a significant number of buyers feel the Model 3 will be worth the wait.

Perhaps what's most surprising is the reported uptick in orders for the Model S sedan and Model X SUV orders. Tesla's report states that leading up to and beyond the Model 3 launch event, "weekly net order rate for these vehicles was about 15 percent higher" than average with deliveries up 53 percent relative to the same quarter last year.

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