MotorTrend tests Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S

Elon Musk's personal Tesla S being tested by Motor Trend

The Tesla Model S has a range of 300 miles at 55 mph according to Tesla. Until now, it’s been basically impossible for anyone outside of the company to confirm or verify those numbers. The EPA tests came up with a range of 265 miles for the 85 kWh version of the Model S.

Motor Trend had a chance to take Elon Musk’s personal Model S and put it through the paces. They actually achieved many numbers better than Tesla’s official numbers:

  • 0-60 MPH in 3.9 seconds (Tesla’s official number is 4.4 seconds)
  • 12.5 second quarter mile (Tesla’s official number is 12.6 seconds)
  • 100.7 MPGe during a 200+ mile test drive (EPA says 89)

However, the range didn’t quite stack up to the estimates we’ve been told. MotorTrend only managed 238 miles out of the battery pack while doing 65 MPH with no air conditioning and driving as conservatively as they could. Many hyper milers, or even wannabe hyper milers would frown on this test and wonder why they didn’t at least do 2 runs of the same stretch in opposite directions or some A/B/A testing to confirm. MotorTrend did one test drive on one route to come to this number. MotorTrend sums it it up nicely:

But the range that matters is really a psychological/perceptual one, not a specific number. Think about it: We drove from Fontana on the eastern edge of the L.A. basin to San Diego and all the way back to L.A.’s Pacific edge on one charge. Five hours of continuous driving. This is a breakthrough accomplishment that ought to knock down the range anxiety barrier that’s substantially limited EV sales.

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2 Comments on "MotorTrend tests Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S"

  1. jim stack | March 1, 2013 at 5:28 am |

    This needs to be updated. The S has won every car award from every car magazine and even Popular Science as the best car.

    They are still sold out for over a year and have upped production so Tesla is now cash flow positive.

    We also need to add a concept car item for the Tesla C blue star compact !

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