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2009 Automobile Magazine 6 Page Tesla Spread

efusco

Moderator - Model S & X forums
Mar 29, 2009
5,421
666
Nixa, Missouri, United States
2009 Tesla Roadster - Tesla Electric Sport Convertible Review - Automobile Magazine
Just 2 pages online, but the print version is 6 pages.
0906_02_z+2009_tesla_roadster+front_three_quarters_view.jpg

Before we could drive the 2009 Roadster, a brief tour of the HQ and "factory" was provided. Two curious things about the HQ's location; the first was that it's in Menlo Park. Thomas Edison did much of his most notable work in Menlo Park--only Edison's Menlo Park was in New Jersey.

Coincidence? Most likely, because when we asked how Tesla Motors came to have their international HQ exactly where it is, we were told that the city fathers needed to find a tenant for an abandoned Chevrolet dealership. Where plaid-suited salesmen once sold fuel-swilling Suburbans and Trail Blazers, Tesla Roadsters now go through their final assembly and plug in for a fill up at a cost of about $4. One charge takes the two-seater about 240 miles according to the EPA.

At the facility, several Roadsters were going through final assembly, a marrying of the powertrain to the chassis. The size of the battery pack is stunning, as it takes the complete width of the car and nearly the entire height, rising from the floorpan to almost the tops of seatbacks. Weighing in at almost 1,000 pounds -- half the weight of a running Elise SC -- individual battery arrays get delivered in wooden crates the size of stand-alone residential freezer. Carefully arranged within the massive, armored and cooled assembly are 6,831 individual lithium ion battery cells packaged for your protection and their long life.
 

vfx

Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2006
14,790
40
CA CA
...Two curious things about the HQ's location; the first was that it's in Menlo Park. Thomas Edison did much of his most notable work in Menlo Park--only Edison's Menlo Park was in New Jersey.

Edison and Tesla ended up as bitter rivals. Still though, nice to see someone pointing this tidit out

...Hit the starter button, engage drive, and go....
To date, Tesla Motors has already delivered more than 400 Roadsters...
???
 
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BBHighway

Member
Feb 2, 2008
224
0
I just finished reading the print version. It's an amazingly positive article. Probably about the most pro-Tesla piece ever written by the media that I have seen.

"I will admit to having preconceived notions of how this would work out. I figured that after the Tesla was flatbedded a few times due to running out of juice, electric fires, or general mechanical malaise, I would decree the Roadster to be nothing but hype...

But I was completely wrong."

He put the car through quite a few "challenge" tests and it only failed one, when he overshopped at the grocery. My S2000 failed that one too, and I loved that car almost as much as my Roadster.
 

dpeilow

Moderator
May 23, 2008
9,152
891
Winchester, UK
Thanks Seneca.

It’s the same sound that I remember from the 1980s video game Pole Position.
In my head, I hear the digitized female voice say “prepare to qualify!”

He's right. That's been bugging me for ages. :biggrin:
 

Tim

Member
Dec 15, 2008
82
36
The torque speed curve at the end of the article is very illustrative. I've always wondered why Tesla didn't choose a higher battery pack voltage. It would have preserved alot of the top end power and hence torque. The camaro has a bit more hp, but the Tesla's increased torque drop off is due to motor current limited by high frequency reactance and the battery voltage not power limits of the motor. I'd love to see a sport with a 600 volt battery pack.
 

BBHighway

Member
Feb 2, 2008
224
0
I'd love to see a sport with a 600 volt battery pack.

Remember their original plan was a two speed transmission. That would have addressed the top end torque falloff, you would just switch to 2nd gear and keep on accelerating.

it was only at after several failed attempts, and about a year behind schedule, that they finally threw in the towel on the transmission and went one speed.

There are many great advantages to a single speed, but like all engineering decisions there are also tradeoffs. The top end speed and acceleration would have been better and the 1/4 mile time would most likely have been significantly quicker.
 

Tim

Member
Dec 15, 2008
82
36
Remember their original plan was a two speed transmission. That would have addressed the top end torque falloff, you would just switch to 2nd gear and keep on accelerating.

it was only at after several failed attempts, and about a year behind schedule, that they finally threw in the towel on the transmission and went one speed.

There are many great advantages to a single speed, but like all engineering decisions there are also tradeoffs. The top end speed and acceleration would have been better and the 1/4 mile time would most likely have been significantly quicker.

The single speed is the way to go certainly. Just look at the drivetrain losses the camaro suffers relative to the roadster. It's torque at peak hp in first gear should be about twenty percent higher than the roadster's given it's larger powerplant, but it never exceeds it. That's entirely due to the single speed efficiency. I understand all of the design problems that went into the roadster, but it seems like it would be a low hanging fruit for a Sport modification in the future(or just insert a DC-DC converter between the battery and the inverter) to improve performance. Hopefully they decide on a higher voltage for the Model S and can use some of the federal loan money for development of it. The inverter powered motor has the potential to be a near ideal drivetrain with peak horsepower delivery across it's entire operating range and >90% efficiency at all operating points.
 

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