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The beauty is also beneath the skin

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by artsci, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    #1 artsci, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
    I visited the Tesla Store in Washington, DC today to see the S in the flesh (a beta model).

    With a staff member assisting me and pointing out important details, I spent about two hours examining every bit of the S beta on display, including the chassis, battery pack, suspension, electric motor, and related components. What struck me most about the car was the simplicity of the mechanics of the car as compared to an ICE automobile. And with no oil and gas, the only liquids to worry about are brake fluid and battery coolant.

    As dozens of photos of the car’s lovely sheet metal have been posted, I thought some shots of the drive train and other mechanics might be revealing. While the S’s design is gorgeous, the real beauty is beneath the skin. Here are a few photos that demonstrate why.

    The electric motor and inverter are connected directly to the rear wheels and compared to all that’s going on in the rear end of an ICE car (differentials, gears, diff fluid, drive shafts, etc) this is simplicity itself.

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    The front and rear suspension appears to be cast aluminum components, as shown in these photos.

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    The power steering motor, master brake cylinder, and battery coolant pump are mounted in front of the battery pack and, I was told, will be serviced from underneath the car. Here are a few shots. Again, compared to what you find jammed under the hood of an ICE vehicle, this is very uncomplicated.

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    The radiator for battery coolant in shown below, and the two black connectors show on the battery top are for the hoses from the radiator. Otherwise, not much going on up front.

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    The headlamps assemblies are also a thing of beauty. I especially liked the lighted rim and the amber turn signal array (the piece curving to the right in the right half of the lamp). It’s an elegant step forward over the BMW and Audi lamp gimmicks.

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    It appears that there’s very little that can go wrong with this car. If I ran an auto repair shop I’ve be very concerned about the future impact of EVs on my business.

    As for my experience in the store, the staff were incredibly helpful and very well informed. For example, one of the staff told me that to protect the life of the battery no more than about 2 percent of the car’s monthly charging should be done via supercharging. He also confirmed that the brake calipers were Brembos, albeit with the Tesla logo on them.

    Also, as I’ll be in China for the assigned test drive days in July, I was told I could make an appointment for a test drive in late July or early August. They said that I’d have more time behind the wheel, which made me smile.
     
  2. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    #2 tdelta1000, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
    artsci... I agree with you on the simplicity and beauty of the Model S skateboard. I say it's a work of art.
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yes, that motor/inverter drivetrain combo doesn't look like much, but to me it is the most exciting part of the vehicle.

    Basically all cars ought to have that. With that you don't have to fill up your 'frunk' with a gas engine!
     
  4. SoCalGuy

    SoCalGuy Member

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    I agree - I've always found the skateboard chasis approach (ala GM's HyWire concept from early 2000s) very elegant. Now if only the external sheet metal could match that ;-)
     
  5. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Sweet, thanks! Do you have the hi-rez photos up somewhere?
     
  6. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I have to set up the album for sharing, which I'll do tomorrow.

     
  7. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    artsci,

    Thanks for posting.

    Admittedly, the chassis was the biggest shock when I first walked into the Tesla store. I'm now embarrassed that I asked the Tesla rep, "Where's the rest of the engine and parts?" when I saw the same thing. "GTFO!" was my mental thought when he said WYSIWYG (for all intents and purposes). :smile:
     
  8. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Here's a link to the set of hi-res photos: Photo 1 of 21, Tesla S

     

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