Video Tesla Model S Alpha Road Testing

The Tesla Model S is running the first stage of development. Before it enters production it will have been thoroughly tested using both computer simulations and test vehicles. Tesla will complete two vehicle testing phases, Alpha and Beta. The Alpha phase began in 2010.

While test driving the first Alpha, Tesla Vehicle Dynamicist Graham Sutherland commented:

The first Alpha is amazingly agile for a car of its size. It has great handling balance and poised ride with communicative steering. Just goes to show what combining a low center of gravity with a very stiff body structure can achieve.

The Alphas will be tested extensively in the coming months in all climates.

12 COMMENTS

  1. hmm…. so now no engine sound is cool, yes? Well… if the nice body and no engine sound is the only reason to buy it… I wouldn’t like it.

  2. jdef90

    don’t forget about instant max torque from 0 RPM, great efficiency and realibility of an electric motor, minimal maintenance costs, 300 miles range, revolutionary 17″ touch screen and so on…

  3. @jdef90, no engine sound is not cool. But in every new luxury car such S-class or 7th series you can’t hear the engine. And this is what the client of these cars want. They want peace and comfort. This is why I like this electric car and I don’t like the Survolt from couple of days ago. This is what electric car should be, and when every sedan, hatch and family van is electric no one would complain about polution from cars. Then ‘we’ can drive ‘our’ loud and internal combustion powered sports cars. Don’t you agree with me?

  4. @kris_vd, You’re right, but when the time comes next gen electric sports car will smoke your expensive, loud and already obsolete internal combustion powered sports car.

    Just think about successor of cars like Tesla Roadster or upcoming Audi R8 e-tron. The potential is enormous. I can’t wait for an EV which will crush ICE supercars. New all electric Nissan GTR would be perfect :D

  5. @xDamiano, have you ever been on a race track? Did you ever watch a race? I gues no, ‘couse if you was you wouldn’t even think of electric sports car. A true sports car fan likes the engine sound. The noise is half the sports car expirience. I would like to see how an electric Lamborghini would sell. My gues, they would bankrupt. Or maybe guys like you will buy electric Lambo and they will daceive themseves that they drive a true sports car. I like the technology, but nobody wants to watch electric Formula 1. So no matter how obsolete is the internal combustion engine in the next 50 year this is the way to power a ports car. After that I don’t care ‘couse I will probably be dead!

  6. kris_vd I have been on a race track :) btw I am a huge fan of Formula 1 for about 10 years, and when I was younger my room was full of Ferrari posters etc. so I should be a typical petrolhead, don’t you think? And I was until I realise that electric motor would is perfect for sports cars. It’s efficiency is over 90% compare to +/- 30% with an ICE which never will be more efficient, because it’s technically imposible. Same with torque distribution no matter how good and advanced gearbox is. And next in EV you don’t need super complicated and expensive gearbox or even a clutch. It’s useless! Think about how good traction could be when max torque is always available. Then electric motor has only few moving parts compered to few thousands in an ICE. Think about realiability and service costs… And costs are extremaly important in F1 nowadays ;) So it’s a matter of time when some electric formula car will outclass F1 car. It won’t happen tomorrow, but it definitely will in near future. Just notice what is happening to motorcycle racing (series like TTXGP).

    Don’t get me wrong I haven’t became petrol sports cars hater, but right now I’m just starting to like electric ones even more.

  7. @xDamiano, you are right about all that. But simple fact is that with todays technology even the best electric motors like BLDC need a juice. And then it lose badly. The wieght of the battery even the most advanced Lithium iron phosphate is enormous and still they can’t deliver reasonable range. I like the elctric cars. They are the future. But I hate electric sports cars. This is just stupid. Maybe one day somebody will build elctric car which can win 24h of LeMans. But this day is very far away in the future. Maybe after 100 years. For now lets use electric technology only on everyday cars please. No more PR misunderstandings like Survol or Tesla Roadster. And when you mention cost. Remind me what was the price of Tesla Roadster again? I think you can buy several Lotus Elises for that money and even the weakest of them will be faster and can cover greater range.

  8. @kris_vd yeah today the biggest problem with electric cars are limited range and lack of charging infrastructure. The batteries are heavy and very expensive, but hey don’t forget about economies of scale :) nowadays it’s expensive, because cells are prodeced in a SMALL volume and developing costs are huge. Just think what will happen when mass production will start… the price will go down, dramatically. Of course technology improvments in battery chemistry will be a second very important factor which will decide about attractive of EVs. And then when one automaker succeed, others will join the competition. That will be good for customers, cuz after that prices could drop to a reasonable level and EV will be competitive to ICE.

    btw notice that Tesla Roadster is the very FIRST electric sports car, it created a completly new market, so its price can’t be a bargain. Do you remember what was the price of the first mobile phone, laptop or flat screen TV? it was stupidly high! and what is the price of its recent successors? :)

  9. I can’t wait until The Stig and the boys get their hands on it. I’d really like to see James review it, He’d appreciate it the most. He knows a good car when he see one. Clarkson would just complain about the top speed, and hamster would just make some dumb comparison

  10. We put a man on the moon in 1969, if it wasn’t for the gas companies, government, etc. this type of car should have come out 30 yrs. ago! I’m very HAPPY about Tesla, I WANT one!

    T.S.Steele
    Pacifica,Ca.

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