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Old 07-23-08, 11:53 PM   #1
carbonlife
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Ah, the Tesla experience...well sorta

So a friend and I wandered over to the local Tesla dealer, which is just a couple of miles from my place, to check out the cars that are just starting to be delivered. If only I had an extra $100K lying around. For those not familiar with the Tesla, it's an electric car built into a modified Lotus Elise chassis, but with an all carbon fiber body. It has supercar acceleration (0-60 mph in less than four seconds) because of a strong motor and light weight, a claimed range of 227 miles and 3.5 hour charging cycle. I had never sat in an Elise, and holy moly, it is very low, with a very wide door sill and a cramped cockpit. It is not easy to get in and out of, the seats are thin, and the ergonomics are marginal. It's still a dedicated sports car.

Here's a little picture tour.

There was only one car in the showroom, plus a full-size wood model and an empty shell probably from a prototype.







Under the bonnet is a radiator for cooling the 6,831 Li ion batteries. In the back is a small trunk, but we were unable to see the motor.





The charging socket has a cool light.



The view from the driver seat. The steering wheel was locked so I couldn't get a better picture.



There's no point having a tach on a car with one gear. But I understand now why they want the two-speed tranny they have been struggling to have developed: the torque curve is 100% from 0 to 6K rpm, then trails off in a linear fashion to the 13K redline. They need a second gear to reach the target top speed of 125 mph.



Here are various screens from the small computer display, which is to the left of the steering wheel.



The center console has controls for ventilation, seat heater, and an override button for the traction control. The stick has three positions, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive.

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Old 07-23-08, 11:54 PM   #2
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A few more shots of the showroom.





On the wall was an example of the extruded aluminum, resin-bonded chassis.



There were also some technical displays.



The service area had six production Teslas being prepped for delivery, three black ones, plus one each red, yellow and silver. An NY Times article published on Saturday said the company has delivered four cars, and Larry and Sergey from Google are scheduled to get cars seven and eight, so perhaps you see their cars here.

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Old 07-23-08, 11:59 PM   #3
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Oh well pfft. Lemme go get my purse.......
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Old 07-24-08, 12:07 AM   #4
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Those are pretty sweet. I'd love to own one, but I think I'm gonna hold out for the Volt...
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Old 07-24-08, 12:08 AM   #5
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Wow - and I thought old 911's were spartan inside. Bonafide sportscar or not, I'd need a bit more creature comfort than that for $100k.
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Old 07-24-08, 12:22 AM   #6
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That's my dream car now.
Beauty.
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Old 07-24-08, 12:35 AM   #7
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It's a really expensive roadster, but it's more like a really cheap Ferrari. Those things perform. Now, can they make another car that isn't so fast but will do 150 miles on a charge and cost under 30k? THAT would be something.
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Old 07-24-08, 02:02 AM   #8
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I like carbon fiber details, but that's actually kind of cheap looking.

Anyway, I'd hit it (with 110 VAC).
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Old 07-24-08, 02:34 AM   #9
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Just had a look last night at this website:

http://www.lightningcarcompany.co.uk/

Sweeeet...
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Old 07-24-08, 05:29 AM   #10
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FAIL!

I was looking forward to seeing you dabbling with some of Nikolai's experiments.
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Old 07-24-08, 07:49 AM   #11
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FAIL!

I was looking forward to seeing you dabbling with some of Nikolai's experiments.
And I was hoping for some rocks songs.

Nice car though.
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Old 07-24-08, 07:54 AM   #12
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Awesome, thanks very much for posting. Have either your friend or you tried to ask for a test drive?

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Originally Posted by carbonlife View Post
So a friend and I wandered over to the local Tesla dealer, which is just a couple of miles from my place, to check out the cars that are just starting to be delivered. If only I had an extra $100K lying around. For those not familiar with the Tesla, it's an electric car built into a modified Lotus Elise chassis, but with an all carbon fiber body. It has supercar acceleration (0-60 mph in less than four seconds) because of a strong motor and light weight, a claimed range of 227 miles and 3.5 hour charging cycle. I had never sat in an Elise, and holy moly, it is very low, with a very wide door sill and a cramped cockpit. It is not easy to get in and out of, the seats are thin, and the ergonomics are marginal. It's still a dedicated sports car.

Here's a little picture tour.

There was only one car in the showroom, plus a full-size wood model and an empty shell probably from a prototype.

[.IMG]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f155/tacksharp/Tesla/Tesla_2692_side.jpg[/IMG]

[.IMG]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f155/tacksharp/Tesla/Tesla_2685_back.jpg[/IMG]

[.IMG]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f155/tacksharp/Tesla/Tesla_2687_roll_bar.jpg[/IMG]

Under the bonnet is a radiator for cooling the 6,831 Li ion batteries. In the back is a small trunk, but we were unable to see the motor.

[.IMG]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f155/tacksharp/Tesla/Tesla_2653_bonnet.jpg[/IMG]

[.IMG]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f155/tacksharp/Tesla/Tesla_2657_boot.jpg[/IMG]

The charging socket has a cool light.

[.IMG]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f155/tacksharp/Tesla/Tesla_2658_charge_socket.jpg[/IMG]

The view from the driver seat. The steering wheel was locked so I couldn't get a better picture.

[.IMG]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f155/tacksharp/Tesla/Tesla_2661_driver_seat.jpg[/IMG]

There's no point having a tach on a car with one gear. But I understand now why they want the two-speed tranny they have been struggling to have developed: the torque curve is 100% from 0 to 6K rpm, then trails off in a linear fashion to the 13K redline. They need a second gear to reach the target top speed of 125 mph.

[.IMG]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f155/tacksharp/Tesla/Tesla_2659_tach.jpg[/IMG]

Here are various screens from the small computer display, which is to the left of the steering wheel.

[.IMG]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f155/tacksharp/Tesla/Tesla_2665_computer.jpg[/IMG]

The center console has controls for ventilation, seat heater, and an override button for the traction control. The stick has three positions, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive.

[.IMG]http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f155/tacksharp/Tesla/Tesla_2677_console.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 07-24-08, 08:10 AM   #13
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It's a really expensive roadster, but it's more like a really cheap Ferrari. Those things perform. Now, can they make another car that isn't so fast but will do 150 miles on a charge and cost under 30k? THAT would be something.
They're working on a sedan. Doubt it would be sub 30K but if they got it under $45 with 0-60 in 5.5s it might be a really BMW killer, especially when you consider that electric motor have huge low end torque. That would make it a great car for zipping around town or curvy country roads.
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Old 07-24-08, 08:15 AM   #14
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I like the fact that the showroom appears to be a high tech yert.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 07-24-08, 08:52 AM   #15
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"it is very low, with a very wide door sill and a cramped cockpit. It is not easy to get in and out of, the seats are thin, and the ergonomics are marginal."

^^^A description of just about every sports car Ive ever been in.^^^ LOL! Can anyone tell me if a carbon body is safe in a crash? Especially at the high speed the vehicle claims? I know its been used in aircrafts for years but Ive never seen a carbon skinned aircraft crash into another one (at higher speeds) while on the ground. I have a carbon bike but its never been in a crash, and the ones (like mine) Ive seen that have crash (hard) have failed. But mostly due to over weight riders.
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Old 07-24-08, 08:57 AM   #16
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"it is very low, with a very wide door sill and a cramped cockpit. It is not easy to get in and out of, the seats are thin, and the ergonomics are marginal."

^^^A description of just about every sports car Ive ever been in.^^^ LOL! Can anyone tell me if a carbon body is safe in a crash? Especially at the high speed the vehicle claims? I know its been used in aircrafts for years but Ive never seen a carbon skinned aircraft crash into another one (at higher speeds) while on the ground.
Formula one cars are mostly CF these days and they seem to survive 200kph+ crashes with the driver pod intact.
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Old 07-24-08, 08:59 AM   #17
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Formula one cars are mostly CF these days and they seem to survive 200kph+ crashes with the driver pod intact.
Pod is intact yes, but in a serious crash, the pod is a complete write off. Tubs involved in lesser incidents can have new suspension pieces bolted on in most cases.

Not long ago, some movie actor ran an Enzo into a concrete barrier at some event being help for publicity. The Enzo suffered front end damage, but was a complete write off as I recall, due to the nature of composite manufacturing.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 07-24-08, 09:08 AM   #18
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http://youtube.com/watch?v=ElxB3sucIMc
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Old 07-24-08, 09:10 AM   #19
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ouch...
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Old 07-24-08, 09:37 AM   #20
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Formula one cars are mostly CF these days and they seem to survive 200kph+ crashes with the driver pod intact.
are the pods carbon? I thought they were titanium? like some aircraft pods?
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Old 07-24-08, 09:49 AM   #21
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Pod is intact yes, but in a serious crash, the pod is a complete write off. Tubs involved in lesser incidents can have new suspension pieces bolted on in most cases.

Not long ago, some movie actor ran an Enzo into a concrete barrier at some event being help for publicity. The Enzo suffered front end damage, but was a complete write off as I recall, due to the nature of composite manufacturing.
Isn't that also true of most modern crumplezone cars, whetever the material used? That is, on impact the surrounding shell/underlying structure is sacrficed to protect the occupants with, in theory, the main safety box/perimeter staying generally the same shape.

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are the pods carbon? I thought they were titanium? like some aircraft pods?
Good question. I'd read/heard somewhere that they're mostly CF. Anyone have a discovery channel "how F1 cars are made" video please?
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Old 07-24-08, 09:52 AM   #22
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I believe that the cockpits are mostly CF or other high tech composite now. Not sure of this.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 07-24-08, 09:54 AM   #23
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I wonder what is/was easier, paying for a new tub in 2008 or trying to straighten a Tipo 61 birdcage chassis after a hard impact?

http://www.maserati.org.au/gallery/M...1_gallery.html

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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 07-24-08, 10:00 AM   #24
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I wonder what is/was easier, paying for a new tub in 2008 or trying to straighten a Tipo 61 birdcage chassis after a hard impact?

http://www.maserati.org.au/gallery/M...1_gallery.html

[.IMG]http://www.maserati-alfieri.co.uk/paninia/panini-121a.jpg[/IMG]
I believe that's what's known in the trade as "chasing your tail"
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Old 07-24-08, 10:05 AM   #25
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Maserati, one of the biggest POS ever built! (My humble opinion)
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