Tesla Motors has been in the frontline of Electric vehicles manufacturing for the past decade. Celebrated for its iconic designs and high performance electric vehicles, this silicon-valley based company has undoubtedly garnered a huge market from Electric Vehicle enthusiasts. On 8 April 2015, Tesla announced a new addition to its model S; the all wheel drive S 70D.
Coming in as a luxury sedan, the S 70D offers much more enhancements and features as compared to its predecessor, the S 60. Starting with the name, the D at the end of the S 70’s name stands for “dual motor”. This is a major and remarkable improvement between these two sister models, since S 60 was a single motor luxury sedan while the S 70D is a dual motor luxury sedan. The addition of a second motor in the S 70D is in an effort to enhance the vehicle’s performance. With motors located in the front and rear-end of the vehicle, they offer a combined 329 horsepower.
These two motors are digitally controlled to distribute torque to the front and rear wheels of the vehicle, based on the driving terrain and torque requirements of the wheels. This results into a better driving experience under all road conditions. The use of a digital torque control system is a genius idea by Tesla to reduce vehicle weight due to the use of complex mechanical linkages. This in return makes the car lighter and faster. This car can accelerate from 0-60mph in a matter of 5.2 seconds and achieve a top speed of 140mph, which is quite commendable for a sedan.
Powering the dual motors driving the Tesla S 70D is a 70kWhr battery pack. This battery pack is located on the floor of the vehicle, and has been rated by EPA to give the vehicle a range of 240 miles at 65mph. This is an improvement to the S 60 model which had a 60kWhr battery that gave the vehicle an EPA rated 208 miles range. Charging a battery pack with a capacity this big using the standard EV chargers can be one, time consuming task.
To ensure S 70D drivers don’t have to endure the painful loss of valuable hours charging their vehicles, Tesla has employed the use of super charging in the vehicle’s charging system thus the S 70D can be plugged into a supercharger for a quick power boost. All Tesla S 70D owners also have a free access to the Supercharger network, thus ensuring that battery charge level is the least of worries for a Tesla S 70D driver.
The body and chassis of the S 70D is mainly made out of aluminum. The exterior design is very attractive with the sedan being given a sportier look. The car comes in three colors: obsidian black, ocean blue and warm silver. The interior is well crafted, having a minimum capacity of five seats and a maximum of seven seats with the addition of optional jump seats. At the center of the dashboard, is a 17 inch touch screen that provides information about the car and entertainment. Tesla has upgraded the vehicle’s software to the new 6.2 version and any new updates will be received free over-the-air.
These updates will be aimed at improving the functionality, performance and user experience of the software. The standard software comes with amazing features. These include autopilot; which Tesla plans to roll out soon to act as a driver assistant on certain circumstances, parking sensors, navigation, trip planner and range assurance; which help the driver to plan his/her route and ensure that he/she is within reach of all viable Supercharging stations, automatic keyless entry and automatic emergency breaking.
This electric car is not coming at a cheap price. The vehicle is being sold at $75,000, which though quite expensive, is cheaper compared to other similar electric cars in the market. The argument raised concerning the hefty price, according to the company is that if the operation cost of an internal combustion engine vehicle, is summed up over 5 years the total cost incurred will be far much more than that of an electric vehicle; which is a valid argument. Despite the hefty price, this car is worth its value as not only does it save our environment from degradation, but it does so without compromising on the performance and comfort expected of a luxury sedan.
Video reference: www.teslamotors.com/blog/introducing-all-wheel-drive-model-s-70d
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.