Thursday, April 2nd, 2009...9:38 am

Updated: Tesla Model S “Driving” reception in Washington, D.C.

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This was an amazing reception for the re-unveiling of the Model S held in the National Building Museum. Tesla had setup an oval track around the inside of the building where they were allowing people to ride in the roadster, the electric Smart, and then the Model S.  The roadster moved out side for a test on the roads of D.C.  I was able to talk with several Tesla engineers and employees and will share all the details.  The reception was so beautiful that my camera doesn’t do it justice so I tried to take as many videos as I could. Here are a few of the pictures I did take. I arrived about 15 minutes early but that seemed to be very early as I was able to be 8th in line to ride the roadster around the track.

Here is a video of the reception floor.

At this point they start with an intro about the Model S from the Vice President and then Elon Musk the CEO of Tesla drives up in the Model S

Elon talks a while about the Model S and gives some interesting details on the specs.

3 different battery packs are available for 160 miles, 230 miles, and 300 miles , all versions of the Model S have the ability to quickly drop the battery pack for pack swapping.

Seats SEVEN people, however the 300 mile range is only with 2 people.

Has two trunks, since there is no engine in the front of the car, and also has folding rear seats for unparalleled storage capacity.

< will update with more specs soon >

Here is a once over of the non-functioning white Model S

Take a closer look at the amazing automatically retracting door handles

Now check out the close-up of the telematics (driver’s interface), it consists of two screens, the larger being the center console screen. The console screen has three separate areas, the top area being for navigation, the middle is the radio/entertainment, and the bottom is for climate control. The instrument cluster shows all the typical stats including state of charge, however I wasn’t able to get a great view of the instrument cluster to see if anything out of the ordinary was offered. I did manage to talk to the engineer in charge of the telematics package for this vehicle and found out some surprising details. The car will be wifi/3G enabled on the sprint/verizon network. One of the coolest features will be the ability to push directions, routes, and maps from the Internet straight to the vehicle. No more needing to print out directions before you get into your car. The prototype telematics system is surprisingly running on a Mac Mini right now, but there are no plans to continue that. The Mac Mini was used because its the most powerful thing available in its size and cost. I was told that surfing the Internet will be an option as well as other things. The touch screen is an advanced capacitive touch screen, which will work with thin gloves. The touch screen will also offer force feedback to the user as they are touching it. The following video is the best look at the telematics system as I could get.

UPDATE:

Here is the Tesla Model S doing a lap around the floor


I have plenty more to come and to discuss so stay tuned …..

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