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EXCLUSIVE: 2019 Tesla Model S Review: From SF to LA at a Cost?

"There will be model 3's larger 2170-size cells?" I ask. "No, the battery is unchanged" they answer. "Same battery?" I tilt my head. "The same battery," they repeat. "It's not bigger?" Http://www.motortrend.com/ "It's the same battery" they say again. "But the range goes from what to what?" I ask. "The Long Range goes from 335 miles to reach 370. In general, 10 to 12 percent more."

In fact, the fuel is fundamentally unchanged except for a point point difference: the existing front unit is replaced by a repackaged version of the Model 3's more efficient rear. But it is one of the simple explanations that conceals the actual answer. They cross some of the advertised battery sizes and ranges for European electric motors on their way, and their relationship is universally terrible. The reason the trio emphasizes is because they do not treat their cars as synergistic wholes.

The Model 3 engine is a permanent magnet type, which is more efficient than the induction it replaces. Back when Angus McKenzie and I visited Fremont in 2011, then an abandoned shell of a factory Musk passed some engines they were collecting, and I remember asking, "Why are these induction motors? Are they no less effective?" Http: // www.motortrend.com/"The difference is not much, "he replied" And we avoid expensive magnets. "

Tesla's ability to cost analyze an EV as a total system is hugely more sophisticated. The efficiency of all parts is weighed against the cost of battery cells, and now the analysis is in favor of the permanent magnet motor used on the front axle. I ask, "Doesn't the permanent magnet motor pull when power is not needed? An induction motor can be turned off, right?" True, but in light load conditions, the Model S is a front wheel drive car; The rear engine has extra power. So the front unit is never very idle. It is either making power, regenerating it during braking, or idling at a stop.

A large chart is projected on a screen. It is the flow of energy that comes into the model S and then how it is gradually divided and consumed. It looks like a river and its side walls, but in the opposite direction. We see kW-hr going in, branches listed as aero tap, tire drag, etc., going out. Model's brain trust points to these branches and explains how conventional car companies ask their suppliers for their best and most efficient parts at the lowest prices, and then install them. Tesla fully understands the entire car as a system for energy deviations. They lead me down to the battery lab to see some examples.

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In the midst of "not touching" cables, shaker tables, blinking light monitors and even a glass container with bubbling clear liquid (what is it?) I'm a tire. Deck? Pair of current and new model S tires, for both performance and longer range versions, side by side. Lars points to the new wear patterns, changes in the many rubber connections used over the tread make them more effective and their brightness. He gives me current and new wheel bearings. Turn them on: The new one is noticeably easier to spin. The cost of making small improvements to such seemingly unrelated details is constantly being weighed against each other and their impact on battery size and driving range.

Hmm, so if the battery is unchanged, is Model S getting the new "V3" 250-kW Supercharging rates? It's a difficult break. "Not at this time" is the cautious answer, but the car can handle a 200 kW supercharged rate. It leaves the cheaper model 3 (which was designed for V3) with a charge advantage. The opposite argument is that the current Superchargers are set to rise from 120 kW to 145 or 150, reducing battery charging time from 37 minutes to 26. And with 370 miles of range, you reduce how often you & # 39; Do you want to stop anyway and don't stop is faster than the fastest charge, right?

Before going to Fremont to start our trek south, we go outside and belt into the latest Model S performance version (model 3 front engine, the existing large rear engine) for a warm catch around Palo Alto.

When the development engineer lifts through the corners, he scrolls through technical descriptions of all the irregularities in the road and how the car makes them disappear. He noticed everything – at some point exclaimed, "Flying Squirrel! Did you see it?" This is part of the model S update was not on my radar at all.

Its two main components are the air suspension's four-adjustable adjustment damping and also the control software that sounds suspicious as track mode. "That's because it's the same team that developed it." Although the ride has been changed – stiffer rear springs and softer fronts, so the car hangs more like a whole that reduces pitching software, fast suspension suspension in response to a variety of sensors. While other systems use "lookup tables" to determine setting adjustments, this runs, like track mode, a real-time physics model, and compares the results with its predictions.

Before, the rhythm height was determined by speed, lowering the chassis as speeds rose. Now it is predicted by way of speed limit data, embedded in the maps. The driver winds the steering wheel from the position straight ahead. On-center sensors are enhanced by quickly solidifying the correct corners of the car and increasing the load on the tires. That's when the width of the tread center fastener comes into play. We really drive, the car seems to repave the road when we come, when I mention, "It's amazing that someone can do this, not say a 7 year old." Lars corrects me. "This is because this is not the same car. It has been constantly changing. For example, this is the car's third different lower front A arms."

At Fremont, the place is bustling like Main Street in Disneyland. People are milling in the showroom; tours gather and go into the factory. We set up a fast video recording in the parking lot with the Long Range since we take, and a security man asks what we do. He's shooed away with a curt, "Elon says it's OK." Remember if you ever visit Fremont.

We are told to set the climate control at 72, fan speed of 2, drive at the speed limit, and on the highway to keep between 65 and 70 mph. We pull out the charging cable, I stretch into the front seat, and our video producer jumps at the back. The Tesla screen says the car has 370 miles distance.

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Surprisingly, the nav system plots our route down 101, over the steep Highway 152 pass, and dumps us to Interstate 5 with its famous obstacle, Grapevine, which is actually a mountain where it sometimes cords at the winter summit. "Is this really the best way?" I ask, thinking that after highway 101 all the way along the coast, with its relatively milder grades, it would be less of a variety of challenges. "Just follow the map," we say. ( A quick page note: Technically, we are not driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We leave Fremont, which is in the same latitude as Redwood City, about 26 miles south of San Francisco. But it's still the technical Bay Area, which is what really matters in this test .

First, I'm careful. Every drop in battery level scares me briefly. Not only are we not charging, I have decided to try it without stopping, pre-zero-pit stops in roadside areas to avoid any losses. Tesla said it was unnecessary to go on bladder braking, but hey, let's see how far we can do it? Video copywriter Noah Dates in the back seat reluctantly agrees with that, as the guys in the photo / video hunting vehicle (though they are sure they are lying).

Most hypermillers do their best work alone to maximize range. With Noah in the back, I already have a 180 pound weight, which in a test like this may prove to be crucial. Tesla doesn't say to worry. For me, it's also a more realistic test of a couple running between California's two largest cities. Tesla PR has also watched the weather. It's going to be a windy blue that we head south. They express concern that it may affect the test. They want us to go for it, but add that they can come and pick us up if things get tight.

On the climb up in 152, I follow chugging trucks in the right road, but when we are at 5, I noodles between super-fast left lane and slow halve to the right, be conservative and just pass when I can with normal acceleration. But driving between 65 and 70 mph on I-5 is pretty much impossible. I drive pretty much like any other regular road warrior on this stretch.

All the way I have used Navigation with Autopilot and wondered how it goes on the autonomous event up in Palo Alto. This system not only provides radar-based adaptive cruise control, but also suggests changes to the path to pass when the side cameras say the coast is clear (just press the turn signal). It's pretty great – when a pickup merged from the right, saw it and delayed; Only once did I look at a nearby car and overrun the lane with a roll back on the wheel.

And then we came on a half car. We automatically changed paths to pass the big rig, and when we passed, I realized that it was actually a Tesla Semi doing testing at the same time. We radioised the car to find us (they stopped somewhere, "get something to drink"). Throughout my hand I had loosely grasped my steering control long enough that the autopilot would happen to me and shut. Geez, this is ironic. But I deserved it. My mistake. Unfortunately, the only way to get back on their good side is to make a stop-and-go punishment, and we don't stop right, Noah? He nods. From now on I have the pilot car myself. What is this world coming to?

At the 270-mile point, we sit nicely with a predicted 8 percent battery left after the time we reach Hawthorne. But this is also the ramp up in Grapevine and the 4,144-foot summit in Tejon Pass. I remember being at the introduction of the prototype of GM EV1 a car called Impact and a reporter asking GM President Roger Smith if it could overpower Grapevine on a single charge. He and engineers were quiet. Now I start on 30 percent of the model's battery again. This is just amazing.

When we pass Magic Mountain, Noah and I are looking to stop for some trips, but agree that Tesla wouldn't find it fun. So we slip down into LA traffic and finally hit through to reach the SpaceX headquarters, at the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Jack Northrop Drive.

As we enter the Supercharger stable, our extended time from the Bay Area stood at 6 hours, 11 minutes, 359 miles. With 83 kWh used, we had 11 percent of the battery left – which is 41 kilometers more than the speed I was on. Right at 400 miles if you put it up. Had I still been down in I-405, I could have driven on to my home in Costa Mesa. Frankly, I'm a little embarrassed that I was too conservative; I could easily have driven faster and still done it. But I will discuss about testing these limits later. First thing first ah, yes, the bath is down the hall to the right.

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