Zero-Emissions: A Tour of the Tesla Factory and Spin in the Model S in Latest WOT Video

In the latest episode of Wide Open Throttle, Frank Markus drives the all-new Tesla Model S while host Jessi Lang takes us to electric automaker's Northern California factory for a tour and a look at how the Model S is built.

Lang starts with 2012 Tesla Model S specs. The Model S will be available with 40-, 60- and 85-kWh battery capacities, with an estimated range of up to 265 miles. The Model S is powered by a rear AC induction motor producing 362 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque in the base model, and 416 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque in the performance model.

After Lang hands things off to Markus, he chats with co-founder and CEO Elon Musk and takes the Model S out for a spin in the city, on the highway, and in the twisties.

Check out the latest episode of Wide Open Throttle for yourself below for Markus' full driving impressions.

Click here for video

Todd R. Lockwood
Terrific, comprehensive review, Jessie. It seems as though history is unfolding right in front of us. Kim Reynolds, at Motor Trend, summed it up nicely when she said that Tesla is the only significant manufacturer of EVs that makes electric cars because they want to, not because they have to. The Model S makes one realize how compromised other manufacturer's attempts at EVs have been. They begin with the assumption that an EV, by definition, will be a lesser car than its gas powered cousin. Not as fast, not as luxurious, not as good looking. The buying public was supposed to accept this as an inescapable truth. Why then, would anyone want to buy an EV? "This car probably won't inspire you, but you'll be saving a few bucks on fuel and helping the planet." What were they thinking?! Elon knew this fundamental reasoning had to go. His "best car in the world" approach would never have occurred to other car makers. Sure, people like the idea of helping the planet, but in the end they still want what they want. And Tesla has given it to them.
steve landay
HELL YES I want an all electric high performance vehicle, and I want it from tesla! Been following tesla since inception and was THRILLED when they were chosen as one of the 5 auto manufactures to get gov help a couple years ago. Then when Toyota gave their support I was elated! Speaking of that, remember the previous administration ran around talking only about hydrogen! Thats not the answer, too many moving parts, still requires oil for lubricants, etc. Here in houston nobody wants to hear about anything about electric. I WISH i had the money now to buy a model S so i can drive it around down here and show it off and enjoy it. I think the next business venture for someone with money is to be the 1st at partnering up with major rest stops, truck stops, and vacation stops along major US highways to install charging stations while people have their breakfast, lunch, dinners, etc. Whomever gets that deal first will make a lot of money, Thats what we'll need next, is charging infrastructure where people will most likely want it, on vacation!
Doug
Very impressive, Jessi too. I'm impressed with what we're being shown, but will withhold judgement until after its been long term tested. I understand that while the base S costs just over $50k, the fastest and long-ranged version tops out at over $100k. What does $50k buy you?
Greg in Seattle
Although the model S is too large for my car needs and hope they'll also eventually have a smaller vehicle to sell, I'm so far impressed with this car. And it's nice to see its power train technology has dramatically improved from its first model, the two-seater (forgot its name), which seems like the same technology pioneered by GM a few years ago (I could be wrong), using the energy cell panels at the base of the car's chassis. 89 MPG equivalency; VERY impressive (though it still draws from the power grid, which is largely fueled by dirty coal in the U.S.).
Eddy St.Luise
Jessie: Yes, Yes, Yes. Does that answer your questions ? This is the beginning of a car revolution that has not happened for over 100 years. This Model S Tesla does redefine the whole process of building a quality car. I am so thankful that this youngster , Musk , decided to tackle this huge problem and spend his money on that instead of just enjoying a beach some place and a cool drink. This is what America is/was all about ! Build the BEST ! Not just to make money, but to change the world. And Elon Musk has done just that. I can't even imagine how hard this was to accomplish. Building a car isn't an easy thing to do. I hope he becomes a Billionaire many times over. The others now have a standard to meet. My next car will definitely be electric, and probably a TESLA. Eddy St.Luise

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