Recently I visited my local Tesla car store. There were two Model S cars there on display. Amazingly there was also a stripped down car in the back of the showroom. The body was removed to clearly show the chassis, undercarriage, drive train and motors. Elon Musk seems to be serious about open-sourcing the design. I have included a few pictures below, to help him with this objective.
It’s remarkable how compact and tidy the design is. The electric motor which accelerates the car to 60mph in under 5 seconds (an astounding 2.8 secs in newer models) is not huge. It’s about the size of a watermelon. The car is all wheel drive, with an AC motor in the front and rear.
The battery pack is contained in the chassis and covers most of the base. Unlike conventional cars this gives the Model S a lower center of gravity and excellent road handling capability. Most of the body and chassis is made of aluminum alloy. Musk was uncompromising in achieving this, much to the exasperation of his engineers. Aluminum isn’t easy to work with. Welding, pressing and painting aluminum can be very problematic.
The car looks very sleek. One of it’s most stylish features is the car door handles. They are flush with the body and emerge from their recesses when you want to open the door. This design feature was very important for Musk and his main designer Franz von Holzhausen. Similar to many architects who hate protruding balconies, car designers like smooth uninterrupted surfaces. The price tag is not within my budget at the moment but overall this car is an incredible achievement by Musk and his team.