Tesla’s Newest Model: The S 70D

This week, Tesla announced a new and improved version of its base model all-electric sedan: the Model S 70D. Replacing the Model S 60, their new model has a bigger battery, all-wheel drive and as you might have guessed, a slightly bigger price tag.

Let’s take a look at the history and success of the automaker, compare some specs and see what they have in store for the future.

Tesla Motors: A Brief History

Tesla Motors was originally founded in 2003, with the primary goal of commercializing fully electric vehicles. The vision was to start with a premium sports car and then quickly move into more mainstream vehicles, such as more affordable sedans and compacts.

If you’re considering a career in auto, you may already know the name Elon Musk, who joined the company in 2004 as lead investor and chairman. Musk worked hard to maintain the brand’s vision of mass market, zero-emission electric vehicles by leading the design components such as a carbon fiber body, headlamps and power electronics module.

Musk went on to receive the Global Green 2006 product design award and the 2007 Index Design award for his design of the Tesla Roadster.

The Model S has achieved rapidly growing sales since its introduction in 2012, and international sales of the Model S passed the 25,000 unit mark in December 2013. It became the first electric car to top the monthly new car sales ranking in any country, reaching #1 in Norway in September and again in December 2013. By December 2014, around 57,000 units had been sold worldwide.

Today, Tesla Motors’ headquarters are located in Palo Alto, California and the company operates over 50 company-owned showrooms worldwide.

Features and Tech of the Tesla S 70D

The new base-model Tesla S 70D features the same dual-motor all-wheel-drive system that was originally introduced on the P85D. But, as a bonus, it comes with a much larger 70-kWh battery.

Aspiring automotive technicians might be excited to hear that the new vehicle has twin motors that put out a combined 514 horsepower, and can do 0-60mph in 5.2 seconds. The fully-charged battery gets 240 miles of cruising range, compared to the older Model S 60 which only got 208. The old model could also put out 302HP and was rear-drive only (but cost around $6,000 less.)

Students enrolling in mechanic college might already be aware of Tesla’s foray into autonomous vehicles. In fact, Tesla just may be the self-driving car of the future. All new Model S’s come equipped with a camera mounted at the top of the windshield, a radar in the lower grill, and ultrasonic acoustic location sensors in the front and rear bumpers that provide a 360-degree buffer zone around the car. This equipment allows Model S to detect road signs, lane markings, obstacles, and other vehicles. Tesla’s adaptive cruise control may someday allow the car to be updated to have a self-driving capability. For now, the cars’ autonomous functions are currently being tested on highways in California.

What do you think Tesla has next on the docket? Would you be interested in working for an electric car company?

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