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2012 Tesla Model S Road Test Specs


Year Make Model2012 Tesla Model S Signature Performance 4dr Sedan (3-phase, 4-pole electric DD)
Vehicle TypeRWD 4dr 5-passenger Sedan
Base MSRP$107,350
Options on test vehicle21-Inch Silver Wheels With High-Performance Tires ($3,500); Rear-Facing Child Seats ($1,500 -- includes two rear-facing jump seats equipped with five-point harness seatbelts for young children up to 5 feet tall. Seats fold completely flat when not in use); All-Glass Tilt-Slide Panoramic Roof ($1,500 -- includes glass panoramic roof made of lightweight safety glass, manual sunshades); High-Power Wall Connector ($1,200)
As-tested MSRP$115,050
Assembly locationFremont, California


ConfigurationTransverse rear-mounted electric motor, rear-wheel drive
Engine typeLiquid-cooled 3-phase, 4-pole AC induction motor
Fuel cutoff/rev limiter (rpm)16,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)416 @ 5,000-8,600
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)443 @ 0-5,100
Fuel typeElectricity
Electric motor rating (kW)310
Battery typeLiquid-cooled, lithium-ion
Battery capacity, rated (kW-hr)85
Transmission typeSingle-speed direct drive
Final-drive ratio (x:1)9.73


Suspension, frontIndependent high-mount upper wishbone with dual-pivot lower links, pneumatic spring, monotube damper, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearIndependent multilink with lower wishbone, pneumatic spring, monotube damper, stabilizer bar
Steering typeElectric-assist, speed-proportional rack-and-pinion steering
Steering ratio (x:1)13.0
Tire make and modelMichelin Pilot Sport PS2
Tire typeAsymmetrical summer, high-performance
Tire size, front245/35ZR21 96Y
Tire size, rear265/35ZR21 101Y
Wheel size, front21-by-8.5
Wheel size, rear21-by-9
Wheel materialCast aluminum
Brakes, front14-by-1.3-inch ventilated cast-iron discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Brakes, rear14.4-by-1.1-inch ventilated cast-iron discs with four-piston fixed calipers

Track Test Results

Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.)2.0
0-45 mph (sec.)3.0
0-60 mph (sec.)4.3
0-75 mph (sec.)6.1
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)12.6 @ 108.3
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)4.0
0-30 mph, trac ON (sec.)2.0
0-45 mph, trac ON (sec.)3.0
0-60 mph, trac ON (sec.)4.3
0-75 mph, trac ON (sec.)6.1
1/4-mile, trac ON (sec. @ mph)12.6 @ 108.2
0-60, trac ON with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)4.0
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)27
60-0 mph (ft.)108
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)66.8
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph) ESC ON66.0
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.86
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g) ESC ON0.86
Sound level @ idle (dB)35.4
@ Full throttle (dB)64.2
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)61.2
Engine speed @ 70 mph (rpm)Not displayed

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsAs you would expect in an electric car with a ton of instant torque, the Tesla gets off the line in a hurry, and with zero wheelspin. The seemingly endless forward thrust does level off toward the end of the quarter-mile. First and second runs were quickest. After that, times get slower despite plenty of remaining charge, most likely because of heat buildup in the motor's starter. By the 6th and final run it had dropped of by 0.3 second.
Braking commentsVery firm pedal, feels like a normal car. Just a bit of extra travel at the end of the stroke. No fade and rock-solid stability. First stop was 110 feet. Second stop was shortest at 110 feet. Third stop (out of six) was longest at 112 feet. Consistent.
Handling commentsSkid pad: Definitely felt the weight here, and the lack of a free-revving internal-combustion engine means changes in throttle have less effect on the chassis. Still, the Tesla feels quite precise. Slalom: The stability control system cannot be fully defeated, but I was impressed with the lack of intervention. And it would even allow some power-on oversteer at the end of the run before it would dab the brakes. I preferred the steering set to the midlevel Standard mode. Sport seemed like it was fighting me more than helping. This is a very long and heavy car, and that it does this well around the cones points to an excellent suspension tuning compromise.

Testing Conditions

Test date8/14/2012
Elevation (ft.)1,121
Temperature (°F)97
Relative humidity (%)25
Barometric pressure (in. Hg)28.56
Wind (mph, direction)2.6, headwind
Odometer (mi.)2,185
Fuel used for testElectricity
As-tested tire pressures, f/r (psi)42/42

Fuel Consumptions

EPA fuel economy (mpg)88 city/90 highway/89 combined MPGe (38 kWh/100 miles)
Driving range (mi.)265 (EPA rating); 265.4 (Edmunds observed)

Audio and Advanced Technology

Stereo descriptionAM/FM/HD radio, 580 watts, 12 speakers, Dolby Pro Logic 7.1 surround sound
iPod/digital media compatibilityStandard Bluetooth audio, USB stick (iPod charge only)
Satellite radioStandard Sirius/XM ready
Hard-drive music storage capacity (Gb)Standard flash memory storage for 3,000 songs
Rear seat video and entertainmentNot available
Bluetooth phone connectivityStandard
Navigation systemStandard with traffic
Telematics (OnStar, etc.)Not available
Smart entry/StartStandard ignition (via sitting down), doors, trunk
Parking aidsStandard back-up camera
Blind-spot detectionNot available
Adaptive cruise controlNot available
Lane-departure monitoringNot available
Collision warning/avoidanceNot available
Night VisionNot available
Driver coaching displayStandard

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)4,647
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)4,770
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)47/53
Length (in.)196.0
Width (in.)77.3
Height (in.)56.5
Wheelbase (in.)116.5
Track, front (in.)65.4
Track, rear (in.)66.9
Turning circle (ft.)37.0
Legroom, front (in.)42.7
Legroom, rear (in.)35.4
Headroom, front (in.)38.8
Headroom, rear (in.)35.3
Shoulder room, front (in.)57.7
Shoulder room, rear (in.)55.0
Seating capacity5
Trunk volume (cu-ft)5.3 (front trunk)
Max cargo volume behind 1st row (cu-ft)58.1
behind 2nd row (cu-ft)26.3
GVWR (lbs.)5,664
Ground clearance (in.)6.0


Bumper-to-bumper4 years/50,000 miles
Powertrain8 years/Unlimited miles
Hybrid/battery8 years/Unlimited miles (85 kWh battery - 8/125k for 60 kWh, 8/100k for 40 kWh)