What's New for 2014:
- All-electric luxury car changes irregularly during model year
- Recent changes include several option packages, such as the Cold Weather package and Ultra-High Fidelity Sound package
- Performance Plus trim level adds many features and upgrades
- Battery protection shield
- Park-assist system and power sunshade are new options
The 2014 Tesla Model S is a full-size, 5- or 7-seat luxury hatchback that runs entirely on electrical power. It's not completely accurate to talk about a new model year, since the manufacturers prefer to make changes, or add new options, at any time during the course of a calendar year. The Tesla Model S is a rear-motor, rear-wheel-drive, full-size vehicle, the largest to run on all-electric power. It has no direct competitors but might be compared with the Audi A7, BMW 5 Series, or the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. It's misleading to speak of trim levels, since the buyer is expected to choose individual features and packages when ordering a new Tesla Model S. Three batteries are available--60 kWh, 85 kWh, and 85 kWh Performance--and various upgrades come with the more powerful batteries.
Models and Features
The 2014 Tesla Model S is available in solid black or white, metallic silver, grey, blue, green, brown, or multi-coat white or red. The roof is available in solid aluminum of the body color or black (not compatible with a roof rack), or retractable all-glass panoramic (compatible with a roof rack). Standard are 19-in. wheels with all-weather tires in two designs; 21-in. wheels in two designs, with Continental ExtremeContact tires, are optional. Standard features include power-retractable door handles, rain-sensing wipers, LED running lights, and LED taillights. The front cargo compartment provides 5.3 cu. ft. of storage. Total cargo space is 31.6 cu. ft.
The base trim level of the 2014 Model S includes black cloth upholstery. Nappa leather upholstery in black, grey, or tan is available at a premium. Rear-facing jump seats are optional. Standard equipment includes 8-way power-adjustable front seats, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Piano Black interior treatment is standard; three wood trims and a carbon fiber trim are also available. A 17-in. in-dash control panel screen includes navigation, mobile Wi-Fi service, Internet browsing, smartphone connectivity with Bluetooth calling and music streaming, and dual USB ports. A 7-speaker audio system includes HD Radio and flash memory storage for 500 songs.
Options and Packages
The Performance Plus package adds upgraded dampers, bushings, stabilizer bars, and tires. Rear tires are 20mm wider; range is increased by 6 to 12 miles, according to Tesla. Carbon fiber spoilers and red brake calipers are optional. The Tech package adds onboard maps and navigation, daytime LED running lights, LED cornering lights, automatic keyless entry, lighted door handles, electrochromatic mirrors, power heated folding side mirrors, power liftgate, GPS-enabled Homelink, and memory seats and mirrors. The Subzero Weather package adds 3-zone rear-seat heaters, wiper blade defrosters, and washer nozzle heaters. Many individual options are available, including extended Nappa leather trim, upgraded sound system, upgraded tires, fog lamps, park-assist sensors, smart air suspension, and several options that will expedite the charging process.
Under the Hood
The standard powertrain in the Tesla Model S is a 3-phase AC induction electric motor with a single-speed fixed gear with a 9.73:1 reduction ratio. According to the automaker, the 60-kWh battery, on a full charge, provides a range of 206 miles; the 85-kWh batteries have a range of 265 miles. The 60-kWh battery provides 302 horsepower; the 85-kWh battery, 362; the 85-kWh Performance, 416. The three batteries can achieve maximum speeds of 120, 125, and 130 mph, respectively, according to Tesla.
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2014 Tesla Model S are: with 60-kWh battery pack: 94 MPGe city/96 MPGe highway/95 MPGe combined; with 85-kWh battery pack: 88/90/89 MPGe.
Safety Ratings and Technology
The 2014 Tesla Model S features 8 air bags, traction and stability control, and 4-wheel ventilated disc anti-lock brakes as standard safety equipment. A standard-definition reversing camera is standard; a high-definition reversing camera comes with the Performance battery.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2014 Tesla Model S 5 stars (out of a possible 5) in all crash tests, including front- and side-impact, and for rollover protection. As of this writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not tested the 2014 Tesla Model S.