Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

Tesla: Miss America of Autos

If cars had a Miss America pageant, Miss America Electric Vehicle 2013 would definitely be the Tesla Model S.

by
Becky Graebner

Bio

May 9, 2013 - 5:00 pm

“She’s a show stopper…she’s a jaw dropper…she’s burning hot like fire!  She’s my Miss America!”  

Tesla is on fire right now! (And I mean that in a good way).  If cars had a Miss America pageant,  Miss America Electric Vehicle 2013 would definitely be the Tesla Model S.  She’s got the personality and the looks. Also, Tesla, the ten-year long shot, made a profit—this is better than the underdog winning the Miss America pageant!  Consumer Reports recently gave the Model S a glowing review: “[the Tesla Model S] performed better, or just as well overall, as any other vehicle—of any kind—ever tested by Consumer Reports.”  She also received a score of 99/100.  Wow.  She must have nailed that dance routine.  Electric vehicles (EVs) have had some trouble getting out of the gate the past few years—so this review bodes well for the start-up and gives some hope to the EV cause.

The Tesla Model S is still very expensive and does require some more infrastructure planning in order to make it a serious “every-day American driver,” but the sedan is starting to look like the “It girl”–oops, I mean car–of green transportation.  So what is different about the Tesla that is making it eclipse other EVs?  How did Tesla clinch such a great review and why is she taking the auto world by storm?  I’m not an engineer, thus I will not regale you on its potentially superior features that blow its competitors out of the park, but I would like to talk about Tesla’s design.

Compared to some of the EVs manufactured by the mass-market brands, the Tesla looks like a car.  It looks like a sedan.  It looks normal…but has some panache.  Some other EVs (note: these are EVs—not HEVs) have taken their green slogans of “the next generation of transportation” to another level — populating lots with some uber-innovative looking cars.  For example, take the Nissan Leaf — was this built for the Cat in the Hat? — and the Smart Car Fortwo Electric Drive that resembles a wedge of cake and would have zero chance against a truck in an accident.  The Prius shape has been copied far and wide (e.g., 2014 Cadillac ELR Plug in and the 2010 Honda Insight). Long story short, a lot of designers see the word “hybrid” or “electric” in front of the word “car” and think, “Okay, Captain Jean-Luc Picard needs to blend in driving this in Star Trek.” Wrong.  If you want to woo buyers from the bread and butter of transportation — the gas-powered car — you need to start with some baby steps.

Instead of creating an EV from the style future, Tesla created an EV that at least looks like it belongs in a present-day garage — but with some cool that would even receive a nod of approval from Danny Zuko. The Model S has stylistic details similar to some of the “velvety” luxury brands: Jaguar and Aston Martin. That front grille? Very Aston Martin DBS and Jaguar XJ. That rear? Looks Jaggy XF to me!   The new and popular Ford Fusion hybrid also has some of these style details… classy sells — and who doesn’t want luxury?  Tesla is selling “green luxury” and has a classy design to prove it. Congratulations on your win, Tesla, and be sure to thank your mother and Elon Musk when they interview you.

Becky Graebner moved to the east coast from Wisconsin in 2011. She is still a rabid Badger and Packer fan, although she does support the Caps in hockey. She enjoys Formula 1 and Indycar. She likes the eastern seaboard but does miss track days with friends and family at Elkhart Lake and the Milwaukee Mile. Her favorite drivers are Kenny Brack and Robby Gordon.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (22)
All Comments   (22)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Autoblog quotes Mr Musk as saying that Tesla will provide battery swapping in the near future. In the past there was speculation about some kind of robots to remove and replace a battery pack in a few minutes.

How much space would all the discharged battery packs take up in swapping station? Probably a lot.

But a swappable battery pack would make an electric car useable. A racing series is what Tesla needs to test technology in a competitive environment.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hydrogen is really the only other way to go....where's the hydrogen powered car that Honda has been testing? The oil companies must surely hate it....H2O is relatively cheep and free.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Tesla Model S gets a few things right. First, the electric car is neither practical nor competitive with gasoline powered cars, so they made a beautiful but somewhat impractical car instead. It's a toy for the rich who can afford to have other cars in the garage. Second, Tesla gets luxury car proportions about right. It has a long hood and the all important rear wheel drive fender real estate between the front tires and the doors. If the goal was to copy the proportions of an Aston Martin Rapide S, the Tesla Model S succeeded. However, it has the long front overhang like an Audi A5 trying to fake rear wheel drive vs. the short front overhang of a BMW.

One of the problems of low-volume cutting edge niche vehicles is it's hard to generate enough revenue to pay for the engineering to make those vehicles unique. Independent of the design of the Model S, how does Tesla make enough money to pay for product development for future cars? Does Tesla require a constant infusion of outside money or can it pay for itself by selling cars?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howard Hughes' engineers built him a 'practical' steamer automobile,
which would have scalded its passengers to death if it had a serious
accident.
A 'practical' electric car will have enough energy stored in its battery
to blow it and its passengers into very small pieces if it has a serious
accident.
Elon Musk would have done better to invest in a modern Zeppelin
which, oddly enough, may be useful as part of a practical space
launch system.
The future will come true real, but it will be the _real_ future, based on practical engineering, not popular enthusiasm for technological dead ends
like electric automobiles - or chemical rockets.
engineering
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are correct. You are not an engineer because being one would have stopped you writing this fluff job. The electric car is neither green nor practical until we can recharge in less than 5 minutes air the car carries its own Mr. Fusion that runs off of plant matter.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why do people call a coal-powered electric car green?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wait a minute, did Klavan write this? If so, then it is quite funny...
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Funny. Tesla is almost bankrupted and they intend to re-orient by selling "carbon credits" (an industry everyone knows is flourishing in Europe).

Oh and yes, The Messiah's admin decided I should "invest" some of my pension plan in Tesla because the investor-in-chief is smarter than I am and knows better what to do with my own money, bless His heart
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read this assuming it was a joke. However, now I am convinced that aliens are indeed among us, Miss Graebner has apparently just recently arrived from a galaxy far, far away. Who knows though, with a bit of luck Tesla could perhaps capture .10% to .12% of the market...but I doubt it. Meanwhile I just love my comparably priced Nissan (loaded GTR!)
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm trying to be optimistic, Mr. tomcat24. Here's a better of idea of my views on EVs:

http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/04/05/4-reasons-why-the-electric-car-is-not-ready-for-the-american-driver/
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Excuse me?

Is Tesla Motors really a success now? Gee, might not some of the reason be the huge amount of taxpayer-funded stimulus money it got? And what's with all the giddiness about a luxury electric car?

I'm an admirer of Musk because of SpaceX, and have dubbed him the "Henry Ford of Outer Space," but I draw the line at crony capitalism for Tesla Motors. I will concede though, that IF Tesla is enjoying financial success, then Musk, on this front, is being a competent crony capitalist, unlike Solyndra - a disaster, or even GM, which has a mediocre "success" rate of late.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All