How did Tesla perform, measured by their "original announcements"?

How did Tesla perform, measured by their "original announcements"?

Crossposting a contribution by myself from this thread:

Once in a while a post pops up that makes vague reference to some "original announcements" by Tesla. I made an effort and collected a couple of news articles that appeared when the Model S was first revealed in March 2009. Please add to that list if I missed some article that adds relevant information. That should give us a solid base to compare how Tesla delivers to what was originally advertised.

autoblog (Mar 26th 2009): "Tesla Model S: $50,000 EV sedan seats seven, 300-mile range, 0-60 in 5.5s"

The Car Connection (March 26, 2009): "Tesla Model S: $49,900, 7(ish) seats, 0-60 in 5.6, 300-mile range"

Motor Trend (March 26 2009): "Tesla Model S Revealed: Sedan to Hit 60 in Under 6 Sec, Seat 7, Go 300 Miles"

Business Insider (March 26, 2009): "Tesla Finally Unveiling Subsidized Model S"

Jalopnik (Mar 26th, 2009): "Tesla Model S Sedan Concept: $49,900 Seven-Seater Electric To Hit Streets In 2011"

gizmag (April 3, 2009): "Closer look: the Tesla Model S"

engadget (February 12th 2009 11:16AM): "First Tesla Model S teaser shot silently sneaks onto the scene"

engadget (March 24th 2009 8:02AM): "Tesla Model S priced just under $50K, rest of car still shrouded in mystery"

engadget (March 26th 2009 1:25PM): "Tesla Model S official shots unofficially unveiled"

engadget (March 26th 2009 5:51PM): "Tesla Model S now official"

engadget (March 27th 2009 2:28PM): "Tesla CEO says Model S isn't really expensive, when you think about it"

technology review (03/27/2009): "Tesla Unveils a Long-Awaited Electric Sedan"

evo (27th March 2009): "Tesla Model S electric saloon"

the guardian (27 March 2009): "Tesla unveils the electric 'family car of the future'"

pbrulott | 26 November 2012

Thorough and exhaustive list VB.

Based on the title of the first couple of articles, i'd say it's a FAIL. But I believe the magazines simply embellish the real announcents. That is often used as a lure to get more readers.

Personally, i jumped into the band wagon 18 months ago knowing that 57.4K was for the base pack. Unfortunately, it turned out to be 64.5K in Canada.

gregv64 | 26 November 2012

Despite the articles' titles, the body of the articles make it clear the base model has a lesser range, so obviously it was clear in the original announcement. The only thing Tesla really missed on was the release date (supposed to be late 2011).

jbunn | 26 November 2012

Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good about it actualy. The car has not only brought itself in on budget as predicted years ago, with the size and performance goals met, but has been pretty close to schedule. I say pretty close, because most projects run over budget, and over schedule by a considerable amount. Not only that, but they have nailed the design and captured the hearts and minds of the automotive publishers. Looks like they scored an olympic 9.5 performance. Not flawless, but good enough.

Waiting is tough, but I'm very happy with where they are.

CraigT | 26 November 2012

The big miss obviously was on the price initally provided. In fairness to Tesla, they gave any reservation holders the right to cancel and receive a full refund at any time.

jbunn | 26 November 2012

I can't agree with that one. Volker's second link is from an autoblog article 3 and 1/2 years ago, which states

"We have just listened to the panjandrum Elon Musk and the car's designer speak about the new Tesla S sedan, and these are the things to know about the first mass-produced highway-capable electric car: production will ramp up to 20,000 units annually by the end of the first year of production; after the $7,500 tax break, the Model S will start at just under $50,000 – $49,900 to be exact; and 440-volt charging will be available. That base price is for the 160-mile range pack; a 230-mile range pack and a 300-mile range pack will also be available."

I think they nailed all of these.

Vawlkus | 27 November 2012

Maybe Tesla isn't perfect, but they're a damn sight closer than any other manufacturer that I can think of.

CraigT | 27 November 2012


The majority of articles didn't make that distinction.

gregv64 | 27 November 2012

It's not Tesla's fault if there's a lot of crappy journalism, though. In addition to autoblog, motortrend and the gardian got it right. If your trusting your car specs from Engadget you get what you deserve. As I said, Tesla was obviously clear in their announcement.

Volker.Berlin | 27 November 2012

Green Car Reports ran an entire series of articles in those days, which curiously I missed in my above compilation.

"New Tesla Model S Electric Car Teaser Photo Surfaces" (February 21, 2009 by Lyle Dennis)

"Tesla Model S: Technical Specs" (March 26, 2009 by John Voelcker)

"Tesla Model S Electric Car Revealed" (March 26, 2009 by Lyle Dennis)

"The Tesla Model S Won't Be Real Unless Elon Musk Has a Few Hundred Million to Spare" (March 26, 2009 by John Voelcker)

"Video: Tesla Model S Test Drive" (March 31, 2009 by Robert Scardino)

Volker.Berlin | 27 November 2012

In all fairness, autoblog(green) wasn't idling, either:

"Tesla confirms Model S sedan, 225-mile range and $60k"
(By Damon Lavrinc, Jun 30th 2008)

"Tesla Model S will cost under $50,000 after tax breaks"
(By Sebastian Blanco, Mar 19th 2009)

"Leak! Tesla Model S pics surface on web ahead of today's debut"
(By Sebastian Blanco, Mar 26th 2009)

"Tesla Model S: $50,000 EV sedan seats seven, 300-mile range, 0-60 in 5.5s"
(By Jonathon Ramsey, Mar 26th 2009)

"VIDEO: First Tesla Model S buyer takes first ride"
(By Domenick Yoney, Mar 30th 2009)

"Tesla Model S gets over 500 reservations in first week"
(By Domenick Yoney, Apr 2nd 2009)

"Can the Tesla Model S be profitable at $57,400? Not according to these calculations..."
(By Sebastian Blanco, Apr 29th 2009)

Brian H | 27 November 2012

Autoblog clearly had the sloppiest jounalists (or at least headline writers).