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Why is the S so heavy?

4000lbs - 1200lbs battery = 2800lbs (-fuel engine and drive train + electric motor)

Bonded aluminum chasis, etc...

That's heavy.

I'm sure they tried to keep the weight to a minimum, so where does all the heft come from?

That's estimate. Do we actually know how heavy Model S is? I haven't seen any official statement about that. It might be that 4000lbs is that Merc-based mockup prototype weight, in which case real Model S will be quite a bit lighter.

I do suspect that "4000 lbs" is not a final weight. It's too round a number, for one thing. They're probably using a conservative estimate for the weight to make sure they don't underpower the battery or underbuild the suspension, etc.

Once again, I try to put things into perspective by comparing with some competitors:

Audi A6 1685-1815 kg (3715-4000 lbs)
MB E-Class 1720-1880 kg (3790-4145 lbs)
BMW 5-Series 1700-1975 kg (3748-4354 lbs)

And here are some numbers from models above and below the Model S:

Opel Astra 1378-1590 kg (3038-3505 lbs)
MB S-Class 1970-2210 kg (4343-4892 lbs)

All weights are empty load, of course.

In the greater scheme of things, 4000 lbs does not seem too heavy for the Model S, given the fact that it has to lug around an amazing battery. Of course it is always desirable to have less weight, albeit you want (and Tesla wants) a luxury sedan. That is quite a bit of weight in terms of comfortable seats, lining, etc.

Having this said, I agree with neroden. In the light of the numbers above, 4000 lbs looks like a rough upper-range estimate. If its no more than 4000 lbs, then it is perfectly acceptable for its class. It is hard enough to get it down there, with the battery included. EVs tend to be much heavier than their ICE competitors, and obviously Tesla does not follow this rule with the Model S. Kudos!

You have to add in that calculation ICE engine weight, which is several hundred kilograms with heavy transmission and all the other ancillary systems it needs that EV doesn't. That makes battery + emotor combination close in comparison. EV drivetrain with big enough battery that it isn't city car anymore is a bit heavier, but not very much.

ICE that provides 300+kW is not a small engine. Add in transmission to match and future EV might well get lighter than its ICE counterpart.

You have to add in that calculation ICE engine weight, which is several hundred kilograms with heavy transmission and all the other ancillary systems it needs that EV doesn't. [...] ICE that provides 300+kW is not a small engine. Add in transmission to match and future EV might well get lighter than its ICE counterpart. (Timo)

I completely agree. It really all comes down to battery weight, which has been improved dramatically to make the Model S possible in the first place, and will continue to improve. I like to look at the complete system -- EV without battery does not help much, neither does a conventional car without ICE. Tesla's extra mile in weight reduction (aluminum body and all) does not serve to create a super-light car, its foremost purpose is to create a car with acceptable total weight including the battery.

My point is that the Model S is not heavy after all, even if you factor out the weight for battery/motor from the EV and the engine's and transmission's weight from the ICE. I cannot do this with exact numbers, b/c I do not know the weights of the engines of the cars I listed, but the indicated range of weight is almost entirely due to different engines (with the more powerful ones being heavier, obviously), so that provides some indication at least.

Once again, I try to put things into perspective by comparing with some competitors:

Audi A6 1685-1815 kg (3715-4000 lbs)
MB E-Class 1720-1880 kg (3790-4145 lbs)
BMW 5-Series 1700-1975 kg (3748-4354 lbs)

...
Perspective? How about the car that is the S's nearest twin.

Lotus Evora (1350kg) 2976lbs

Roadsterdriver-
Perspective? How about the car that is the S's nearest twin.

Lotus Evora (1350kg) 2976lbs

I think you are mistaking the Roadster and the Model S in the above comment, Evora is not even close to a twin for the Model S.

@Roadsterdriver

Roadster:
Curb Weight 2,723 lbs.

But you already know that, being a Roadster driver. :-)

Two cars of similar exterior dimensions to the Model S
Jaguar XF 5071 lb.
Ford Taurus 4015 lb.

Jag, Ford, BMW, Audi, MB, etc are completely different animals in terms of basic platform. No comparison at all, really.

The Roadster is essentially based on the Lotus Elise. I don't think there is any question here. Unless you can come up with another car, not based on the Elise that is made of a laminated and bonded aluminum tub and shares virtually the exact dimensions of the Roadster.

Ditto S.

If you leave out engine and drive train (batteries and motor), Elise and Roadster are very much like each other AND UNLIKE virtually all other cars on the market.

Dotto S.

Is there something I'm missing? How is the S NOT like the Evora and more like any other car?

Yes, there is something you seem to be missing. This is the Model S forum. Recommended read: http://www.teslamotors.com/models ;-)

With all due respect, Volker. I am talking about the S and weight. If you have any relevant information, please do present it.

Model S is four door luxury sedan. Evora is not. HTH.

Ah, well, there is that... :)

@Roadsterdriver

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you are not doing this on purpose.

Lotus Evora:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Evora
Class Sports car
Body style 2- or 2+2-passenger coupé

How is it similar to Model S?

I will also add that the Roadster is like an Elise because, for startup, Tesla wanted to concentrate on the electric stuff, so they had a real world car maker do a lot of work for them. Even then, the roadster shares very little in common with the Elise; I think about 15% is all (switches, lights, stuff like that).

Lotus will not be involved at all in the manufacture of the Model S, and Tesla have taken design cues from many other vehicles. Hardly any resemblance between the Evora and the model S.

For completeness :-)

Aston Martin Rapide: 1950 kg (4299 lbs)
Porsche Panamera S: 1805-2070 kg (3980-4560 lbs)

Considering the weight of its battery pack, 4000 pounds isn't
all that hefty. But, the main fallacy in any concern about
the weight of this car lies in the belief that weight has a gigantic effect on mileage. That's true enough in a gas powered, non-hybrid, but in cars that benefit from regen braking, weight comes in behind aero and tire rolling resistance in importance.
The folks at Gm found this out when they realized their original
styling (aero effect) for the Volt would not allow them to realize their 40 miles range goals. Of course, it turns out that HVAC has killed that goal anyway, but...

http://www.lotuscars.com/en/lotus-evora

Model S resembles the Evora? NOT!

DartLady, Roadsterdriver was confusing the Model S with the Roadster (S)port. Somehow he posted in the wrong forum and was too convinced of himself to note that the entire thread did not make any sense at all.


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