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Tesla Details Final Assembly of 2013 Model S

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At current time of writing, the 2013 Tesla Model S is scheduled to launch in just 2 days and 5 hours. It’s hard to believe the day is finally here. So far, the lead-up to the cars launch has gone incredibly well. Thanks to being homologated by the United States government sooner than expected, Tesla has instead launched the car in June rather than July.

It looks like Dan Neil of The Los Angeles Times has lost a bet. If you remember a while back, he bet Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk that the Model S wouldn’t be delivered on time and with the targeted specifications list. So, what did Tesla go and do? Deliver the car ahead of schedule, with improved specifications – such as a top-end range of 320 miles rather than 300 miles.

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That’s the kind of stuff we like to see. Yesterday Tesla released the final installment of its “Inside Tesla” blog series. Each week since the beginning of June, the company has shone the spotlight on a manufacturing process of the Model S. Last week it was about the paint center.

This time, fittingly given delivery on Friday, it has given us more details on the car’s final assembly. Every step of the way has shown a meticulous level of attention-to-detail, and final assembly is no different. After the paint process is finished, magnetically-guided SmartCarts transport the cars to the assembly center. There robots fit the panoramic roof and the rest of the components are assembled. The last major step is the drivetrain and battery systems. Then follows the last exterior items like the tires and emblems.

After this each Model S is examined on an inspection platform. Tesla says this area is “uniquely designed”, and with bamboo flooring and LED lighting, it certainly doesn’t seem like a typical car factory. Following this the Model S enters an “industry-first” all-glass water test booth, where the car is sprayed by 360 nozzles to ensure water tightness. All done right? One more step is left, and that is a drive test on Tesla’s indoor confirmation test track. It is the only indoor factory test track, something Tesla can get away with thanks to electric power. Check out the process on Tesla’s video below, and stay tuned.

  1. Just a terminology correction: there is no such thing as a “2013/2/4/5 … Model S”. The only meaning a year has in connection with a Tesla product is the actual year of manufacture (calendar year, Jan. 1 to Dec. 31). If there is a substantive change in design, that will become Model S 1.5 or 2.0 or whatever. There may be none in an 3 year+ period, or there could be several in one year (in theory).

    Get over the model year habit; think Silicon Valley, not Detroit.

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