Audi exec says that Tesla is cool, a source of inspiration for automakers

Article by Christian A., on October 23, 2013

Audi of America President Scott Keogh is not mincing words when talking about rival Tesla in an interview last Friday. Keogh emphasized that Tesla is a true competitor in the luxury segment as it is capable of selling a vehicle for over $100,000. He said that Tesla is "cool" and is "the talk of the town” as well as a source of inspiration for automakers to continue innovating and creating challenges.

However, Keogh is casting doubts on Tesla’s decision to skip dealers and sell directly to consumers. He added that Audi hopes to sell over 150,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2013, establishing a sales record for sales in the country that is its No. 3 biggest market. Meanwhile, Tesla aims to sell 21,000 Model S sedans globally this year.

Tesla has been in conflict with car dealerships in U.S. courts and state legislatures because it doesn’t make use of the dealer model that other automakers follow. Keogh said that dealers have personal connections to potential customers through schools and other communities. Keogh said that Audi is focusing its marketing strategy in the U.S. on clean-diesel technology.

However, it also hopes to compete with Tesla in the sale of plug-in electric vehicles. Audi is required to do this to comply with California’s zero-emission vehicle mandate. Keogh said that diesel will be one of the four ways that Audi will comply with the fuel-economy standards in the U.S. He cited plug-in hybrids, plug-in electrics as well as improvements to the internal combustion engine. Keogh cited that it won’t be sustainable for the company to pay.

The Tesla Model S is considered as a good example of how automotive engineering can be evolved, given that it is the first sedan to be fully powered by electricity. By combining performance and efficiency with safety, it has changed what the world would come to expect from a 21st century car. The Model S reveals that it offers the longest range for an electric vehicle and comes with safety ratings that are clearly the highest possible.

Further, over-the-air software updates are available, ensuring that it consistently improves. Tesla claims that the Model S is one of the safest vehicles on the road and this is mainly because it uses its very own platform wherein the wherein the electric drivetrain is positioned under the car and the battery on the floor.

Because of this, the Model S has an extremely low center of gravity that not only lowers the risk of a rollover but even improves performance and handling. In addition, having no engine meant that the crumple zone is larger, especially when compared against other performance sedans on the market. This means that it can absorb more energy in the event of a front end impact.

It is not surprising to know then that the Model S has received 5-star safety ratings not only from the NHTSA but also the Euro NCAP. When tested in the U.S., Tesla’s fully-electric sedan set a new record when it comes to having the lowest likelihood of occupants experiencing injury. Helping the Model S attain excellent safety ratings are a wide range of standard active features like the lane departure warning, collision warning, blind spot detection, and automatic emergency braking.

There are also convenience features, though mainly offered as an option, like summon, autopark, autosteer, and traffic-aware cruise control. There is no question that all of these combined mean that the Model is truly the safest car out there. The Model S is fitted with an electric all-wheel drive where one motor is placed on the front and another motor is positioned in the rear.

Tesla made it a point for the torque that goes to the front wheels and the rear wheels to be controlled not just digitally but also independently. Because this is, no matter what the condition may be, traction is guaranteed to be unmatched. This is what sets the all-wheel drive of Tesla apart from the rest. While standard all-wheel drive models generally increase traction at the expense of fuel efficiency, the one in the Model S increased both traction and efficiency.

Topics: audi, tesla, electric car

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