Posted on November 18, 2014 by Matt Pressman
With Tesla's upcoming Model X SUV on the horizon and the "D" (Dual Motor Model S) now officially in production, Tesla recently chose to upgrade its factory over a two-week period in Fremont, CA.
Source: Tesla Motors
What got upgraded at the factory? Details are on Tesla's recent blog post, including the fact that "10 of the largest robots in the world [were] installed." Tesla explains: "... we’ve eliminated a lot of overhead steel and mechanical structures in favor of advanced robots that can lift and maneuver entire cars with optimum precision while taking up less room. Rather than refer to these robots by technical descriptions, we named them after X-Men characters. Xavier stands at the entrance to the trim line, lifting cars down to the floor from an electrified rail, while Iceman, Wolverine, and Beast do more heavy lifting nearby. Storm and Colossus can be found at the end of the chassis line, and Vulcan and Havok work as a team to lift cars back onto the rail. To us, these robots are like superheroes, so we figured they deserved superhero names."
Tesla is already looking to the future with these upgrades. And, of interest, Tesla plans to test it's new technology in the next "D" iteration of the Model S. According to Motley Fool, "Tesla is already gaining expertise in building the dual-motor powertrain and the chassis for its upcoming Model X SUV, because they will share the same bottom platform." Furthermore "the front motor on the dual-motor system -- the smaller of the two -- for the performance 85 kWh Model S represents the beginnings of the powertrain technology that will be used in the [mass market Model 3] car."
How good is the dual motor system that Tesla is developing? Just ask British GQ who recently test drove the fiercest of Tesla's dual motor stable, the P85D, and proclaimed, "Tesla's P85D feels as quick as a Bugatti Veyron." Not bad considering the Bugatti Veyron starts at $1.7 million.