Tesla Motors has released the first installment in its series of "Inside Tesla" articles, whetting the world's appetite in the run-up to the first 2012 Model S deliveries in only 22 days time.
Tesla's George Blankenship shares some insights into the Model S production process, the first aspect of which is stamping.
The Model S is one of an increasing number of cars using aluminum to reduce vehicle weight. As we all know, excess weight is detrimental to multiple aspects of a car, and in an electric vehicle it's even more critical, off-setting the extra weight of large battery packs.
A large aluminum coil of 20,000 pounds is unfurled and cut into large rectangles with a 'blanking' machine. These are then stamped into 3D shapes using a hydraulic press and huge dies. You can see this process in the video above.
From here, the parts are whisked along to the next stage of production, where they're assembled. The assembly process itself will be covered in a further instalment of Inside Tesla however, so you'll have to wait until next week...
In the meantime, Tesla has also announced the next generation of its online Design Studio configurator.
This allows fans and potential customers to build a Model S from scratch, picking exterior options, interior decor and paint finishes. With pricing details included, you'll be able to fully specify your ideal Model S online, and those wishing to genuinely buy a Model S can specify how they reach their "final configuration experience"--either over the phone, online, or in a Tesla store.
Buyers can then keep track of their Model S using the MY TESLA dashboard at Teslamotors.com.