- Maurizio Pesce
There’s almost not a day that goes by without Tesla making headlines, and that’s because CEO Elon Musk is always announcing innovations for his cars.
But lost in big announcements, like Tesla’s new self-driving hardware, are some key details about the cars that make them just a little bit more special.
We rounded up our favorite surprising Tesla facts you may not have known – scroll down for a closer look:
Musk wants Tesla’s car line to be the definition of sexy — literally. The Model S, Model X, and upcoming Model 3 are all part of a quest for the car line to spell SEXY or S3XY upon the release of Tesla’s eventual Model Y SUV.
- YouTube/Motor Trend
Tesla initially wanted the Model 3 to be dubbed the Model E, but that dream was dashed when Ford filed for the Model E trademark, leading to one of Musk’s more excellent quotes:
“Like, why did you go steal Tesla’s E? Like you’re some sort of fascist army marching across the alphabet, some sort of ‘Sesame Street’ robber?”
In addition to the Model Y, Tesla wants to produce a mini bus and semitruck in the future.
- REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach
Musk announced in his “Master Plan, Part Deux” that Tesla would build an all-electric semitruck and a driverless electric bus. But we’ll have to wait for further details on that front.
The truck, like Tesla’s cars currently in production, will be equipped with self-driving hardware, Musk said in an interview with CNBC, according to Electrek. Musk added that a driver would still be necessary for a few years, though.
Musk is a huge fan of placing Easter eggs in Tesla cars, like the one that lets you “drive” down Rainbow Road — like in Mario Kart!
Clicking Autopilot four times in rapid succession will turn the road shown on Tesla’s infotainment console into a rainbow. Musk referred to it as a “psychedelic cowbell road.”
Musk is clearly a fan of rainbows, because pressing the button on Tesla’s charge handle will make the port flash in rainbow colors.
The Tesla CEO also turned his love of James Bond films into an Easter egg. Model S owners can hold down the “T” button to bring up the technician log-in screen, and typing in “007” will transform the car shown on the infotainment center into the submersible Lotus Esprit S1 car.
- YouTube/Bjørn Nyland
The Easter egg changes the suspension into “depth (leagues).”
The most recent Easter egg pays homage to Musk’s SpaceX ambitions. Just like the James Bond Easter egg, holding down the “T” button will prompt a request for an access code. Enter “Mars,” and your infotainment screen will turn into the red planet.
— Jason Hughes (@wk057) December 23, 2016
As part of that Easter egg, the rendering of your car will turn into SpaceX’s Interplanetary Transport System.
In 2013, the Tesla Model S broke the machine the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses for roof-crush evaluations.
- Getty Images/ Scott Olson
The Model S earned a 5.4 on the evaluation – impressive, considering cars are typically ranked on a scale of one to five stars.
That same year, the Tesla Model S became the first electric car to receive the Motor Trend Car of the Year honor.
That’s right – at the time, it was the first electric car to win the award in its 64-year history.
This year, the Tesla Model S became the first electric car to surpass a range of 300 miles. It’s also one of the fastest cars by acceleration ever produced, according to Tesla’s specs.
The Tesla P100D with Ludicrous mode bumps the Model S range up to 315 miles. It also allows the car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, Tesla says, making it the third-fastest accelerating car ever produced, placing it behind the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder.
But there are other ways Tesla tries to stay competitive, like through its glass offerings.
- Tesla Motors
In 2013, the Model S came with the largest panoramic sunroof opening at the time. Tesla announced an all-glass roof for the Model S last month. Musk also recently announced that Tesla has a new glass division that’s developing new glass tech to use on the Model 3.
In November, Musk also said on Twitter that future Tesla vehicles may come with a solar roof.
The Model X can have the air quality of an operating room.
- REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Tesla’s Bioweapon Defense Mode uses large HEPA – high-efficiency particulate arrestance – filters to neutralize harmful chemicals and pollution in the car’s cabin.
It’s technically illegal to drive the Model X over the Brooklyn Bridge.
- Jack Sommer
As Jalopnik pointed out, the Model X weighs over 6,000 pounds, exceeding the Brooklyn Bridge’s weight limit of 3 tons, or 6,000 pounds.