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Exhibits archive

Tesla Motors Model S

Company: Tesla Motors

Industry: Architecture, Engineering & Construction

Responding to the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge, Mercedes-Benz created Biome, a concept car unlike anything else built from a lightweight biological material that is grown from a seed.

The age of the electric car

The Tesla Motors’ vision goes far beyond a need for clean speed. With the Model S sedan, the company is intent on nothing less than moving the world to electric transportation. Powered by more than 7,000 lithium-ion batteries, the Model S has no need for such standard equipment as exhaust pipes, thermal shielding against engine heat, or catalytic converters.

Starting point

Early artist drawings of the Tesla Model S reveal a dual penchant for efficient aerodynamics and maximal cargo space. The sloping lines and muscular back end conceal a functional hatchback and seating for 2 children.


Digital re-creations of the artists’ drawings enable exploration and analysis of the interior and exterior car concepts. Hand-drawn visions are now capable of being further developed, refined, and tested for real-world use.


Before physical prototypes are constructed, digital 3D renderings of the Model S enable designers and manufacturers to more precisely visualize their most sophisticated ideas.

The result

Chief designer Franz von Holzhausen describes the exterior of the Model S as having “powerful shoulders, backed up by the sinewy musculature of the front grille and rear wheels,” all translating into a powerful, efficient, and beautifully fluid look.