Tesla Model S - electric car features beauty, performance, up to 300 mile range

Tesla Model S Electric Car

Posted 08-17-2009 in Reviews by Christopher

Tesla Motors has begun taking orders for its Model S, an elegant luxury sedan with styling resembling an Aston Martin and performance figures to match.  The fact that it is all-electric requires no compromises for this vehicle, which features a driving range of up to 300 miles, 0-60 mph acceleration in 5.6 seconds, 120 mph top speed and braking from 60-0 mph in 135 feet.

The anticipated base price of the Model S is $49,900 after a federal tax credit of $7,500.
The car has remarkable cargo or seating capacity for a stylish low-slung sedan. Tesla claims the Model S can accommodate a 50-inch television, mountain bike and surfboard simultaneously.  When using the two small rear folding seats, the car can accommodate up to seven passengers rivaling the capacity of most station wagons or SUVs.

The Model S can be charged from any outlet, and can be charged in as little as 45 minutes using the car’s 220v or 440v connectors. The cost to fully charge the 42kWh battery storage system is as little as $4.00, making the total cost of ownership similar to a $35,000 gasoline-powered car.

The Model S, with flowing lines reminiscent of a Aston Martin or Maserati sedan, was the subject of a recent styling makeover by former Mazda designer Franz von Holzhausen, who joined Tesla last year. The original design was conceived by Henrik Fisker, who subsequently started the Fisker electric-car company and is producing the Karma luxury sports car.

The cars powertrain is comprised of a liquid-cooled 9-inch motor, floor-mounted battery pack and a single-speed gearbox.

Environmentally friendly materials are used in the car’s construction, including water-based paint for the chrome-free exterior, vegetable tanned Italian leather on interior, and 100 percent recycled PET carpeting from Futuris.

Model S Length is 196″, wheelbase is 116.5″ and curb weight is 3825 lbs.  An all-wheel-drive model will be available in future production models.

Tesla is taking reservations online and at its two showrooms in California . Tesla will open a showrooms in Chicago this spring and plans to open stores in London, New York, Miami, Seattle, Washington DC and Munich later this year.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, said the cars would be produced in California and that the first units would be delivered to customers in the third quarter of 2011.

Tesla anticipates production of up to 20,000 Model S sedans each year when manufacturing ramps up fully in 2012.

The Tesla Model S features:
  • Panoramic roof with sliding moon roof
  • Retracting door handles for improved aerodynamics
  • Full-time 3G connectivity with Internet, HD and satellite radio
  • Push button “gear” selector
  • Brembo brakes
  • Automatic rear lift gate
  • 21-inch wheels, Front Tires 245/35ZR21, Rear Tires 285/30ZR21
  • 17-inch haptic touch screen and customizable vehicle information display
  • Fully digital instrument cluster
  • LED and neon headlight and taillights, with xenon Hella low beams
  • Smart-key power and push button gear selector
  • Brembo brake system with new one-piece monobloc calipers and integral stiffening bridge to optimize performance
  • Front brake system:
    • Brembo 6-piston Monobloc Calipers
    • Brembo 405×34mm 2-Piece Floating Slotted Discs with Billet Aluminum Hats
  • Rear brake system:
    • Brembo 4-piston Monobloc Calipers
    • Brembo 380×28mm 2-Piece Slotted Discs with Billet Aluminum Hats
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