The Model S electric saloon was unveiled by Tesla this afternoon at its California headquarters. This model is critical for the young carmaker since it has been thought to break open mainstream markets where it will offer mainstream affordability in contrast to its $109,000 Roadster.
The Tesla Model S is a big hatchback that's the length of which is just in the middle of the BMW 5-Series and 7-series. It is a seven-seater (5 adults and 2 children) with luggage area located under the hood.
The styling of the saloon is reminiscent of European inspiration, particularly the rear face which resembles the Jaguar XF and its front wings which come with vents derived from the Maserati Quattroporte.
The car is equipped with a full-length glass top. In the interior, the most stunning feature of the Model S is its 17 inch TFT touchscreen display that takes center stage at the center console and permits control of most of the car's functions.
The Model S is also equipped with 3G internet interface. Performance-wise, the Model S is said to sprint from 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds, attain a maximum speed of 120mph. To power the vehicle are three available specifications of battery packs, with the basic model reaching a 160 mile range, with the mid-range variant this extends to 230 miles and the top model can reach 300 miles.
The company claims that the floor-mounted, removable battery can be partially charged in just 45 short minutes. The entry level Model S is priced at $57,400 , but with federal tax credit this will be reduced to under $50,000.
Production of the Model S, which was originally set in late 2010, has been delayed due to some financial restructuring and is now reset to autumn of 2011 and by 2012 the first deliveries will be seen.