As with every car these days, and particularly ‘Eco’ cars, there has been a lot of hype and tease surrounding the next model from Tesla, makers of the Tesla Roadster. But late yesterday the full reveal of the Tesla Model S happened in California.
The Tesla Model S is a full size saloon which, at the projected price of $50,000 (including a federal tax break), should make a significant impact on the market. I say projected simply because the car will not be ready for sale until 2011, so there is plenty of time for ‘adjustments’. We’ll see.
But the Tesla Model S does offer an impressive specification. A 0-60 time of around 5.5 seconds, a 300 mile range with the optional battery pack, a 45 minute charge time, a 7 year warranty on the battery pack and a 3 year warranty on the car. Certainly sounds promising.
The car itself is a good looking beast. There are hints of Maserati and the Jaguar XF in its design, and it looks more premium sector than executive. Perhaps that’s a clue that the final car will end up coming in at far more than the $50k quoted at the moment. The inside is impressive too, with touch screens replacing banks of switches and a couple of extra child seats making the Model S a 7 seater – or at least a 5+2.
The spec is big as well, with 3G internet connection, big alloys, and brembo brakes. Which all seems to be a sign that this is a punt for funding rather than a realistic ‘on the way to market’ car.
Tesla say they expect the Model S to be in production by late 2011. But there are a lot of things to put in to place first. They don’t have the funding to build the car (which might explain the $40k deposits) and they don’t have anywhere to build it. In truth, impressive though the Model S is, I think this is a wish-list car; we wish we could produce it for this price; we wish we had the money to build it; we wish we had a factory to build it in!
If, and it’s still a big if, Tesla manages to get the Model S in to production, we reckon the price is going to be much nearer $80,000. Which probably means £80k if it ever gets to the UK.
We wish Tesla, and the customers who stump up big deposits, lots of luck.