July 24, 2014

Tesla Model S performance version to rival BMW M5

Tesla Model S with M5 Performance

Tesla Model S with M5 Performance

At a private reveal of the Tesla Model S Beta in California, Elon Musk has revealed Tesla plan a performance Model S with BMW M5 performance.


Our inherent scepticism about Elon Musk’s claims for the Tesla Model S refuses to go away, but Tesla are convinced they can deliver the Model S with a 300-mile range, great looks, great performance and top-end tecchy goodness at a sub-$70k price tag. And now, it seems, there is going to be a Tesla Model S with performance to rival the BMW M5.

At an event yesterday in California, Elon Musk revealed that at launch – the Model S is expected to be hit the road in 2012 with UK cars arriving in 2013 – the Model S will in fact have four variants on offer.

There will be three battery pack levels – 160 miles, 230 miles and 300 miles – but there will also be a Model S Performance which will get its electronics tweaked to deliver a 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds – BMW M5 territory.

Cleverly, Tesla has also equipped the Model S with a quick-change battery pack in case battery-swap stations ever catch on. Which would mean – in an electric car Utopian future – range would no longer be an issue.

And the Model S has some very clever features, including stuff like dicky seats in the boot for sprogs, a huge 17″ touchscreen console controlling everything from internet access to the main functions of the Model S and a quick-charge facility for a one hour full refill of electrickery.

If Elon Musk and Tesla can actually pull-off an electric car with a standard 300 mile range, the performance – and dynamics – of a BMW M5 and a price point comparable to an ICE car – and batteries that aren’t knackered in a year from endless quick charges – then we will have to revisit some of our scepticism.

But it’s a huge ask.

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