The wraps finally came off Tesla's all-new, plug-in electric sports sedan, the Model S, on Thursday in Los Angeles. Concisely, the Model S can seat up to seven passengers (we'll explain this below), sprint from zero to 60mph or 96km/h in just 5.6 seconds and go up to 300 miles or 480km on a single charge. First deliveries in North America and Europe will begin in late 2011 with the U.S. model featuring a base price of $57,400 or $49,900 after a federal tax credit of $7,500. Now onto a more detailed view on the Model S. The photos reveal that Tesla's designers were heavily influenced by European cars and in particular the Jaguar XF when it came to the notchback's buttocks and profile and to a less extent, the Maserati GranTurismo for the car's front-end styling. Similarities aside, the Model S looks the part and we reckon that its design will be one of its strong points.
So what's with the seven seats, we hear you ask? Well, Tesla claims that the Model S which has an overall length of 196-inches (4,978mm) or somewhere between a BMW 5 and 7-Series, offers seating for five adults plus two rear-facing and foldable seats for children in the rear cargo area. Even in this configuration, the Model S can still carry some of your luggage as it has a second trunk under the hood.
Tesla's second model after the Roadster comes equipped with an electric drivetrain that includes an electric motor, a floor-mounted lithium-ion battery pack and a single-speed gearbox, launching the BMW 5-Series-sized sports sedan from naught to 60mph (96km/h) in 5.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 130 mph or 209 km/h. In the near future, Tesla aims to enrich the Model S' range with Sport and AWD versions.
The Model S will be available with three different battery pack options capable of offering a range of up to 160, 230 or 300 miles per charge. Tesla said that the battery pack can be quick-charged in 45 minutes at a cost of about $4 - or so the California-based company claims.