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Tesla Model S: The Future of Electric Cars Is Here… Sort Of

300 Mile Range, 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and a cost of $49,900

 |  Mar 27 2009, 10:01 AM

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Yesterday California-based Tesla Motors unveiled it’s latest creation, a fully-electric luxury sedan with a range of 300 miles and a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds.

Yup… the future is here! Well, almost.

Tesla’s first creation, the Tesla Roadster was wickedly fast (and fun) but not very practical with just two seats. This latest vehicle, however, seats five adults and two children in rear-facing seats in the rear-hatch area.

The asking price is a reasonable $57,400, which is reduced to 49,900 after a $7,500 federal tax credit.

As for the motor, it s a 9-inch liquid cooled unit with a 42 kWh battery storage system that is built in to the floor of the car. While Tesla does claim a 300 mile range, the base model comes with a 160-mile range, which can be upgraded to either the 300 or a mid-range 230-mile range. Tesla did suggest that owners would be able to lease additional battery packs for prolonged trips.

Total charge time is 45 minutes and Tesla claims the cost of the electricity for one full charge would be roughly $4.

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Inside the car is certainly luxurious and features a 17-inch touch screen display to control many of the features inside the car and it also is fully 3G compatible.

In terms of performance, we already quoted the 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds. The car’s quarter mile time is rated at 14 seconds and the Model S will have a top speed of 120 mph.

Power makes it to the ground through a single-speed transmission that is situated in the rear of the car (technically known as a transaxle). The Model S will be offered as both a rear-drive version and with all-wheel drive.

Braking is also quite good with a 135 foot stopping distance from 60 mph thanks to a massive set of Brembo brakes, with 6-piston front calipers and 16-inch rotors up front and 4-piston rear calipers with 15-inch rotors.

The stopping distance is also quite good due to a relatively low curb weight (for a luxury car) of 3,825 lbs.

Those big brake sit inside a big set of 21-inch wheels that come with front 245/35/21 tires and rear 285.30/21 tires. The wheels maintain the luxury design of the Model S – which looks alarming like a Jaguar XF.

As for the vehicle’s dimensions, it is 196-inches with a wheelbase of 116.5-inches – which is very close in size to the previous generation BMW 7 Series.

As mentioned above the future of the electric car isn’t quite here yet, the Tesla Model S won’t go into production until the third-quarter of 2011.

For more information visit:

http://www.teslamotors.com/

[Source: New York Times]

GALLERY: Tesla Model S

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More on the Tesla Model S after the jump:

At a Glance: Production Model S

With a 300-mile range and 45-minute QuickCharge, the $49,900 Model S can carry five adults and two children in quiet comfort – and you can charge it from any outlet, without ever stopping for gas. World’s first mass-produced electric vehicle offers performance, efficiency and unrivaled utility with twice the energy-efficiency of hybrids, making Model S the only car you’ll ever need.

Convenience and utility bullet points:

• Up to 300-mile range
• 45-minute QuickCharge
• 5-minute battery swap
• Charges from 110V, 220V or 440V
• Seating for 5 adults + 2 child seats
• Unique hatch for oversized items
• 60/40 flat-folding rear seat
• 2nd trunk under hood
• EPA Roominess Index 121.6
• More room than station wagons
• 17-inch infotainment touchscreen
• 3G wireless connectivity

Model S powertrain includes a liquid-cooled 9-inch motor, floor-mounted battery pack and a single-speed gearbox, delivering effortless acceleration, responsive handling and quiet simplicity — no fancy clutchwork or gear-shifting required. Model S costs as little as $4 to fully charge – a bargain even if gasoline dropped to $1 per gallon. You can have affordable fun while being socially responsible.

Technical specs:

• 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds
• ¼ mile in 14 seconds
• 120 mph top speed
• Braking 60-0 mph 135 feet
• 42 kWh battery storage system standard
• 70 kWh and greater battery storage systems optional
• 9- inch liquid cooled electric motor
• Single-speed transaxle gearbox
• Curb Weight 3825 lbs
• Overall Length 196″
• Wheelbase 116.5″
• All-wheel-drive available (option available in future production models)
• Right hand drive available

At a Glance: Model S Show Car

The Model S Show Car is a drivable vehicle that exemplifies Tesla’s “no compromises” philosophy – an elegantly refined luxury sedan delivering optimal performance without sacrificing efficiency. Designed by Franz von Holzhausen, the car’s aggressive stance gives way to a modern silhouette, with minimal front and rear overhangs for maximum space efficiency. The car’s mature face defines the future of the Tesla brand and incorporates the touches from the Tesla Roadster. Environmentally friendly materials are incorporated throughout, including water-based paint for the exterior, chrome-free vegetable tanned Italian leather on interior, and 100 percent recycled PET carpeting from Futuris.

Other details:

• 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 touchscreen 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 Gran Turismo
• Brembo 6-piston Monobloc Calipers
• Brembo 405x34mm 2-Piece Floating Slotted Discs with Billet Aluminum Hats
Rear brake system:
• Brembo Gran Turismo
• Brembo 4-piston Monobloc Calipers
• Brembo 380x28mm 2-Piece Slotted Discs with Billet Aluminum Hats