The 2012 Tesla Model S
electric sedan is on track for a market debut in the middle of next year, although the production version of the car is scheduled to be revealed at the end of this year.
We say production version as we’ve already seen a number of Model S sedans in the past, though all of these have been prototype ‘Alpha’ and ‘Beta’ builds.
Tesla has already revealed there will be three versions initially, all basically differing on battery capacity and thus range.
However, there’s also set to be a fourth, performance oriented model promising some very impressive numbers.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed to our sister site GreenCarReports
that his company is working on a Model S targeted at performance fans.
It will be able to sprint from 0-60 mph in under 4.5 seconds, down on the standard model’s projected acceleration time of 5.6 seconds, and feature an 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack with a 300 mile range. To put it into perspective, that time will put the sporty Model S on par with the latest generation 2012 BMW M5
in off the line acceleration.
The key to the additional performance will be an increase in current from 900 A to 1200.
But it won’t just be about straight line speed. Tesla is also working on more aerodynamic wheel and body designs that could see range increased further, potentially up to 320 miles.
Additionally, the company also plans to include active suspension that will be fully controllable by the driver.
As mentioned, this performance variant will be one of four different Model S sedans on offer.
The first 1,000 examples of the Model S will be a special North American Model S Signature Series, featuring the same 300 mile battery range as the sporty Model S, unique appearance treatments, and a full slate of optional upgrades.
Following the first 1,000 Model S sedans built, regular production will begin, with the 300 mile batteries first. Smaller, and less-expensive 230 and 160 mile battery packs will become available later in 2012.
Tesla says it already has 6,000 firm orders for the Model S and expects to start delivery in about nine months.
For more details, including our own spy shots, click here