While Tesla pulls typical green wool over the matter, deducting the $7,500 federal tax credit from the car's price off the top, even without that 15-month-later savings, the prices read very competitively in the large luxury sedan segment, especially for an electric car.
The base Model S starts at $57,400 ($49,900 after tax credits), and comes standard with the configurable 17-inch touchscreen console display, 19-inch wheels, and three charge adapters to put electrons into the 40-kWh standard battery pack.
Unfortunately, this base vehicle won't be available at launch: it's starting out with the 85 kWh battery pack, good for an estimated 300 miles, around mid-2012, following with a 60 kWh (230 miles) pack in the fall and finally the 40 kWh (160 miles) pack by the end of 2012. As you go up in range, you go up in performance, too: the base car gets to 60 mph in a claimed 6.5 seconds, the mid-ranger in 5.9 seconds, and the largest battery enables 5.6-second times
An upgrade package called Model S Performance, adds a high-performance drive inverter, exterior carbon fiber accents, and nappa leather with Alcantara accents inside, all riding on an active air suspension with sport-tuned traction control and upgraded wheels and tires. The Performance model gets to 60 mph in a scant 4.4 seconds, beating Tesla's own previous target of 4.5 seconds, and also packs the 300-mile battery pack.
All Tesla Model Ses are backed by an eight-year warranty, with the base car good up to 100,000 miles, the 60-kWh car to 125,000 miles, and all 85-kWh cars good for unlimited miles within the eight-year span.
A wide range of other options, including a panoramic glass roof, exterior colors, interior colors and materials, and more, are available. To see the full selection, head over to the official Model S options page.
Deliveries of the Model S begin in Fall 2012.