Financial troubles may have delayed Model S all-electric sedan but development work is still underway

Financial troubles may have delayed Model S all-electric sedan but development work is still underway

Despite receiving more than a thousand orders for its $100,000 all-electric Roadster, Tesla has been bit by the financial crisis bug and was recently forced to make several major cost cutting measures. Last week the company announced a new CEO and confirmed plans to layoff up to half its staff as well as the closing of its Detroit office.

A lack of resources has delayed progress on the company’s next major project, the Model S all-electric sedan, which is now expected to be launched a year later than originally planned, possibly sometime in 2011. In the short-term Tesla plans to focus on its Roadster and selling/licensing its powertrain technology to other firms, but a new teaser of the Model S has now been revealed and will hopefully keep interest in the vehicle alive.

While not much can be gathered from the image, we can clearly see a carbon-fiber diffuser and an angular design with plenty of sharp cut-offs. It also confirms the Model S will have its own unique design, unlike the current Roadster, which shares its lines with the Lotus Elise.

Styling for the Model S is still being finalized and recently appointed design chief Franz von Holzhausen – the former design boss for Mazda North America – will play a major role in its development.

Speaking with BusinessWeek, Tesla’s new CEO Elon Musk described the Model S as being a competitor to vehicles like the Lexus GS 450h and Mercedes Benz E-Class diesel. He also boasted that with a running cost of only four cents per mile the Model S will “crush everything out there”.