An industry outsider with a somewhat combative personality, many were doubtful PayPal co-founder Elon Musk would succeed with his all-electric automotive venture, Tesla Motors. Fought against with controversies, litigation, and financial maladies during the company’s early years, Musk, nevertheless, proved Tesla Motors to be more than just a billionaire’s pet project, but instead a viable auto company with the new Tesla Model S.
Unlike its Roadster model, which was roughly based on the Lotus Elise, the Model S is a completely original design by Tesla. A full-sized sedan with seats for five, the all-electric vehicle will only cost about half the price of the Tesla Roadster as well, coming in at around $49,900 US (with government tax credit). There will be three editions to select from, the first of which is the basic with a 40 kWh battery, 19-inch wheels, and a Universal Mobile Connector, which enables you to charge the Model S with a 240-volt outlet, a 120-volt outlet in most homes, or a public charging station. On top of this, there is the breathtaking 17-inch LCD touchscreen on the central console, a media-infotainment hub with controls for music, navigation, air conditioning, interior lights, even Internet connectivity. There will also be a model with a 60 kWh battery and one with an 85 kWh battery, priced at $59,900 US and $69,900 US.
For those looking for more “oomph” out of their Tesla, there is the Model S Performance with an 85 kWh battery, exterior carbon fiber design cues, Nappa perforated leather interior, and performance-grade wheels, tires, and traction control–a car that boasts a 0 to 60 mph acceleration at around 4.4 seconds only, all for the cost of $79,900 US. Want something more exclusive? The first 1,000 vehicle deliveries will carry the Model S Signature designations with several options not available in vehicles afterwards. Deliveries to come Summer 2012.