Below is the latest company-released video of the Tesla Model S.
This thing is supposed to seat 7 people: 5 adults and 2 children. Huh? How? Well, it seems that it doesn’t have a traditional trunk; it has a hatchback like the new Audi A7 Sportsback. In the cargo area, under the hatch, there are rear-facing seats like in the Mercedes E-Class wagons or your dad’s old Country Squire. So that’s two adults in front, three in the traditional back seat and two kids in the boot.
Tesla has published few official photos of the interior. Below is the official cockpit picture, that we assume is the production-ready version. The Model S (couldn’t they come up with a more evocative name?) will have a 17″ touch-screen in the center with 3-G connectivity. What, no 4G? I hope it doesn’t run on AT&T’s 3-G network as it sucks in most of Los Angeles.
Tesla claims the Model S will have a 300 mile range, with an asterisk. The “base” model, MSRP $57,900 has a projected range of 160 miles. You have to pay big bucks extra to get additional batteries that will stretch the range to 300 miles. That’s a tall order, for sure. If it’s too hot or too cold, the battery vampires attack and drain as much as 30% out of the battery. Still, 160 miles is enough to get you to Palm Springs on a single charge. The Nissan Leaf won’t do that, but the Nissan Leaf costs $25,000 less.
Tesla also claims the Model S will have a top speed of 120 mph with 0-60 in 5.6 seconds.
The Model S is more “affordable” than the Tesla $130k Roadster and it appears that its size and level of luxury places it smack into territory currently occupied by other “4-door coupes” like the Mercedes CLS, the Audi A7 Sportsback and the Porsche Panamera. In LA, $60 0r $70k is chump change to appear Green to all your entertainment buddies. And in many cases, some one else will be making the lease payment.
If Tesla pulls it off and actually starts mass production of the Model S, it will be the most practical and luxurious pure electric vehicle on the road. Even the upcoming Fisker Karma will only seat four people and it’s not a pure EV as it has a range-extending gas engine that drives a generator to recharge the batteries – like the Chevy Volt. The electric future is going to be very interesting!