The vehicle’s powertrain sits under the floorboard, creating a lower center of gravity. The body of the car is aluminum and it’s designed to be a family vehicle, sitting five adults and two children in optional rear facing seats.
The car comes with three options of battery capacity which translate into its performance figures. The 40 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery will get you 160 miles of range, zero to 60 in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 110 mph. With the 60 kWh and 85 kWh options you get 230/300 mile ranges, zero to 60 in 5.9/5.6 seconds and a top speed of 120/125 mph, respectively. There’s also an 85 kWh “performance” level option, with specs of a 300 mile range, zero to 60 mph of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph.
Inside the car a 17-inch in-dash touchscreen is Internet-enabled, allowing for streaming radio, web browsing and navigation. It has leather interior, an all-glass panoramic roof and a 200 watt, seven-speaker audio system.
If the preliminary reports are anything to go by the Model S, which is being built at Telsa’s factory in Fremont, Calif., already seems to be outliving its predecessor.
Tesla — created by PayPal billionaire and SpaceX founder Elon Musk – said more than 10,000 people have already put down a refundable deposit for the sedan, and the company said it expects to sell 5,000 this year. By comparison, the Roadster has sold just 2,150 since 2008.
However, the Model S will have to compete in an entirely different market to its predecessor and compared to some of the other cars in its class, it could still struggle.
The Nissan Leaf, for example, is another family sedan EV. Since its launch in 2010 30,000 Leaf have been sold and while the Model S could certainly cash in on its homegrown appeal, the Leaf nearly cuts the Model S in half on price.