While most attempts at making a mass-produced electric car have failed, Tesla Motors has been able to hang on, even though they’ve had their own share of bad luck and problems. The company’s first model, the Tesla Roadster, has been warmly received, but initial problems with the car’s transmission system delayed delivery and really tested their customers’ patience.
Still, with a base price of about $109,000, the Roadster is by no means affordable. Now Tesla is on the verge of releasing their boldest model yet. Called the Model S, this new four-door electric car was fully developed in-house. Unlike the Roadster, which re-uses a Lotus Elise body shell, the Model S was fully designed, tested and assembled at Tesla’s headquarters in California.
But probably the most interesting bit about it is the price. While still expensive by average terms, at $60,000 (projected price), this new car would at least be more accessible to the mass public.
While no technical specs have been released, one can expect a thoroughly designed evolution of the current electric motor inside the Roadster. Tesla has said the Model S will get about 240 miles per charge while still offering "exceptional performance." The 0-60mph numbers being thrown around are less than six seconds, so it should be quite quick by modern standards.
The styling is also an in-house effort and is the work of ex-Mazda director of design Franz von Holzhausen. He is now the company’s chief stylist and will oversee all future models. The Model S has quite a futuristic shape. Its lines are reminiscent of something you’d see in a movie about the future. An aggressive face coupled to a purposeful stance ensure that the car’s styling is the least of people’s worries.
Tesla is promising to have this car on sale by 2010. If they are successful, they will go down in history as the first company to actually do something about the current transportation problem. I, for one, hope they find success. I’m also hoping their next step will be a super-affordable small car. Even if it’s $30,000, it would sell like gangbusters.
Source: Road And Track
Photo: Tesla Motors