Feeds

Tesla unwraps Model S

Impressive. Most impressive

The essential guide to IT transformation

'Leccy Tech After months of speculation, Telsa has finally pulled the dust sheets of its eagerly anticipated four-door hatchback, the Model S.

While precise mechanical details where thin on the ground, Telsa did say that the Model S will be capable of an electronically limited top speed on 130mph, a 0-60 time of “well below” five seconds and will be available with a choice of battery packs giving touring ranges of 160, 230 and 300 miles on a full charge.

Tesla Model S

Tesla's Model S: something of the Aston about it?

It will apparently also come with an on-board charge unit that when hooked up to a 480V supply should enable the battery back to be recharged in around 45 minutes. The floor-mounted battery pack has been designed to be swapped out in “less time than it takes to fill a gas tank”, so presumably Tesla have been chatting to Shai Agassi's people at Project Better Place about battery swap stations.

Something that attracted everyone's attention was the 17in touchscreen that makes up most of the centre console. It looks the business, but since out-of-line-of-sight touchscreens aren't the best way of accessing controls when you should be keeping your eyes on the tarmac ahead of you, we aren't wholly convinced that that feature will make it to production.

Initial reaction to the styling seems to be that while a handsome enough brute, there's a little too much Aston Martin and Jaguar XF about the S. Our first thoughts were that the nose is reminiscent of a Maserati while the rear has echoes of the Renault Laguna about it. That's not to say we don't like it, though - we do.

Tesla Model S

Controlled by touchscreen

Much play was made of the fact that with the battery pack and electric motors all mounted in the floor, the Model S has class-leading interior space, including a second boot where the engine would sit in a similar-sized petrol-driven saloon. With the rear seats folded, Tesla reckon the Model S can take a 50in flat-screen TV, a mountain bike and a surfboard all at the same time.

“The Model S doesn't compromise of performance, efficiency or utility – it's truly the only car you need,” gushed Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose SpaceX rocket facility in Hawthorne, California was the venue for the Model S launch.

If all goes according to plan and Tesla gets the $350m (£240m/€258m) in federal loans it is expecting from the US Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Programme – which it needs to build a factory to nail the car together in – then the Model S will be available to purchase sometime in late 2011.

Tesla Model S

Decent range, amazing storage space

The cost? $49,900 (£34,200/€36,700) for the base model after the federal 'leccy car tax credit of $7,500 (£5154/€5525).

While cooing over the Model S Tesla also let slip that it plans to open a showroom in London later this year. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?