The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. was the backdrop for the unveiling of the dynamic 2011 Tesla Model S. To say this car is groundbreaking would be an understatement. This is Tesla’s second offering, with the $109,000 Tesla Roadster being the first. The darty two-seater caused major manufacturers to rethink their “green” marketing strategies, as it is cheap to run, and blazingly quick.
So take the two seat Roadster, add two more doors and breathtaking exterior and interior styling, up the horsepower and torque, and cut the price by more than half, and the result is the 2011 Tesla Model S.
With a base price of just $49,900, the Tesla Model S is sure to be the hottest model for the 2011 model year.
Here are some “S” particulars:
• 300 mile range
• 45 minute QuickCharge recharge system can charge from any outlet
• 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds
• Seats seven people (five adults and two children)
• More cargo space than some station wagons and SUVs
• Two times as efficient as hybrids
• 17 inch infotainment touchscreen
• 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds
• 120 mph top speed
• Sport sedan dynamics
• All-wheel-drive available
• Charges from 120V, 240V or 480V
• 5 minute battery swap
Three battery pack options offer a range of 160, 230 or 300 miles per charge. With the 45 minute QuickCharge or a 5 minute battery swap, you can drive from LA to San Francisco, Washington to New York or take even longer road trips in about the same time as in a conventional car.
With seating for five adults and two children, plus an additional trunk under the hood, the Model S has passenger carrying capacity and versatility rivaling SUVs and minivans. The rear seats fold flat, and the hatch opens so you can stow a mountain bike, 50-inch flat-screen TV, full drum set or futon frame – more than ample for the entire family and their gear.
The Model S offers 100 percent torque, 100 percent of the time without jerky shifting and a fraction of the noise and harshness of gas or diesel engines. This smooth and constant power delivery, combined with the sporty handling of the chassis and suspension, leads to a superior driving experience.
On a very cool indoor track at the National Building Museum, we had the chance to ride in this zero emission vehicle. Acceleration is phenomenal, with gobs of torque pressing you hard to the back of the S’ sculpted leather seats. Wow!
The Model S powertrain features a liquid-cooled, floor-mounted battery pack and a single-speed gearbox – no gear-shifting required. The Model S costs about $4 to fully charge – a bargain even if gasoline was $1 per gallon.
You can listen to Pandora Radio or consult Google Maps on the 17” touchscreen with in-car 3G connectivity.
The Tesla Model S was designed by our old friend Franz von Holzhausen, formerly of Mazda USA. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is confident the Model S will be a success.
If you see the Model S in person, and experience its stellar performance, you’ll know that Musk won’t need a crystal ball to make this wish come true.
Kimatni Rawlins is the publisher of www.AutomotiveRhythms.com