Tesla Model S: T-Minus One Year for Electric Luxury

Sceptical of electric cars?

We dont blame you. Recent vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, Renault Fluence and Smart Electric Drive are genuinely usable vehicles in the right situation, but they stop short of pulling at the heart strings.
The Tesla Model S could change all that when it lands in the UK next Autumn.
Tesla Model S rear
You might have heard of Tesla before - its Roadster already did its fair share of perception-shattering when it hit the market a few years ago, and despite getting ravaged in a dubious Top Gear segment, its looks and performance have won it plenty of fans.
Unlike the Lotus Elise-based Roadster, the Model S is all Teslas own work.
The sleek styling has more than a hint of Aston Martin or Jaguar about it, but in person the Model S appears much larger than it looks in photos.
That size betrays an interior which can actually seat seven - or at least, five adults, plus two children in rear-facing seats. And with no engine hiding under the nose, Tesla has found space for another boot - which Paypal founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk describes as the frunk - for front trunk. That cabin is as well-appointed as youd expect, with the worlds largest in-car touchscreen display for handling cabin functions.
Tesla Model S Red
So its practical, beautiful, comfortable but how does it perform?
The answer is very well indeed, judging by both the bare numbers and early tests. The top-end model develops 416 horsepower and 443 pounds-feet of torque. That latter number, like all electric cars, is developed from zero rpm, meaning performance is electric - pun certainly intended.
Itll sprint to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds - that's gas-guzzling Jaguar XFR territory, yet without using a drop of the black stuff.
Even the electric cars traditional bugbear, range, is less of an issue. Tesla offers a selection of battery sizes, and the largest gives a quoted range of 300 miles. Official testing in the U.S. reveals a figure of 265 miles, but even this is quite a bit more useful than the typical 80-100.
An hours charging from a standard 240V socket liberates an extra 65 miles, so put it on charge overnight and youll have your full 300 miles ready and waiting each morning.
UK pricing is expected to range between 50,000 and 90,000, depending on the battery size. That puts the Model S anywhere from higher-end BMW 5-Series money to mid-range Mercedes S-Class.
Given all the tax breaks, congestion charge exemption and similar granted to electric cars in the UK, that could make it fairly tempting to UK executive and luxury car buyers.
And for the rest of us, unable to afford one - at least it gives us an electric car to aspire to.
Keep an eye on the Model S website to see when that 'Reserve' button changes to a 'Buy Now' button!
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