The new 2012 Tesla Model S, which officially went on sales two days ago has been rated by the EPA at the mpg equivalent of 88 in city driving and 90 on the highway. The EPA also said the Model S is capable to achieve a 265-mile range.
The current tests are more comprehensive than the old two-cycle; they include energy-sapping operations like cold starts, aggressive acceleration, and running with the air conditioning.
Again, it is important to note that this rating is for the top-end model with the largest battery pack, which has starting price (after the $7,500 tax credit) of $69,900. That is more than double the average transaction price for a new car, though Tesla claims to have already sold out of its initial run of 6,500 vehicles.
In the fall, Tesla will offer a less-expensive version of the Model S, with a 60kWh battery pack and shorter cruising range. The base Model S with 40kWh battery won’t go on sale until late in the year, priced from $57,400 before shipping and incentives.
Rated at 362 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, the Model S can accelerate from in 6.9 to 4.4 seconds, depending again upon the battery installed. Performance models are rated at 416 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque.
The most notable feature of the exterior is its size. It’s 0.4in longer than a Porsche Panamera and a full 3in wider. The latter could be a problem in the UK and given the Tesla’s urban credentials, it’s a curious oversight.
Inside, attention focuses on a 17in touchscreen display that looks like a giant iPad and controls everything from the air-conditioning to the air suspension.
Model S is the world’s first premium sedan to be built from the ground up as anelectric vehicle, meticulously engineered to elevate the public’s expectations of what a premium sedan can be.