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Tesla Model S Inches Closer To Production, Company Outs Specifications

2011 is quickly coming to close – there is just about 11 days left. For most of us it’s a time to start New Years resolutions and look forward to what’s in store for the year head. At Tesla 2010 will mark the most critical time in the company’s history – the launch of the Model S sedan. The company is billing 2012 as the “The Year of Model S.” For their sake (and ours, we love this car!) we certainly hope so. Today Tesla has announced a set of official, finalized information for reservation holders and prospective buyers.

Unlike Fisker with the Karma, the Model S hasn’t been beset by delays or cost increases. Tesla has held the line on pricing. with the base car starting at $57,400 before $7,500 in federal tax credits. There is a few things that are definite profit boosters though, such as $750 for metallic paint (base price only includes solid black or white) and the jump seats in the back for $1,500. With the need to produce necessary profit margins though, that is to be expected.

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The base Model S features the 17-inch touchscreen and a 40 kilowatt battery pack, which gives the car a range of 160 miles. The deal with that is, it isn’t available until the end of the year. The early adopters are going to have to pay extra. We imagine that few truly base cars will be sold at the $57,400 starting price – most buyers are going to splurge for some extras.

The earliest adopters get the priciest 85 kWh 300-mile range Model S, checking in at $77,400. The battery packs are launching with a phased roll-out; the $67,400 230-mile Model S follows three months later, then the 40 kw model at the end of the year. All range estimates are based on an average speed of 55 mph.

Tesla is offering a variety of options, including a Performance model for $87,400. It includes exterior carbon fiber pieces, an Active Air Suspension, high performance tires and wheels, along with Sport Tuned Traction Control and a high performance drive inverter. Performance is available right from the beginning of production, and it shaves a bit off the Model S’ 0-60 time without sacrificing range (or so they say). On the other end of the spectrum is a $1,500 option for aerodynamic wheels that is said to increase range by 20 miles. This is all getting pretty exciting – Tesla has made a complete specifications and build-your-own page so you can imagine the car just how you’d want it. All in all, the Model S looks like it will be the most exciting automobile of 2012. Bring it on!