Tesla, the electric car maker known for its spunky, lightning-quick Roadster, is releasing its four-door sedan, the Tesla S, next year. However, those who want one had better get in line because the car is already sold out.
Demand already outpacing supply for electric car maker
Tesla made a bold statement several years ago by trotting out the Tesla Roadster, an electric car that was also fast and fun to drive. The company also announced a five-door sedan would be following it, the Tesla S. The S, which would be pedestrian compared to the Roadster, would also be far cheaper, $50,000 after the government tax credit.
The Tesla S, according to Bloomberg, is slated to begin production next year, and the first models should be delivered to customers by the middle of 2012. However, the 6,500 units of the Tesla S that Tesla planned to offer have already been spoken for, according to Tesla founder Elon Musk.
Musk also reported that most of the buyers are new; 600 of the people who ordered the Tesla S also own a Tesla Roadster.
Three rows and lots of room
The Tesla S, according to CNN, is a five-door hatchback sedan. It has three rows of seats — a standard two-row configuration with two rear-facing child seats mounted to the back of the bench seats. The child seats also feature race-style five-point harnesses.
The sedan can seat seven people and the Tesla S has as much interior cabin space as a mid-size crossover SUV. Because there is no engine taking up the front compartment of the car, that space is the trunk. The motor is mounted around the rear axle.
Plenty of power on tap
The electric motor produces up to 400 horsepower, but the power output and range of the car depends on exactly which option the buyer selects. The base model has a 160-mile range, but up to two more battery clusters can be added for $10,000 each onto the base price, for a maximum range of 300 miles per charge.
Additional packages can be added, such as the luxurious Signature model, which goes for $80,000. The base Tesla S will go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds, but the performance model will race to 60 in just 4.5 seconds. The Roadster, according to Tesla, races from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds.
Musk, according to Bloomberg, projects that Tesla will turn a profit for the first time in 2013. According to AutoCar, the company has taken a loss on every car it has sold, though its Roadster was a technical achievement that was unmatched among other electric car makers. The company also plans a crossover SUV and cabriolet for 2013 and a new Roadster by 2014. The new Tesla Roadster will not be based on the Lotus Elise like the original.