Photo Gallery | First Coast Gears: Tesla celebrates "Final 5" Roadsters, attention now turns to Model S | SLIDESHOW
The last Tesla all-electric Roadsters have rolled off the assembly line. Tesla tells autoblog.com that each sales region - North America, Europe and Asia -- is getting five Final Edition Roadsters, thus a "Final Five" plaque appears in between the seats of the final 15 sports cars.
The final cars have Atomic Red paint, dark silver stripes, and exclusive aluminum wheels. Tesla has built 2,600 Roadsters, proving that electric cars can be made attractive to auto enthusiasts.
The Roadster races to 60 in just 3.7 seconds and is rated at 245 miles per charge. For performance fans, the allure of an electric motor is instant torque. Tesla turned to Lotus for its bodies and handling expertise.
Now that the Roadster is in the history books, Tesla is rolling out what it hopes will be its first mainstream car: the Model S.
The Model S is a drop-dead gorgeous all-electric four-door that promises sports-car handling, near-gasoline like range and an interior that will set a new standard for technology fans.
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Tesla says the Model S with the performance option will have a range of 300 miles on a single charge and be able to reach 60 in 4.5 seconds.
Other highlights include a panoramic roof with a single sheet of glass. With one swipe on the interior's touchscreen it opens wide. That touchscreen blows away any other manufacturer’s factory option right now. It's a 17-inch vertical screen that places the most commonly used controls along the bottom. It integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin controls and vehicle data; powering on from the moment you open the door.
The Model S is also practical, despite the sporty styling. It includes available seating for seven by including rear-facing child seats in the hatch as was once a common practice for station wagons.
Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk told Bloomberg Television the first year's planned production of "more than 6,500" units is already sold out. The base price for the Model S will start around $57,400. The Model S also qualifies for the government’s $7,500 tax credit.
As for the Roadster, Musk told Autocar a next-generation version is planned for 2014 but the next version won't be based on Lotus mechanicals.
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