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USA: Tesla announces prices and options for the 2012 Tesla S

Tesla has announced the full line of model S trim levels, prices and options which include three range-determining battery options, four trim levels and a price range from $49,900 for the basic model to $97,900 for the pick of the litter 2012 Tesla S Signature Performance model.

The base model S battery choice is from three power levels of 40, 60 or 85 kWh, with corresponding range projections of 160, 230 and 300 miles respectively, at a continuous 55 mph. Obviously factors like speed, elevation gain and crosswinds affect the range of an electric vehicle just as they do a gasoline automobile.

Those 2012 Tesla Model S battery choices come with corollary prices of $49,900, $59,900 and 69,900 on a premium sedan with seating for up to 5 adults and a pair of children with a 17-inch touchscreen display (larger than the monitor used to write this) 19-inch wheels, and surprising celerity for a vehicle slightly over 16 feet long.

The 40 kWh model will sedately go from zero to 60 in 6.5 seconds, meaning any number of small gas-powered cars can still race around it. It can attain a top speed of 110 mph – certainly adequate anywhere this side of Cologne.

The 60 kWh version will get from zero to 60 in a more respectable 5.9 seconds making it a strain for many of those little cars to outdo its performance. This trim level has a top speed of 120 mph. Something you might save for one of those I-can-see-for-miles, only-soul-in-sight occurrences in the deserts of the Southwest to verify.

The 85 kWh battery model gets closer to the performance of some sports sedans cruising quietly from zero to 60 in 5.6 seconds, with a top attainable speed of 125 mph.

A Performance grade of the 2012 Tesla Model S also has an 85kWh battery pack with a tweaked suspension, wheels and interior, plus the medicine for those with a need for speed, streaking from zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds, equaling some gas-guzzling muscle cars.


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