Tesla Motors has announced the US pricing structure for its new Model S all-electric sports sedan, ahead of its 2013 Australian launch.
Starting at US$57,400 (excluding the US Federal Government's $7500 tax credit incentive), the Model S will compete directly with cars like the Mercedes-Benz CLS, and cost nearly half as much as Tesla's first model, the Roadster.
Three models will be available: the base Model S with a 40kWh battery pack, a mid-grade model with a 60kWh battery and finally the flagship with a 85kWh battery.
Although the motor technology shared between the cars is mostly the same, performance and range differs significantly.
The entry-grade car has a maximum range of 250km and reaches 96km/h in 6.5 seconds, while the mid-spec Model S can travel for 368km and hit triple-digit speeds in a little over 5.9 seconds.
The high-grade model gets to 96km/h in just 5.6 seconds, and can travel for an impressive 480km before needing a recharge.
Tesla will embark on a top-down launch strategy, meaning the $57,400 entry-level Model S won't initially be available at the Model S's launch in mid-2012.
The $77,400 flagship will arrive first, followed by the $67,400 mid-spec model in Q3 2012. The entry-level Model S is expected to go on sale near the end of 2012.
A high-performance variant will also be offered. Capable of completing the 0-96km/h sprint in a mere 4.4 seconds and riding on active air suspension, the Model S Performance also gets carbon-fibre exterior accents, a Nappa leather and Alcantara interior, performance wheels and tyres plus a sport-tuned traction control system.
At US$87,400, the Model S Performance will be the most expensive in the range - and the fastest, with a 208km/h top speed.
Australian pricing and specifications are not due to be announced until mid-2012, and local deliveries are expected to begin in the first half of 2013.
Speaking with TMR today, Tesla Australia's Jay McCormack said that while pricing won't be revealed until closer to launch, "the premium luxury sedan segment is the best indicator" for what we can expect.
Interest in the Model S is high though, with Tesla Australia confirming that approximately 50 reservations have already been placed for the all-electric four-door.