UPDATE | December 10, 2014: In the months since this article was published, Tesla's Model S has now officially launched in Australia, with the first customer models handed over at a special event in Sydney on December 9, 2014.
Tesla has also confirmed plans for a Supercharger network that will reach from Melbourne to Brisbane, and opened its first Australian showroom in Sydney. The second will be in Melbourne.
May 29, 2014:
It’s been a long time coming, and leaked details last week offered a first hint at what’s to come. Now it’s official: the Tesla Model S has an Australian price tag.
The three-model range will kick off with a list price of $91,400 for the entry ‘60’ model, through to $103,400 for the ‘85’ and $119,900 for the top-shelf ‘P85’.
On-road costs vary by region - as always - meaning that ACT owners will take home a ‘60’ model for $97,245, while buyers in WA will pay $103,133. (See our full list below.)
Exact launch timing is still to be confirmed, but reservation-holding buyers have been advised to expect delivery to occur over the next few months.
It is also unclear at this stage if Tesla will open any showrooms in Australia, although it is believed at least one retail-style space has been planned for Sydney, while sales staff have now established offices there and in Melbourne.
60? 85? P85?
Wondering if those model numbers mean anything? Indeed they do, and it all comes down to battery power.
Providing energy for the ‘60’ model is a 60kWh battery, feeding a 225kW electric motor.
For this entry offering, Tesla promises a driving range of around 390 kilometres - so long as you don’t make too many attempts at the claimed 6.2-second sprint to 100km/h or cruise at the top speed of 190km/h.
In the mid-range 85 model is an 85kWh battery, increasing driving range to 502km.
The electric motor in this model boosts output to 270kW, and the 0-100km/h sprint is sharpened to just 5.6 seconds.
Opt for the P85 (the P stands for ‘Performance’) and there’s the same 85kWh battery and 502km driving range, but power and acceleration is sharpened even further.
The electric motor in the P85 raises output to a huge 310kW, while the 0-100km/h time is cut to a BMW M5-rivalling 4.3 seconds.
As the hero model, the P85 also benefits from a high-performance drive inverter, along with fancy bits like a carbon-fibre spoiler, ‘Tesla Red’ four-piston Brembo brake calipers, and an Alcantara leather headliner.
The P85 can also be optioned with a $7900 ‘Performance Plus’ package, boosting driving range by 10 to 20 kilometres, while upgrading dampers, bushings and stabiliser bars.
The pack also adds 20mm wider tyres at the rear (on the same 21-inch ‘Grey Turbine’ wheels).
Other options in the Model S range include the carbon fibre spoiler and Tesla Red brake calipers, and an $1800 on-board dual-charger system that can double the standard charging speed (giving up to 100km of driving range per hour of charging).
There’s also a $4600 Tech Package, which adds onboard navigation, LED cornering lights, automatic keyless entry, lit door handles, electrochromatic mirrors, power-folding and heated side mirrors, a powered liftgate, and memory settings for the seats, mirrors and steering wheel position.
Another $2800 - but only if the Tech Package is also optioned - will add Smart Air Suspension, automatically levelling and adjusting the stiffness for optimum performance and ride comfort.
Drivers can also use the touch-screen display to raise or lower the car manually.
Four-zone front and rear parking sensors are an additional $600, as are LED fog lights at the front.
Appreciate good audio? There’s a $3100 Ultra High Fidelity Sound package available, which offers 12 precisely-positioned and tuned speakers and an 8-inch subwoofer.
If you live in colder climes, there’s also a $900 Subzero Weather Package that adds three-zone rear seat heaters, wiper-blade defrosters and washer nozzle heaters.
The Alcantara headliner is an $1800 option on the ‘60’ and ‘85’ models, while an extended Nappa leather trim package - covering the lower instrument panel, armrests, lower pillar inserts and driver airbag cover - will add $3100 to the purchase.
A Premium Interior Lighting pack can also be had, priced at $1200 and adding ambient lights to the door panels and second-row footwell lights.
To put all of this into perspective, buying a P85 model with all of the bells and whistles will cost you around $194,000 in Victoria, including on-road costs.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, access to Tesla’s coming Supercharger network is also available.
Already included with the 85 and P85 models, the Supercharger Enabled option will cost buyers of the 60 model an additional $2700.
Although buyers will be able to charge their Model S cars at home, the purpose-built Superchargers will allow the vehicle’s battery to be charged to half capacity in just 20 minutes.
Tesla has confirmed plans for a Supercharger network in Australia - similar to that already in place in parts of the US - but details are still to come.
Until then, Model S owners out-and-about can charge their cars at public ChargePoint points and with any other provider using the IEC 62196 connector standard.
At home, the Model S is charged with an included 40-amp wall charger, although 80-amp single-phase and 32-amp three-phase connectors will be available from early 2015.
PRICING (includes on-road costs)
Model S 60
- ACT - $97,245
- NSW - $101,408
- NT - $99,637
- QLD - $98,771
- SA - $100,656
- TAS - $101,100
- VIC - $101,806
- WA - $103,133
Model S 85
- ACT - $112,845
- NSW - $117,788
- NT - $115,705
- QLD - $114,683
- SA - $116,880
- TAS - $117,324
- VIC - $118,186
- WA - $119,747
Model S P85 Performance
- ACT - $134,295
- NSW - $140,310
- NT - $137,798
- QLD - $136,536
- SA - $139,188
- TAS - $139,632
- VIC - $140,708
- WA - $142,591