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by Matt Brogan

Tesla has today revealed pics of its sleek 2012 ‘S’ sedan showing the four-door in motion.

The Tesla S is set to rival other EVs such as the Fisker Karma as well as conventionally powered luxury rivals including the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Designed by Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla says the front end styling of the ‘S’ will be the future face of the electric automaker. Short front and rear overhangs not only give the sedan a clean, sporting look, but also allows for the maximum interior space.

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The Tesla S rides on 21-inch alloys while inside features include a highly customisable, 17-inch touch screen for HVAC, audio and navigation controls as well as 3G wireless internet; digital and satellite radio and a panaoramic sunroof.

The ‘S’ has seating for five adults, plus optional rear-facing seats for two small children in the cargo area.

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In keeping with the brand’s green theme, Tesla uses chrome-free vegetable tanned Italian leather on interior, and 100 per cent recycled PET carpeting.

The electric sedan can travel up to 480 kilometres on a single charge with a “QuickCharge” taking only 45 minutes to complete. If that’s not quick enough, the battery can be changed for a fully-charge unit in under five minutes.

To further increase efficiency, the door handles retract at speed making a cleaner aerodynamic shape.

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With a tare weight of 1490kg and a single speed variable transmission the ‘S’ makes the 0-100km/h run in 5.6 seconds and can run to 400m in 14 seconds flat. Top speed is estimated at 193km/h.

Braking comes courtesy of six-pot Brembos up front, and fours on the rear. An all-wheel drive model is also planned in the near future.

The ‘S’ will be Tesla’s second model joining the Roadster sports and is due for production late 2011 with a retail price of US$49,900 (after the US$7500 electric vehicle tax credit).




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