Video: 2012 Tesla Model S in Alpha-phase road testing

Tesla Motors has released B-roll footage of its all-new Telsa Model S premium sedan undergoing the first stage of production testing.
- shares

Although the video doesn’t make for the most exciting viewing, it does provide us with a great look at what the all-electric sedan will look like when it hits the road.The Model S in the video has a different grille to that of previous designs. The chrome highlights and badging are absent, although it is understood they have just been disguised and will feature on the production model.The first Alpha phase of testing started last year and will continue in the coming months, across all conditions and climates. A secondary Beta phase will follow closer to the vehicle’s launch in 2012.

Tesla vehicle dynamicist, Graham Sutherland, said each new Alpha-phase Model S would feature improved and evolved driving dynamics.

“The first Alpha is amazingly agile for a car of its size,” Mr Sutherland said.“It has great handling balance and poised ride with communicative steering. Just goes to show what combining a low centre of gravity with a very stiff body structure can achieve.”

The Model S is set to be a revolutionary vehicle in more ways than one. Tesla says the sedan will have seating for seven people (five adults and two children) and extra storage space under the bonnet. An enormous 17-inch touchscreen with 3G connectivity, radio streaming and GPS navigation will dominate the interior.

Owners will be able to choose from three battery pack options to suit their typical driving needs (260km, 370km, 480km), and Tesla is promising ‘QuickCharge’ technology to keep recharge times down to just 45 minutes.

Performance also promises to be ground-breaking, with a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 193km/h.

The Model S is expected to follow the lead of the Tesla Roadster – which officially launched in Australia last week – with a local debut in the coming years.