The Model S will launch in left hand drive markets during the first half of 2013, and Tesla’s European arm, based out of Maidenhead, is appointing a team of fleet experts to establish the car in the corporate sector. Right hand drive models will follow later in the year, and prices will be announced four to five months beforehand, Tesla said.
Sold with three different battery packs, the Model S offers up to a 300-mile range and with the Performance pack has an output of 416bhp. It’s based on a skateboard-shaped platform with the battery under the cabin and motor between the rear wheels, offering a low centre of gravity, 50/50 weight distribution and creating space for 50% more boot capacity than of its rivals.
At launch, the car will be available with two of these battery units. The 60kWh unit offers a range of 230 miles on a single charge and costs around £59,000, while the 300-mile, 85kWh version is priced from £68,000 depending on the market.
The top-level Signature trim starts at £83,000, only available with the larger battery, while the 416bhp Performance versions are priced at £80,000 or £90,000 depending on trim. Shortly afterwards, the range will be completed by the entry-level 160-mile, 40kWh unit which could bring prices do to around £50,000. All versions should also qualify for the £5,000 government grant in the UK.
While the car is more expensive than executive-class rivals, its low tax liability could make it a viable option for fleets. The range-topping Signature Performance version offers on-paper acceleration figures to match the BMW M5, Jaguar XFR and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, all of which emit 230g/km or more.