2012 Tesla Model S Prices, Options, Specifications Released

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2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

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The car won't reach Tesla Stores until at least next fall, but Tesla Motors has just released pricing and options for the various trim levels and models of its 2012 Model S all-electric sport sedan.

Unlike various other plug-in cars, the base prices of the 2012 Tesla Model S have not risen. They remain at $57,400 for the 160-mile version; $67,400 for the 230-mile version; $77,400 for the 300-mile version; and $87,400 for the special Model S Performance version.

That Performance model is claimed to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, only half a second slower than the smaller, lighter 2011 Tesla Roadster sports car.

Note that those estimated ranges are quoted "at 55 mph." Note also that Tesla itself quotes all prices on its website by subtracting the $7,500 Federal tax credit, which we think is deceptive and annoying. You have been warned.

The company says it will warranty its batteries for 8 years and "from 100,000 to unlimited miles" depending on the battery pack in question.

For the first time, Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] has specified the sizes of its battery pack options:

  • 40 kilowatt-hours (160-mile range, 110-mph top speed, 100,000-mile warranty)
  • 60 kWh (230-mile range, 120-mph top speed, 125,000-mile warranty)
  • 85 kWh (300-mile range, 125-mph top speed; also Performance model, 130-mph top speed, both with unlimited-mileage warranty)

All models will come with 19-inch alloy wheels and the 17-inch touchscreen center stack in the dashboard.

But it's the options that will likely allow Tesla to make money on the Model S, of which it says it will be able to build as many as 30,000 a year once its Fremont, California, factory is up to full production on one assembly line.

Metallic paint is $750, multi-coat paint colors are $1,500. An all-glass panoramic roof is $1,500. Aerodynamic 19-inch wheels (which add up to 20 miles of extra range, the factory said this fall) are $1,500, and 21-inch wheels are $3,500.

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

Enlarge Photo

There's more. Nappa leather is $1,500, a Tech Package (navigation, backup camera, power liftgate, and keyless entry) is $3,750, air suspension is $1,500 and so are the pair of child-size rear-facing jump seats.

Another $1,500 will buy you an upgraded onboard charger of 20 kilowatts, which can add up to 62 miles of range per hour.

The high-power wall connector to feed the car's custom charging system--no, it doesn't use the standard J-1772 plug and socket that every other plug-in car sold in the States does--is $1,200 for all models. (No word yet on the price of the inevitable J-1772 adaptor cable for use anywhere outside the Tesla driver's garage.)

UPDATE: The Tesla Model S will, in fact, include a J-1772 adaptor as part of the "Universal Mobile Connector and adaptors" that comes with every car.

All in all, a lavishly-equipped 2012 Tesla Model S will run you just about $100,000.

Given that the 2012 Fisker Karma, now finally arriving at dealerships, is newly base-priced at $106,000, the all-electric Model S may seem to buyers like a comparative bargain.

The complete pricing and specifications list is posted on Tesla's own website, along with a blog post on the same topic.


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Comments (10)
  1. How in the world did they get those jump seats past our safety regulations? Daimler and Volvo had to get rid of theirs many years ago... All in all, an amazing car.

  2. The Tesla Roadster was the best EV produced so far, and now the Model S will easily follow in it's foot steps. It's amazing how much new technology Tesla has managed to put into the Model S, there are things both standard and optional that the major manufacturers aren't even ready to do. If all goes well the Model S could set a huge example for other EVs to follow.

  3. The J1772 adapter is a standard feature, as are standard 110V and NEMA 14-50 adapters. They come with the included Universal Mobile Connector, for which additional outlet adapters will be available for purchase.

  4. Still the best electric car in America and probably always will be. Eat your heart out GM. Tesla didn't get a $150 billion dollar welfare cheque and still living in a trailer park.

  5. Yes, James, a car that hasn't been released yet and you haven't ridden in, much less driven, is clearly the best EV that will ever be made. I'm also not clear how Tesla, which did take government loan money and is losing money is the one not living in the trailer park in your juvenile words. In case you haven't noticed, GM has made billions in profits this year.

    That's not a swipe at Tesla, who all of us wish nothing but the best for, just a commentary on the hype. Best electric car? I assume you mean in the $60k and more category, right, James?

    But I'm trying to reason with someone who just yesterday commented that clean diesel is impossible to find and is $1-$2 more than "regular diesel." Uh, yeah...

  6. and to think i almost dropped the Leaf to get an S. glad i did not because $50,000 was my limit
    and seeing that just getting the basics i have now is another 4-5 K and no QC options and on and on... wow!! loving my Leaf!

  7. So between the 230 and 300 miles version Tesla offers 25KWH of battery capacity extra at $10K. That's $400/KWH for new LiNiO2 chemistry batteries with very high life expectancy. That's retail and probably where Tesla makes it's profits. So far for the myth of high battery cost.

  8. Weird thing is that the 300 miles versions could be the cheapest to run. It's the only version with the LiNiO2 battery that theoretically could last 5000cycles (and still have over 80% capacity!) which adds up to 1.5 million miles:


    Fitted in an aluminum sedan who knows, the whole package could last you for decades with proper maintenance (durable transport...). Depends a lot on the battery's calendar life though.

  9. Right, calender life is an issue.

    Interestingly, having a 300 mile battery means that you will have lower DOD (depth of discharge) which should improve battery life all by itself.

    If you have an Mitsubishi "i" and drive 60 miles per day, that will be a 100% DOD and will be damaging to the battery. For the 300 mile Tesla battery that will only be 20% DOD and under that condition cycle life might be infinite.

    One down side of the 300 mile battery is that its added weight will make the car less efficient. It will be interesting to see if the model S efficiency number are released as being different for each battery pack size.

  10. Agreed, you cannot wear out this battery, hence the unlimited miles warranty I suppose. This means that residual value estimates for lease purposes of close to zero after a few years like the Leaf's should not be an issue either. In fact I'm sure this car will have the lowest depreciation of all cars in it's class by far.

    In terms of efficiency, the new chemistry has great volumetric energy density, but gravimetricly it's relatively heavy. Tesla's range estimates are very optimistically based on about 250WH/mile for all packs. We'll see what the EPA has to say about that, but I doubt it's the 320 miles Musk estimated for EPA range in a recent interview, not even for the city cycle. Then again: so far he delivers as promised...

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