Tesla's first all-original car, the upcoming Model S sedan, is already on pre-order sale and should be launched by late 2011 if there aren’t any major development stumbles. In the lead up to its showroom appearance, Tesla has revealed an expected price tag for the Model S of $49,900 and confirmed that it will announce a production site to start manufacturing the car in the next several weeks.
The information comes directly from Tesla CEO Elon Musk who also revealed that his company will be hiring 50 to 60 people a month for engineering and production requirements. Additionally, Musk also revealed that Tesla has just two finalists to supply 80 percent of the parts for the Model S.
The production site will be located somewhere on the West Coast, most likely in Southern California. This new plant will be a high-tech center and will include divisions for stamping, paint shop, body and chassis, and doors. The plant will also build powertrains--not only for Tesla but for other automakers as well. Finally, Tesla will use its new plant to also build the next-generation of its all-electric Roadster.
A quick run-down of the Model S' stats reveals that it will carry on the Roadster's mantle of green performance, while expanding considerably on its utility: a 300 mile range will be complemented by an expected 0-60 mph time under six seconds. There's even work being done on an optional 600 mile extended-range battery pack. Despite the range of the still generous 300 mile pack, Tesla is claiming a 45 minute quick-charge time. The battery pack itself will be warrantied for 7-10 years, while the car will be warrantied separately for a period of 3-4 years.
[Automotive News, sub req’d]