It was announced nearly 3 years ago and we’ll not see it on the roads for another year, but Tesla’s Model S has made another important step towards production: the obligatory drive-by road video

As our John Voelcker reported yesterday over at GreenCarReports, the all-electric Californian car company posted a short video showing its 2012 Model S driving along a selection of rather quiet roads in rural California. 

Professionally filmed, but without any soundtrack, Tesla’s alpha prototype can be seen taking corners in what is a classic promotional video for any vehicle. 

The lack of music in the video serves to illustrate the Tesla Model S’ powertrain, not to mention highlight just how much road noise electric cars produce when driving at speed on what are less than immaculate road surfaces. 

2012 Tesla Model S prototype

2012 Tesla Model S prototype

In what is obviously a teaser for the finished product rather than a sales video, the alpha prototype looks to handle relatively well and appears to have most of the handling characteristics of its smaller, two-seat sibling, the 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5.

We do note however that there’s the faintest hint of tail-happy behaviour at around 67 seconds into the video when the Model S takes a slightly damp corner at speed. 

Should you worry? No. Handling is one of the final things to be tweaked in any vehicle as it makes the transition between prototype and final production model.  In fact, the apparent lack of any other handling issues speaks volumes about the way we can expect the finished Model S to behave. 

Looking a little like a cross between a classic British Jaguar and an executive Lincoln, the Model S looks the epitome of refinement on the picturesque white-picketed roads of California. 

2012 Tesla Model S body-in-white

2012 Tesla Model S body-in-white

In a month which has seen Tesla already gain a lot of interest in its Model S after unveiling both the alpha prototype and a bare shell at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, we think Tesla’s slow trickle of information about its first luxury sedan is likely to continue over the next 12 months as it reaches production status. 

Given the amount of work put into the Model S, we’re pretty convinced now that the car is a reality.  With very few other luxury electric cars planned in the forthcoming months from rival firms, Tesla also looks to have this particular corner of the market to itself.

For now, that is...

Model S Alpha Hits the Road from Tesla Motors on Vimeo.