2012 Tesla Model S: Electric Luxury Sedan Ultimate Guide

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Tesla Model S Alpha build

Tesla Model S Alpha build

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Finally, after several years of teaser images, videos, clips, auto show appearances and more, there are finally production examples of the 2012 Tesla Model S driving around on the streets

Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] has been working tirelessly to put the Model S on the market, and CEO Elon Musk even won his $1,000 bet with journalist Dan Neil for keeping promises he made about the car way back in 2009--impressive, given the struggles young companies normally face.

But what lies beneath the Silicon Valley hype? What is the Model S like to drive, what goes on behind the scenes and what can you do to buy one?

Before you get any further, read our first drive review of the 2012 Tesla Model S, and then check out our brief drive video. Were we glad to finally get behind the wheel? You bet.


The basics

If you've been following Tesla's progress as closely as we have here at GreenCarReports, you'll be able to relay Model S details without a moment's thought.

That includes details like its EPA-rated 89 MPGe efficiency and 265-mile range (with the largest battery), with a projected range of up to 300 miles on the highway. Elon is even thinking up a prize for the first verified 400-mile run on one charge. When you're not conserving range, a 0-60mph run of under 4.5 seconds is for the taking.

2012 Tesla Model S display screen [Photo: Flickr user jurvetson]

2012 Tesla Model S display screen [Photo: Flickr user jurvetson]

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The technology 

This is a car that's selling on the back of its technology. The whole car is something of a gadget, but with a crystal-clear display screen in the center of the car and support for third-party apps, the spec list reads like a wheeled iPod. Even the manufacturing process is suitably advanced.

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