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Sunday, September 30, 2012

This Just In: Tesla Model S. "The car is dope."

The all-electric high-performance Tesla Model S is finally here, and The Luxurist cannot wait to own one.

But bide his time he must, as production delays have put deliveries four-to-five weeks behind schedule.

There is also the matter of the nearly $100,000 price tag. But I digress.

Why is The Luxurist so enthused about this grand new conveyance? He has read the advance reviews. They have been rapturous.

Automotive writers are saying that the sedan surpasses expectations in handling, engineering, acceleration, styling, and just about any other criterion imaginable.

"The is one amazing car. I mean, hardcore amazing" wrote the Wall St. Journal's great Dan Neil. "The car is dope." So much for understatement.

Neil compared the Tesla's acceleration to that of a Lamborghini – minus the potent snarl of the Lambo's legendary V12 engine. (Sadley, electric cars don't purr, they whine.)

The Model S comes with three battery options:  40kWh (with a 160 mile range), 60kWh (230 miles), and 85 kWh (a record-setting 300 miles).

Acceleration varies with the price, which starts at an affordable $49,900 and  rises to $97,700 for the Signature Performance model. This is more or less what you would have paid for a decent two-bedroom condo in Palm Springs last year before the real estate market started to rebound.  But, once again, I digress.

The premium SP model is powered by a rear-mounted 416-horsepower AC synchronous electric motor producing 443 pound-feet of torque between zero and 5,100 rpm. If that means nothing to you, this will: the car goes from zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds. Fast, if not exactly furious.

Want to know how the car handles? Apparently very well, despite, or  because of, a very low center of gravity caused by the under-the-floor placement of its heavy batteries. "The Tesla corners like it's tethered with magic," writes Neil.

Worried about the time it takes to recharge? The SP package is equipped with a high-capacity drive inverter and twin 10-kilowatt-hour charging inverters. This allows for rapid charging in about four hours. (Not that you will want to stay away from your Model S for that long)

Looks-wise, the Model S is a stunner. Sleek and low to the ground, it will turn heads.

"What is that magnificent car?" people will want to know. "And where do I get one?"

You, dear reader, can buy yours right here. Or maybe at Nordstrom?

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