The UK price of the Tesla Model S sports car has been revealed just as the doors have swung open at the first retail store.
Tesla Motors’ store is now open to car-loving, deep-pocketed punters at the Westfield shopping centre in White City, London, having witnessed a launch party on October 24th that saw the store open for an evening.
The Tesla Model S 60 and 85kWh make up the range. It was originally announced the 40kWh was a no-go for Europe, which seemed unfair, but the cheapest model was later axed in April of this year in the US amid poor sales.
Prices start at £49,900, £57,300 and £68,700 for the Model S 60kWh, 85kWh and 85kWh Performance, respectively, which includes the £5,000 government grant given to electric and hybrid vehicles that fit a certain level of emissions.
Expect to pay an additional mandatory £380 extra for a Destination and Regulatory document.
In the US the Tesla Model S 60kWh costs US$62,400 including the US$7,500 government incentive ─ £39,000 or thereabouts. Part of the not-so-small price difference comes from shipping, import duties and other business costs that vary from country to country, Tesla explained.
Unlike in the US there’s no option to pay extra for a home supercharger. You will have to use a standard 240v socket or chuck a few quid at Tesla for the faster dual-charging option.
Unlike most electric cars the Tesla Model S does its best to quash any range anxiety you may have. The smaller 60kWh battery has a maximum range of 240 miles, while the 85kWh can manage 310 miles ─ a big difference compared with the Nissan Leaf‘s 124 mile range.
Petrolheads will be glad to know the Model S is a fast car. A rear-mounted electric motor generates a sizable 302bhp, allowing the 60kWh model to hit 0 to 60mph in 5.9 seconds, while the 362bhp 85kWh can do it in 5.4 seconds. An impressive feat given the 2,100kg kerb weight.
All that weight and electrical wizardry does have a downside, it must be said. The top speed is 120 and 125mph, respectively, which is fast enough to get you ‘insta-banned’ but not enough to keep up with rival sports cars on the German Autobahns.
Those craving the most performance have the option of the more powerful 85kWh Model S Performance. This range-topper drops the 0 to 62mph time to a startling 4.2 seconds and ups the top speed to 130mph. A staggering 600Nm of torque is available the moment you touch the go-fast pedal.
The interior is packed with some pretty clever gizmos including a gigantic touchscreen display that looks like a tablet. Here you can keep tabs on your Model S, including how much electric juice it’s currently sipping as you cruise along.
“Tesla is taking the UK market very seriously, and there are more stores and service centres to come,” Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk explained. “We’re also going to establish a Supercharger network so Model S customers will be able to drive long distances anywhere in the UK using our network for free, forever.
“The first Supercharger will be energised next quarter and we’ll aspire to have the entire country covered by end of next year. Most importantly, we are hard at work with Right Hand Drive Model S, and we aim to deliver the first one by the end of March 2014,” the billionaire entrepreneur added.
Although the Westfield is a retail shop, you will still have to go online to make a purchase. Think of it as more of a showroom than a checkout.
All cars come with an 8-year, 125,000 mile battery warranty. No word yet on the three-year buyback scheme offered in the US.
Tesla Model S pictures