Tesla Model S electrifies Chicago Chicago SunTimes

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Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S electrifies

Tesla Motors is selling an luxury sedan, seen outside the one Chicago-area dealership in Oak

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Updated: 4, 2012 6:13AM

From the the Tesla Model S does not radically different from new cars. Attractive, yes, and streamlined, this one a pleasant with a hatchback and a certain quality.

But not the sort of vehicle has the kiddies pressing their to the van window, shrieking “Look! as it blows past.

Slide the wheel, however, as I got the chance to do week in Oak Brook, and some of its distinctive features present There are no physical gauges or — just a screen where the would be, and, to the right, a radio would be, a 17-inch flat screen, the largest in any according to Tesla. The car has no gas tank, no no engine; in electric cars called a motor.

Electric cars are no longer new — readers will recall my around town in a Nissan last year. But the Tesla S is unique, in that it is the first sedan designed from the up as an electric car — a necessity, since the producing it, Tesla Motors, has only one previous model, its Roadster.

Indeed, the company is more interesting than the Tesla, founded in 2003, is rarest of birds — a new independent car company. And while the initial is to lump it with previous attempts to start a car company — Bricklin, DeLorean — Tesla be different, in light of the jaw-dropping of past successes of its billionaire Elon Musk: PayPal, the payment system; plus a private rocket company, to NASA to supply the International Station, and more.

What is Tesla selling? The S has an all-aluminum body, a low center of its motor giving torque pins you back in the seat you mash the accelerator.

There’s no key to no button to push. Sitting in the seat is enough.

“When you sat in the car, your butt it on,” said Shanna Tesla’s communications manager, the weight sensor in the seat yes, I couldn’t resist the reply: “It’s been a time since my butt anything on.”)

Range is an issue. At first I was impressed the S advertises a 300-mile range charges, but that is for its top-of-the-line model with a brawnier The basic $57,400 model has a of 160 miles.

Which is more than drive in a day, but a big part of our affair with cars is the of endless possibility, and not being you can make it to Rockford and back is of a buzz kill, but one Tesla people will get over.

there is the stereo volume

“It goes to 11,” said “I don’t know if you’re a Tap fan, but it goes to 11.” has to be the first cult movie to find its way into automotive

“That was Elon Musk’s she said.

Tesla Model S

The Model S also has door handles, smooth of chrome flush with the until you touch them, they gracefully glide out to be

The rear window is small, but the design flaw I noticed is the — there are just two, under the center arm rests, slide back to reveal meaning you drive with the of your elbow sitting on coffee cup. Hendriks me they are working on a console to cups out of harm’s way.

If you buy a S now, expect delivery July 2013; you’re the 10,000 or so fans who put down three or four years “People have waited a time for this car,” Hendriks.

The Tesla business is also distinctive. There is as 20th century as dealership crowded with cars. You can try a S — I was permitted 10 minutes behind the — but you aren’t allowed to purchase the car you and take it home.

This is no impulse buy. you order the Model S, like cabinets; pay $5,000 to prove you business, then wait months until the factory is to turn its attention to you, you pony up another $5,000 and colors and options.“Every car we sell is built,” said Hendriks.

year, Tesla Motors is 5,000 cars — intentionally than demand — but next it plans to produce 20,000.

The in me is tempted to shrug off the Tesla S as the new Tucker Torpedo — snazzy but Making cars is a very undertaking. Ford has a tough time staying in business, and been doing this for a

Upstarts can flourish, for a time, wither. At least up to now. The Oak dealership has a very clean, feel — think the Apple but for cars.

The sense I left is that while launching a American car company — the Model S is in California — is still a longshot, if can pull it off, these can.

Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S

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