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The first car designed and built from the ground up by fledgling automaker Tesla is the Model S, a sedan in the shape of a grand tourer. Its pricing varies based on the size of the battery residing in the chassis.
The styling is smooth and modern, with front air intakes that are only needed to cool the battery pack.
The Model S qualifies as a Large Car in governmental classifications due to its length.
An electric motor sits between the rear wheels. The Model S uses an air suspension to enhance ride quality.
The charging port is cleverly hidden behind a side reflector. It uses a proprietary Tesla design, although it is easy to hook up a J1772 adapter, making it compatible with standard charging stations.
In Performance trim, the Model S gets this carbon fiber spoiler, along with enhanced power for a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.4 seconds.
As there is no engine under the hood, Tesla made space for cargo.
The hatchback area offers plenty of storage space, along with a concealed compartment under a panel.
The panoramic glass roof is an option.
Where other electric cars conserve electricity with manual seats, Tesla kept up a premium feel with power-adjustable seats.
The rear bench offers easy space for three, but the headroom is somewhat compromised.
There is no metal key, just this Model S-shaped fob. It opens and locks the car based on proximity.
Following modern electronic aesthetics, Tesla keeps the dashboard very simple, relegating most controls to the center touch screen.
The electric power-steering system can be set between Comfortable, Standard, and Sport.
Steering-wheel buttons are kept to a minimum, and as there is no need for a multigear transmission, there are no shift paddles.
The driver can configure the areas to either side of the center virtual gauge on this LCD instrument cluster.
The large center touch screen can show different informational windows, from navigation to audio to an energy usage display.
Turn-by-turn navigation comes in courtesy of the optional Tech package, and overlays a guidance panel on Google Maps.
The Tech package adds this route guidance display to the instrument cluster.
The hands-free phone system lacks any text-messaging capability, but handles calls and integrates a paired phone's contact list.
The Model S includes two USB ports for flash drives, and can play Bluetooth-streaming audio from a phone.
The current track interface shows album art when available.
The Model S includes an HD Radio tuner.
The car's 3G data connection can be used to surf the Web, even when the car is in motion.
The rearview camera is the only driver assistance feature available on the Model S.