Tesla has used a special event to show off the Beta version of its Model S luxury electric high performance sedan.

Following on from the unveiling of the Tesla Model S Alpha in June, Tesla has unveiled the Model S Beta for the first time. The Beta is the next major evolution of the platform before the first production model rolls of the assembly line in Q2 next year.

At the unveiling overnight, Tesla CEO Elon Musk placed an emphasis on the performance nature of the luxury sedan. The base model will be priced from $57,400, while two extra performance models with extra battery capacity will be priced from $67,000 and top out at $77,000.

The base model will accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds through to a top speed of 120 miles per hour. Its range will be a minimum of 160 miles. This model will be joined by a Signature version of the Model S, which is quicker and will accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.0 seconds with a 300 mile range.

Of the speediness of the Model, Musk said:

"That's quicker than a 911. Not bad for an electric luxury sedan."

Musk also highlighted the entertainment system on the Model S. He compared it to being akin to having an iPad in the console as it stores music onboard and will respond to music requests made by voice.

While some users might baulk at having to recharge the vehicle, Musk and his team have designed the vehicle to be as practical as possible. Using its QuickCharge system, the Model S will take only 45 minutes to charge up (With its fastest industrial charger, slower chargers take a more conventional five to 12 hours). Alternatively, owners can purchase a second battery and swap out the spent battery in just five minutes.

Tesla also used the launch of the Model S Beta to unveil its new Tesla Motors website, which contains a wealth of information about what to expect when the car reaches the market after it completes its Beta shakedown.


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