Tesla Model S - Geneva Motor Show 2012

Tesla say, “The Model S got its roots from the idea of being not only the best electric car but the best performance sedan in the marketplace.” – Franz von Holzhausen, Chief Designer, Tesla Motors.

Spec Sheet: Tesla’s second, and arguably most important, model will hit 60mph from rest in less than four and a half seconds with a range of up to 300 miles (for the top spec model). Tesla has already received over 8,000 orders for the Model Sand aims to build 20,000 units in 2013.

Tesla’s second car has finally afforded Franz von Holzhausen and his team the indulgence of of creating their own design from a blank canvas. There’s an obvious lack of design cues shared between Model S and the Roadster and more shared family traits between the Model S and Model X - alas the birth of Tesla’s very own design language. The ‘Signature Red’ example on display in Geneva really served to highlight how magnificently well proportioned the Model S is. Much like what BMW achieved with the E36 3-Series for the coupe format, Tesla has really epitomized the saloon/sedan form with the Model S.

The entire design has simplicity to it that’s rarely seen today, just consider the Germanic and French manufacturers for reference, and the front is characterized by an inverted clam-shaped grill and sharp shut lines on the bonnet that flow into the A-pillars. The entire stance of the Model S is one of equanimity. Does this come from naïveté or experience? Time will tell.

The interior is dominated by an enormous, 17-inch touchscreen display that is Wi-Fi enabled and high resolution. Panels are finished in wood and leather and the fit isn’t of the same caliber as the established European marques. Bear in mind, however, that the model on show was in Beta state, 80% production-ready, that build quality is an ongoing process and Tesla as a brand is in it’s infancy.  Things are certainly looking good so far.