By David Undercoffler
12:24 PM PST, November 5, 2012
After bidding farewell to our Hyundai Santa Fe Sport last week, we welcome to The Times Test Garage a very different vehicle: the Tesla Model S.
As you likely know, this is an all-electric vehicle from the company that brought you the Roadster. Tesla was founded by its current chief executive, Elon Musk, and is based in Palo Alto. All Model S cars are assembled in Fremont, Calif.
The Model S we have this week has the largest of three available batteries (in terms of range). Tesla says its 85 kWh lithium-ion battery has a 300-mile range, pushes 362 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels, and will do 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds.
This model starts at $77,400 before any tax credits or rebates. Our tester has the $3,750 tech package, which adds turn-by-turn navigation, a backup camera, power lift gate, Xenon headlights, LED fog lights and keyless entry.
The 19-inch wheels and massive 17-inch touchscreen are standard on all Model S's. It's through the screen that you control nearly all of the car's functions, including climate control, stereo and vehicle setup.
We'll have this car until Friday, so stay tuned for more updates on what it's like to live with an EV, as well as a more detailed look at that screen and how it works.
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