Tesla recently unveiled the Model S Beta and opened the Tesla Factory to about 3,000 reservation holders and guests. Closely approximating the fit, finish and performance of the production Model S coming out next year, the Betas showed off the vehicle’s special features, from the 17” touchscreen to the massive panoramic roof to the voice-command audio system and more.
Co-Founder and CEO Elon Musk debuted the Beta vehicle to the world on October 1, driving on stage with a car packed with passengers, including the child seats and an extra surprise. He also announced that a performance-tuned Model S will launch at the start of production, traveling from 0 to 60 mph in an incredible 4.5 seconds. With Aero wheels, Model S will be able to travel up to 320 miles.
Enthusiastic customers got to experience their future car for the first time and were thrilled by the acceleration, handling (through a slalom and around curves), and premium interior. The factory was in full swing, with press, welding and final assembly robots demonstration what full-scale production will look like.
Watch Elon's full presentation of the Model S Beta vehicle below, and check out first ride responses from reservation holders.
Beta Reveal Pt. 1: Intro & Safety
Beta Reveal Pt. 2: Performance
Beta Reveal Pt. 3: Interior & Touchscreen
Customer First Ride Responses
Model S Beta in the News
"The car's acceleration -- claimed to be 5.6 seconds to 60 mph -- is a continuous press-the-seat-back surge that only a single-speed, big electric motor can provide."
-- Motor Trend, First Ride: 2012 Tesla Model S
"Tesla claims the Model S achieves zero-to-60 mph acceleration in 5.6 seconds. On the banked track, it quickly reached 105 mph and did so quietly, due to the electric drivetrain that produces a fraction of the vibration of a gasoline- or diesel-powered engine."
-- Edmunds AutoObserver, Tesla Wows with Model S Rides, Factory Tour
"We haven't felt a ride this smooth since driving the Rolls Royce Ghost, a car that starts at nearly $250,000."
-- AOL Translogic, Exclusive: First Ride in the Tesla Model S
Post-ride Tesla grin.
Tesla Factory dressed up for the Beta Reveal.
Banana Leaf interior and touchscreen.
Signature Red Model S Beta.
Shasta Pearl White Model S Beta.
Rear-facing child seats in the back.