Tesla Model S weighs in at a cool 50K

Way back in 2009, when the Tesla S electric sedan was a concept living only on sketches and engineering notes, the company promised the car would retail for $49,900 following federal tax credits. 

Now, as 2012 dawns and Tesla readies its first shipments for a mid-year delivery, the company has reiterated its pricing and options. Yes, the base price of the Tesla is still $49,900. There are, of course, plenty of options – and those could send the price of a base Model S Signature Performance to $97,900.

The first models to be delivered midyear will feature Tesla’s 85-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery. This option adds $20,000 to the price tag of the standard model, but it also takes the range of the car from 160 to 300 miles. That big juice box also pumps up the Tesla’s performance considerably. 

With the 40-kWh battery expect the new Tesla to have a top speed of 110 mph and a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds. With the big battery those numbers jump to 125 mph and 5.6 seconds. You can even spring for a “performance” option which translates to a 130 mph top speed and a neck snapping 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds. Every Tesla battery, no matter the power, features an eight-year warranty.

The $49,900 Model S Tesla comes standard with 19-inch all-season tires, microfiber interior, a 17-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 200-watt, seven-speaker stereo system with two USB ports and storage for up to 500 songs. The base model also comes with a universal charger connector and a 10-kW on-board charger which provides an additional 31 miles of range per hour of charge.

If you are willing to part with some extra coin, however, the Tesla has plenty of goodies. An all-glass panoramic roof will run an additional $1,500 while a Nappa leather interior is another $1,500 option on the base model but standard on the higher-end editions. 

Looking to boost performance even more? Twenty one-inch high performance tires are available as is the “Active Air Suspension” which lowers the vehicle as the car speeds to aid aerodynamics. The seats? How about 12-way, power-adjust and heated, as you adjust a 580-watt, 12-speaker system.

Deliveries are set to begin midyear, but you can customize and reserve a Model S for $5,000 on Tesla’s website now.

* Steve Duda, EarthTechling