When Tesla's Model S debuted in 2012, it was what every electric car strives to be: performance-oriented, stylish and with a massive range that allowed customers to use it as a daily driver.
Coming into 2013, Tesla had some bad news: a $5,000 price hike. Fortunately, though, the Model S still seems like a relative bargain when compared to a variety of competitors.
The top Base configuration uses a 85 kWh system with up to 300 miles of range—or an EPA-certified 265 miles—while producing 362 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of twist. This enables the Model S to reach 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, and to go on to a 125 mph top speed.
When you jump up to the Performance trim, you get an 85 kWh system with a 300-mile maximum range, 416 horsepower, 443 pound-feet of torque and a 4.4-second dash to 60 mph. Top speed rises to 130 mph.
Sexy and efficient, the Tesla Model S has a price that puts it out of reach for many middle class buyers, even with tax credits. There have also been mixed reviews regarding the claimed range of each model, but Tesla has steadily argued that these claims are untrue.