Tesla to work with others, Roadster priced at £92k

Published: 19 August 2008

Tesla has confirmed that it is working with several major car makers to develop affordable, fully-electric city cars, with the first going on sale as early as 2010.

The established car makers will use the experience Tesla has gained developing the high-performance, £92,000 Roadster as a short cut to  getting their own electric cars on sale.

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'Smaller Teslas in the pipeline'

The first small cars to use Tesla’s propulsion systems will have a significantly shorter range than the 227 miles offered by the Roadster and will be priced at a premium to other small cars, but will be made viable by continued high fuel prices.

Tesla plans to have its Model S five-seat electric hatchback on sale by 2010 in both the United States and Europe. It will be priced at around $60,000 (£31,800) with a 160-mile range and $68,000 (£36,000) with a 220-mile range, with a 300-mile version to follow. All will have a sub-six second 0-60mph time.

Click 'Next' to read more about the new, smaller Tesla models

Click here for CAR's first UK drive review of the Tesla Roadster

The new cars on which Tesla is collaborating with mainstream makers will be significantly cheaper and will not compete with its own Model S. Tesla says it can produce coupe, crossover and SUV bodystyles from the bespoke platform of the Model S, but is not actively working on them.

CAR Online has seen sketches of the Model S hatchback. It echoes the Roadster’s front end styling with very similar, almost horizontal lamps but with a deeper, oval front grille. The profile is coupe-like, with a BMW-style Hofmeister kink in the rear side glass.

Where will the new Teslas be built? By Lotus?

Tesla will confirm the location of the factory for the Model S in the next few weeks, but it will be in the San Francisco Bay area, and not in Mexico as previously rumoured. It will produce up to 20,000 cars each year, but the Roadster will continue to be built by Lotus in the UK, with the drivetrain being fitted in the US.

Tesla has also confirmed prices for the Roadster in Europe. The first 250 cars will be a special edition with full leather, unique wheels and paint, adjustable suspension, a carbon fibre hardtop and high-end audio and navigation system. They will cost €99,000 including local taxes, or £92,000 in the UK including VAT.

And when can I get my hands on a Roadster?

Deliveries start in May 2009. Base models for 2010 delivery will cost €89,000 before taxes. Tesla is currently looking for sales and service locations in major European cities, and expects the UK and Germany to be its two largest markets.

Click here for CAR's first UK drive review of the Tesla Roadster

By Ben Oliver

Contributing editor, watch connoisseur, purveyor of fine features

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