The electric car fans saw and rode a prototype of Tesla Model S at the Tesla Motors factory in Fremont, California, on October 1.
The persons who pre-ordered Tesla Model S electric car tried Tesla Motors’ first full-size electric sedan and had the tour of the factory.
The 2012 production run of the Model S is sold out and the company intends to start delivering to customers next year.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a co-founder of PayPal, made a plea for support, he said lots of people had viewed the electric cars as fantastic unicorns.
“The oil companies said electric cars can’t work, but the truth is, they don’t want them to work. But here it is. They would say this car is the equivalent of a unicorn. Well, tonight you had the opportunity to ride a unicorn,” he said.
Musk announced Tesla was working on a faster Model S. It goes from zero to 60 miles (96.56 km) per hour in 4.5 seconds. This is two-tenths of a second quicker than the 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera with a manual transmission. However, with Porsche’s quick-shifting PDK automatic the car matches the Tesla at 4.5 seconds.
Versions of the 911 (Carrera S, GT3, Turbo) could easily outrun the Tesla Model S. Yet the big sedan will be able to run with the Porsche, Chevrolet Corvette, Audi R8 and other sports cars. It would also establish electric power as a performance feature, not just a gasoline-saving one, even the basic Model S is quick at 5.6 seconds from zero to 60.
Tesla Model S will come with three battery offerings, 160 miles (257.5 km), 230 miles (370.15 km) or 300 miles (482.8 km) on a full charge.
Base Tesla Model S will cost around $57,400, before a $7,500 federal tax credit and other rebates.
Tesla wants to be more than a niche brand that sells only the expensive Roadster sports car. Roadster sports car has a base price of $109,000, and most of them are sold at $140,000.
Tesla Model X sports utility prototype will be unveiled in December and is due out in late 2013.
Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, has around 1,400 workers. It held an initial public offering of stock in June 2010. Among its private backers are Draper Fisher Jurvetson, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google founders. Tesla won a $465 million loan guarantee in 2009 from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Other carmakers were inspired by Tesla Model S. Detroit works on its own electric vehicles. General Motors started selling its hybrid Chevrolet Volt last year. Anaheim, California-based Fisker Automotive, recently started delivery of its luxury hybrid Karma.
The company will phase out the Tesla Roadster in January 2012, to focus on the Tesla Model S.
Elon Musk introduces Tesla Model S (video)
Tesla Model S drive: interior view (video)