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Started by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, Tesla is the first true success story of the new era of electric cars, as well as the most successful new American car company in at least 60 years. The company launched with a small roadster based on the Lotus Elise to prove that electric cars can be desirable
and usable. After selling through the limited run of the Roadsters and having successfully put the Tesla name on the map, the company bought Toyota's old factory in Fremont, Calif. to start production on its first mass-production car, the Model S sedan.
The Model S, which received the highest-ever rating from Consumer Reports, is available with three power trains; the 60 kWh battery with a 208-mile range and zero-to-60 time of 5.9 seconds, the 85 kWh battery capable of 265 miles on a single charge and 60 mph time of 5.4 seconds, and the Performance 85 kWh with the same 265 mile range, but a 60 mph sprint in an astonishing 4.2 seconds. Encumbered with only a watermelon-sized motor between the rear wheels and battery packs lining the floor, the Model S also features ample space for five adults, and two children in the optional rear-facing seats, as well as a massive front trunk. It's the greatest car of its generation, full of unique technology, and has quickly become the most desirable status symbol of its age. Tesla is planning to introduce an SUV, and then, later, a mass-market compact. Other American automakers should be running scared. See more... See Less