Official image reveals new saloon due in 2011
16 February 2009

This is the first official image of the Tesla S, a new saloon from the electric car manufacturer that's due in 2011.

The all-electric Tesla S is expected to be a rival for the Lexus 450h and the diesel Mercedes E-class, and the scale of the car's flanks, revealed here in the flesh for the first time, would appear to show a car with similar dimensions to those of its likely competitors. It certainly looks large enough to be a genuine five-seater.

The Tesla S, which is due to be revealed in full before the end of March, will sit on its own platform, since it is considerably larger than the firm's Lotus-based Roadster. Tesla is aiming to sell up to 20,000 saloons per year.

Despite the firm's green credentials, Tesla has not escaped the global recession; it has undergone financial restructuring and put back several key projects, including the S, which has been delayed by at least six months.

The initial work on the Tesla S was conducted in conjunction with Fisker Automotive - but the partnership turned sour after Tesla claimed that Fisker had copied its hybrid tech to come up with its own saloon, the Karma. Last November, a court cleared Fisker of any wrongdoing.

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