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Tesla Model S is the Electric Car of Our Dreams

We want to be as green as anyone, but when we stomp on the pedal, we want to feel the effects of WOT.

We love the Tesla Roadster. While none of us here have one, we all secretly lust for one for the sheer performance. Of course, the sticker and limited practicality keep us from owning one.

Enter the Tesla Model S sedan--the electric car for the man of tomorrow--or at least the man of late 2011 when it will enter production.

Earlier this week, Tesla Motors just revealed in its newsletter that the Model S will have an anticipated base price of $57,400. The price will effectively become $49,900 after a federal tax credit of $7,500. The company also explained that because of relatively inexpensive maintenance and refueling, the lifetime ownership cost will be closer to cars with far lower sticker prices.

At today’s unveiling at the Tesla design studio inside the SpaceX rocket factory, in Hawthorne, California, we saw the sleek and sporty designed Model S sedan that will accommodate seating for seven.

Amazingly enough, this people mover will go from naught to sixty in just 5.5 seconds. You’re not going to get that from your minivan.

The Tesla Model S will have a 300 mile (484 km) range from its 8,000-cell “removable” battery pack. While charging an electric car isn’t as quick as pumping petrol into a tank, the battery power system does have a quick-charge feature that would give a usable range after just a 45-minute charge. A 220V outlet will fully charge the Model S in four hours.

Tesla is also considering a long range battery pack. No word yet if the long-range battery pack will give the car a “big butt” like extended batteries do for cell phones and notebooks.

The standard battery pack is expected to last between 7 to 10 years, and the vehicle will be covered under warranty for 3 to 4 years. Battery pack replacements are said to be below $5,000.

If the 5.5 second dash isn’t quick enough, Tesla said that there will a sport model that will make it to 60 in under 5. For those who want double the traction, there’s also an all-wheel-drive model in the works.

If all that isn’t enough whiz-bang for you, the Model S does away with button controls and instead replaces them with massive, touch-sensitive screens. The only possible criticism of such a system would be that the drive would lose the tactile feel of the buttons to change certain things while driving, but perhaps a voice-activated system and steering wheel mounted controls will mitigate that concern.

We want the Tesla Model S today, but unfortunately we’ll have to wait until the third quarter of 2011 before seeing a production model. Read more about it on Autobloggreen.