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Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
The California startup makes the leap from novelty sports car assembler to mass-production in 2012 with the introduction of the all-electric Model S. All-new cars are hard to launch for any automaker, and Tesla will be closely watched for hiccups. Tesla says it has sold out production for a year with more than 7,000 orders. Those buyers will be expecting a lot. Tesla promises a range of 160 miles for the base $57,400 Model S, and up to 300 miles for its top-of-the-line, $92,400 version.

By Alex Taylor III, senior editor-at-large @FortuneMagazine - Last updated January 04 2012: 9:37 AM ET
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