Tesla: Model S to be Unveiled in March

Tesla Motors held the first of two planned town hall meetings with customers this week, where it explained to buyers who have not received pre-ordered 2008 Roadsters why the company has decided to charge for options previously included in the sports car’s base price. But CEO Elon Musk was not there to offer only mea culpas (according to Left Lane News, he did express regret over the way Tesla communicated the new charges). He also revealed details about the planned Model S sedan and Daimler’s electric Smart car, set to use Tesla drivetrains in a fleet of test vehicles.

First, the Model S: Musk reportedly (here, here and here) told customers that the startup will show off a prototype of the long-awaited sedan in Los Angeles as early as March 5 (yes, as in five weeks from now), with production beginning in 2011.

Musk also said that Daimler’s electric Smart car will retail for around $20,000 — the “super affordable” price point he envisioned for a third-generation Tesla vehicle (after the Roadster and Model S) last year. He said in September that the car could be produced with a major automaker. With Daimler slated to roll out the electric Smart in 2010, it just might one-up the Model S for Tesla’s second-generation model.

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