The Tesla Model S is so close we can almost lick it. The four-seater saloon electric car, unveiled nearly two years ago, won't be around until 2012, but Tesla's revealed it will cost almost half the price of its flagship Roadster, meaning it's within the reach of environmentally conscious peasants like you or us.
Three Model S versions will be available. The first 1,000 cars to whir silently off the assembly line will be part of the Signature Series limited-edition range, all of which will sport 300-mile range batteries, Signature Series badges and an "extensive complement of options".
Once that supply is exhausted, Tesla will offer the Model S with batteries capable of 300-, 230- or 160-mile ranges costing $77,000, $67,000 and $57,500. These prices will fall after a $7,500 electric car subsidy from the US gub'mint.
We're not sure how these prices will translate into money with the Queen on it, but we wouldn't expect the entry-level car to cost any less than £40,000 -- and that's only if the Model S qualifies for the UK's £5,000 electric car grant (we say 'if' because at the time of writing, the Roadster doesn't qualify).
If it does come in at that price in the UK, you can sign us up. The Model S looks gorgeous, is kind to the environment (if you get your electricity from a green supplier) and can complete the 0-60mph sprint in just 5.6 seconds.
Tesla plans to produce 5,000 cars in 2012 before increasing production to 20,000 in 2013. Start saving those pennies now.