A superfast electric car

Company unveils superfast electric car. Tesla says the Model S sedan can hold seven people and outrun a Porsche 911.

Five years after debuting the original electric 2-seat Roadster, Tesla shows customers its first all-new car: the $50,000, 7-passenger Model S.

Five years after shocking the automotive world by unveiling a battery-powered Lotus Elise, Elon Musk, CEO and founder of Tesla Motors, announced that his electric car company “will build a high-performance version of the Model S that will go zero to 60 (mph) in 4.5 seconds. That’s faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera.”

The crowd, naturally, went wild. Hundreds of deposit-paying customers had already taken quick rides around the parking lot at speeds over 70 mph when Musk drove a red pre-production Tesla Model S show car — albeit somewhat less quickly — up the ramp and onto a stage inside Tesla’s U.S. factory (formerly known as NUMMI, the facility Tesla purchased from Toyota just last year and revamped for a fraction of what a new car factory normally costs to build). Production versions of the Model S will start rolling out of here in mid-2012.

“The oil companies said electric cars can’t work, but the truth is, they don’t want them to work,” Musk said.

Tesla Model S - fastest electric car

Tesla Model S - fastest electric car

“But here it is,” he continued. “They would say this car is the equivalent of a unicorn. Well, tonight you had the opportunity to ride a unicorn.”

After driving the Model S onto the stage, Musk exited his seven-passenger sedan along with seven other occupants (and their luggage), three from decidedly unconventional spaces: two children climbed out of optional rear-facing bucket seats and through the rear hatch, and a surprising eighth guy popped out from beneath the hood carrying a backpack. Check out the video:

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