Tesla’s $135,000 Model

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Among the media coverage of the new, low-priced Model S 60D, and a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warning about Tesla Motors Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) disclose agreements, the company continues to quietly sell the most expensive electric car in the world, the P90D supercar, which has not gotten much attention since it was launched in December 2015. The high-end Tesla model costs $135,000.

Recently, Tesla has decided to go down market with cheaper cars. The Model 3, priced as low as $35,000, has been ordered by nearly 400,000 people, who are so excited they may wait many months before they get their cars. Tesla has also launched the Model X crossover.

The P90D is at the top of the Model S line. It has a set of features well beyond its cheaper versions. The P90D has a range of 270 miles. It has a 90 kWh engine. In what Tesla calls it “ludicrous” mode, it goes from 0 to 60 MPH in 2.6 seconds, a figure nearly unmatched by any other car available to the public.

The P90D has been compared to the Mercedes 650 HP E63 Bi Turbo AMG, which has a base price of $102,625. It has beaten the Tesla in some races. Among other comparisons, there are the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, BMW M5, Mercedes S65 and Jaguar XJR. All but the Hellcat, which has a 705 HP engine, are luxury cars.

The car the most often compared to the P90D is the BMW i8. It carries a price of $141,695. What BMW does not promote is that it is really not an electric car:

As a plug-in hybrid, the BMW i8 combines an electric motor with a combustion engine for unparalleled power and performance. Launching from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, this vehicle is as efficient as it is dynamic.

The all-electric motor is situated on the front axle, while the TwinPower Turbo 3-cylinder engine drives the rear axle. When combined, these two elements deliver an innovative all-wheel drive sports car with a total system output of 357 horsepower, 420 lb-ft of torque as well as an added electrical boost inherent to eDrive vehicles.

A car close enough to electric, but hardly one that can claim the honor.

The P90D has been lost in the fog of all the other Tesla models, a supercar barely noticed.

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Correction:  The battery is what is rated at 90 kWh (or 90 kilowatt x hour), not the engine.There are two engines in the P90D, rated at 503 hp rear and 259 hp front.