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Spy Shots—Tesla Model S Aims for 300 Miles Per Charge

Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is having a long road to production, but the team of photographers at Brenda Priddy & Co. bring us some signs of progress in the form of a production-intent, Model S prototype spied in Michigan on its way to a test facility.

Compared to the Tesla Model S concept the team saw back in 2009, the production model has several differences. In front, the main grille opening has been almost totally closed off, likely in favor of aerodynamics, according to Brenda Priddy & Co., and the lower grille openings have been redesigned and a pair of intakes have been added at either corner of the bumper. The headlights also appear to be modestly toned down from the concept and there are production-ready side mirrors.

At the rear, clear-lens taillights and some moderate changes to the lower fascia are visible.

Due to start production in the middle of 2012, the Tesla Model S will draw its power solely from a lithium-ion battery pack, according to Priddy's team, and they expect a few different trims of the Model S with varying ranges. While the lower-end model should be able to travel about 150 miles, the more expensive car should have a range closer to 300 miles.

Priddy says to watch for the official debut at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show or the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

Tesla Model S

Photo Credit: Chris Doane/Brenda Priddy & Company