Earlier this week, Tesla announced the final pricing and options on its Model S sedan, which will hit the US market next summer. Unlike Tesla's first vehicle - the Roadster, the Model S is a practical family car that seats five or seven. It's also about half the price of the sporty, performance-oriented Roadster.

The Tesla's starting price remains the same as announced earlier this year: US$49,900. That price is after a $7,500 US federal tax credit, as are all the prices listed below.

The entry level Model S comes with a 40 kWh battery pack that provides up to 160 miles (257 km) of range. It also comes standard with a 17-inch touchscreen display, Universal Mobile Connector with three adapters and 19-inch wheels.

The base Model S will also be available with a 60 kWh battery that provides up to 230 miles (370 km) of range for $59,900 and an 85 kWh battery with 300 miles (483 km) of range for $69,900.

The Model S Performance edition will start at $79,900. That model comes equipped with the 85 kWh battery as well as an upgraded standard equipment package that includes high-performance drive inverter, exterior carbon fiber accents, Nappa leather interior, performance wheels and tires, sport-tuned traction control, and active air suspension. The Model S Performance hits 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, an increase of 1.1 seconds over the base Model S equipped with the 85 kWh battery.

The first 1,000 Model S variants to hit the market will be the limited edition Signature Series. The $87,900 Model S Signature is basically an upgraded version of the 85 kWh standard Model S. It features a Nappa perforated leather interior and unique color options but shares its performance specs with the base Model S. The $97,900 Model S Signature Performance has the Model S Performance's upgraded equipment and the Signature Series color options. The Signature models also come with other upgrades like a Tech Package and Sound Studio Package.

Tesla will begin production on the Signature models in the summer. In the fall, it will begin production on the 60 kWh Model S, with the 40 kWh version to follow by winter 2012. It does not have pricing information for markets outside the United States but will announce those prices closer to market launch dates.

While much attention has been paid to the Model S' combination of style, luxury and performance (and for good reason), an equally compelling story is the car's practicality. The car costs less than half the starting price of the Roadster, offers the option of seating for seven and provides up to 300 miles of range. Three hundred miles is unheard of throughout the rest of the mainstream EV market, and other EVs like the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric get about a third of that.

You can find more information about specs and options at Tesla's newly launched Model S webpage.

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