NEWPORT BEACH — Along with the new car smell, the latest addition to Fashion Island has the paint-still-drying fragrance of a brand new store.
FOR THE RECORD: The Nov. 17 article “Tesla Motors opens its doors” stated that 6,500 Tesla Roadsters were available. There are actually 6,500 orders for the Tesla Model S.
Friday will mark the first day for Tesla Motor's 11th U.S. location at Newport Beach, coinciding with the mall's Christmas tree lighting.
The store's launch is part of Tesla's larger effort to expand into high traffic areas, like malls, emphasizing education about the Tesla technology, according to Khobi Brooklyn, who heads communications for the company.
The new store comes with two areas where visitors can customize cars using touch screen technology and select from nine different colors — including sierra black and anza brown — three different roof selections and wheels before sliding the customized concept car to a large flat screen in the center of the store.
On the sparse showroom floor sits a skeleton of the Tesla's newest release, Model S, due out in June. A flat battery runs along the floor of the car, creating a low center of gravity and optimizing handling, Brooklyn said.
The newest addition to Tesla's family of two will come with a baseline price tag of about $50,000 (after a federal tax credit), and comes with three battery options: a 160-, 230- and 300-mile range. Batteries are about $10,000 per upgrade. The car comes with adapters for any conventional outlet.
"We're creating a different driving experience," Brooklyn said.
Those interested in the Tesla's original model, the Roadster, can buy one at the Newport Beach location, although 6,500 remain available worldwide.