Driving the new Tesla Model S out of its factory in Fremont, California, you pass the empty glass and steel husk of neighboring Solyndra Corp., another Silicon Valley technology venture that was propelled by optimism and bountiful government loans.payday loans Solyndra made solar panels, but it broke apart on the rocks of business reality, and its politicized bankruptcy has been a daunting daily reminder to Tesla’s 1700 employees of the consequences of  failure.

However, there are reasons for at least temporary optimism for Tesla. We only got 10 minutes in the car so we couldn’t test its range, but here’s what we can report: Our few miles in the Model S revealed a vehicle that would meet a BMW owner’s definition of a sports sedan.

The 362-hp Signature model we drove, priced at $96,570 before a $7500 federal tax rebate, strained its leash with its prodigious electric muscles and flat-tracked through 80-mph sweepers directed by fast steering with piano-wire tension to the wheels. It pounced from an on-ramp like the jaguar on the hood of the Jaguars it resembles, hitting 100 mph with a whisper of electromotive acceleration.payday loans Tesla says the hottest model, the Signature Performance ($106,570), which has the largest available battery and produces the most torque, will hit 60 mph in the mid-fours.payday loans At this point, we don’t doubt it.

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