Radio Flyer’s kid-sized Tesla Model S redefines the term ‘early adopter’

Tesla has announced plans to launch a car that’s markedly smaller and much more affordable than the Model S. Developed jointly with Radio Flyer, the California-based automaker’s new entry-level model is a one-seater kiddy car.

Don’t let its size fool you; the pocket-sized S truly is the Tesla of the kiddy car segment. Developed for kids aged between three and eight, it boasts a lithium-ion battery that allows for quick charging times and a relatively long driving range. The S can be topped up either by opening a miniature version of the real car’s charging port flap, or by simply removing the battery from the trunk and plugging it into a charger. A full charge takes approximately three hours.

Radio Flyer has opted not to include a Ludicrous Mode, for better or worse, but adults can choose whether the car goes three or six miles per hour by flicking a hidden switch. Meanwhile, kids enjoy niceties such as working headlights, a horn, a three-spoke steering wheel, and a sound system. Radio Flyer even offers a custom-designed black car cover with a white Tesla emblem. And carrying gear is no issue because the kids’ S features a spacious “frunk,” just like the car it’s modeled after.

It rides on surprisingly accurate replicas of Tesla’s turbine alloy wheels, and the car is offered in three colors borrowed from the Tesla palette, including midnight silver metallic, deep blue metallic, and red multi-coat. The list of options includes a bigger battery pack — sound familiar, Tesla owners? — and a personalized license plate.

Radio Flyer has already started taking pre-orders for the scaled-down Tesla Model S, and the first deliveries will take place in May. Pricing starts at $499 but, unlike the life-sized S, the Radio Flyer isn’t eligible for federal tax credits.

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