As I’m writing this article it is the 18th of November, it’s around 4PM and I’m sitting on my bed, thinking how on Earth will I review the Tesla Model S, I had a chance to drive just last weekend. Just as I begin to think of a catchy, interesting title for my work the lights go out. The electricity in my house stopped working. What a shame. I won’t be able to write the article just yet… Instead of procrastinating I grab my phone and earphones and I decide to go for a walk, just a pointless walk which is not something I usually do on Friday evenings. My usual routine is to come home, get some school stuff done, do some work and procrastinate. Braking this “Friday routine” is something I haven’t done in a long time and this actually made me contemplate about the Tesla. To be exact, is and how the Tesla is able to break the routine?
We, the humans live in the time of uncertainty, todays new technology is outdated by the time you have dinner on the next day. We are not sure what tomorrow is going to look like and neither are we able to doubtlessly say how today is going to play out. The ability to predict the future is something we want to posses, yet are scared of what we are going to see, that’s why instead of looking forward I think we shall stop and think about how can I improve the place we are in right here and right now. Let’s not dive deep into my philosophical contemplations as I could probably write a separate article, or even a book in which I’d be able to express my views on many subjects.
I could probably count the amount of people who are able to change the way we think, we do stuff or how the world looks, on my fingers. That doesn’t mean there isn’t some that do… one that I’d especially like to look at is mr. Elon Musk. The man is on a mission, a mission to improve tomorrow by impacting today. Before Tesla announced the Model S we were almost certain that the future of electric cars and cars generally will end on the Prius or the Chevy Volt. Cars that were not only boring but also characterless. Being fun was probably the thing they didn’t want to be described as. It was the economy car for the masses. Mostly the eco-freaks and people who wanted to save up money they didn’t have to spend on fuel. This was a pretty dark vision for people like me and you, the people who are reading this article- car enthusiasts. We all know that one day we are going to run out of oil, it is a fact- a sad one- but a fan nonetheless. The future of cars is, you guessed it, uncertain. Different brands are testing out new, more or less exciting technologies to make cars run on alternate fuels. For now the biggest probabilities are electricity and or hydrogen. Till about 6 years ago it was a rather sad way to go for people who truly loved cars, no oil meant: no cool cars, no fast cars, no good sounding engines and no fun. Thanks goodness Tesla came to rescue us all.
Meeting the Model S
Tesla Model S is like that quiet kid in your school, who never brags, but when it comes to business, he is the guy to do it. He will do things you ask him to do, fully committed yet somehow his actions seem swift, even tireless. That’s how I felt while driving the Model S P85, it is always ready to pounce. It is full of energy and is not afraid to use it. It is incredible how easily the car is able to get to speed. Imagine cruising on a highway, steadily driving at around 50 mph and after pushing the acceleration pedal for around 5 seconds you’re suddenly doing 110mp. Driving it also is a piece of cake, but you need to be wary of the width of the car as it is around 2.2metres wide, which isn’t very comfortable in London, but you can get used to it. Alright let’s get a tad more specific with the cars attributes shall we?
The car I drove was a white Tesla Model S P85, it’s a 5 door electric car which has a form of an usual saloon. It had red brake callipers and a tiny, carbon fibre ducktail. Overall I need to admit that Tesla made an amazingly well designed car, the lines suit each other very well, the car looks futuristic but it doesn’t seem out of place while we compare it to its competitors. There are little details on the outside that makes the car stand out even more in my eyes. For example the handles will slide out of the car when you’re about 50cm away from it so you can comfortably enter it, without having to get your key from your pocket.
It is powered by an 85 kWh Battery which is able to get it from 0-60 mph in around 4.2 seconds, which is rather quick, but remember that if you go for a more expansive P100D option you’ll be able to hit 60mph in 2.4 seconds! What makes the car so fast accelerating is the instant, and extreme torque the car is able to produce thanks to its electric engine. Tesla I had a chance to drive was RWD and I do have to admit, it can be a handful if you want it to be so.
The car in question, had a beautifully specced interior. Dark leather seats, red stitching and a carbon fibre. As soon as you get in the car you will see the huge monitor sitting comfortably in the middle of the dashboard. It is slightly turned to the driver which makes it real easy to use. The display is bright, easily readable and very intuitive to use. You can basically control the whole car from it, which I find very convenient, thanks to it the cars dashboard isn’t filled with unnecessary buttons which would ruin the futuristic and clean look of the Model S.
What I didn’t suspect the Model S of having is an amazing practicality, you can basically fit anything you wish in it. Since it does have both the trunk and the “frunk” traveling in it is very easy. If I’d have to guess I would say you can fit maybe 4 people with their luggage and go for a 2 week vacation in the beautiful south of France. While we’re on the topic of travelling I shall also point out just how comfortable it is to travel in the Tesla. During the weekend I’ve done two decently big trips and the Tesla dealt with them perfectly. The seats were almost perfect, but if I had to point one little detail out it would have to be that the headrests aren’t adjustable. For many people this isn’t even a problem, but it would definitely add to the overall feel of the car. Also the audio system is on point, it can get seriously loud and you can also adjust the mids, highs and lows of the sound as well which is awesome! Of course you do that simply by adjusting it on the huge display…
For the final part of my little review I’d like to focus on the autonomous mode as well as the pros and cons of Tesla’s electric power plant. Let’s start of with the autonomous mode. Many people hate it, but many people love it, personally I’d associate myself with the second group. The technology that goes into making the car basically drive by itself is mind staggering. The car adjust your speed, distance to the car in front and keeps itself between the lines on the road. It also asks you to keep your hands on the steering wheel, but it is possible to take them off it for 2-3 minutes, after that time the car starts making all kinds of irritating sounds as it assumes you’re asleep. What also amazes me is that the car monitors everything that is going on around it, that way it can detect a potential incident and slow down before you even notice there’s another car on the road. Many people say that the autonomous kills the sense of owning a car, but personally I think it is an astounding addition to an already extraordinary car. It shows that Tesla truly wants to impact the way we commute and improve on the safety of our vehicles.
Okey now I want to touch on the subject of pros and cons of electric vehicles. Let’s start with the range, as we all know EV aren’t able to reach such distances as their petrol powered counterparts. I’ve got around 240 miles out of the Model S which certainly isn’t a bad result. What really helps are the Supercharging points you’ll find all across the world. In 20 minutes you can charge up to 50% of your battery! In about an hour you have a fully charged Tesla ready to get back on the road. Of course it takes much longer than refuelling your car, but it’s a very big step forward, especially considering that if you have bought or will buy a Tesla before the end of 2016 you can supercharge it for free! As you can clearly see the range is not really a very big problem, unless you want to travel across Europe or the United States- even then you’d be able to charge your vehicle for free.
Moving on from a con that wasn’t really a con in the end I want to give a big plus to the performance of the vehicle. The instant torque was absolutely mind blowing, it almost leaves your spine in the seat. Also the agility of the car is quite surprising considering the massive dimensions of it. It weighs over 2 tons, it is 2.2 metres wide and almost 5 metres long! You wouldn’t think that a car like this is able to handle as good as the Tesla does, oh and if you want too you can actually spin the wheels, which car enthusiasts will definitely enjoy.
The sound, specifically the lack of it. This is an unavoidable matter when it comes to EV. It doesn’t make any sounds, there’s no deep roar, no turbo spool, absolutely nothing. For us, car enthusiasts this is definitely a point which matters, but for other people a car making no sound is almost like a blessing.For them being able to travel with little to no noise is very comfortable and not tiring which I guess is good. There are two ways to look at the lack of engine growl, it’s bad because it definitely takes away from the character that Tesla tries to remain, but it’s also good because it makes traveling much more quiet and enables to you blast your favourite tunes and not be worried about them being attenuated by engine noises. Personally I do miss being able to hear the car, but I can see the pros in that as well.
In conclusion after a weekend with the Tesla Model S P85D I’m completely sold on it. It’s beautiful, modern, fun, fast and very comfortable. The car’s instant torque and acceleration is something absolutely remarkable. The practicality of a minivan makes it very pleasant to travel in and it has a technological advantage over almost any car on the market currently. It also is stupidly safe which I can appreciate. Does it have cons? Yes it does, it has a few- most noticeably the lack of any engine sound. Does it really matter that much when reviewing the car? Quite frankly no, no it doesn’t. I’ve gone in this car expecting a lot from it, I’ve heard only great things about this particular vehicle and to be honest it has exceeded every single expectation I had. To be completely honest with you, readers this is probably one of the best car ever made and definitely one of the cars I’d love to own one day. Preferably sooner than later.
So what do you think about EV’s, would you ever own one? What do you think of Tesla’s, are you also loving them or do you find them characterless? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments!