Model S Test Drive
I took a quick drive over to Woodland Park Hotel today to finally try one of these out for myself. As soon as I pulled up outside, the pair of cars were instantly recognisable.
The size of the Model S is very similar to a BMW 5 series, and the inside, which felt opened up dramatically due to the lack of drive shaft and gearbox, gave a level of quality and finish that is rare to see in an American luxury car.
The few reservations I had about the vehicle were handled brilliantly by the sales team on site, for example, I had the idea that the rear-facing seats may have been a bit of an afterthought, thrown in to provide another tick on a list of features. This was proven incorrect once I was shown how the seats folded up in the space where the parcel shelf sat and out of a recess/foot-well that looked to provide ample leg room.
It's fair to say that this car goes. The only other comparable acceleration I've felt was in a Nissan GTR, but being propelled forward from any starting speed to 30 Mph faster within a second was just glorious. The traction control is pretty much required in this car.
The technology in this car is simply staggering, there is so much control over the dynamics and handling of the ride at your fingertips. One second it can be floating over the roads like a cloud of air, the next, every bump, twist and turn is fed back to you if you prefer a more aggressive driving style. I absolutely love the regenerative breaking for providing greater control over your speed in a similar way that engine breaking does.
I was almost tempted to put down a deposit on one.. almost
, if it wasn't for the fact that buying the 60 kWh variant without any extras was about all I could afford (The 85 kWh model is likely to offer a greater residual value due to increased range) and that the size of the vehicle felt slightly too large than I was comfortable with whilst navigating the lanes of Esher.
I will be more than a little envious of new owners once they start taking deliveries of the first right-hand drive model in the UK later this month.
The Model E is likely to be announced later this year once the Model X starts shipping, which will be 20% smaller than the Model S, with a reduced battery pack that provides up to a 200 miles range and a price range that is a lot more agreeable. It is extremely likely I will be putting my name down for reservation if it drives anything like the Model S on my test drive today.
There's no doubt left in my mind having now driven one of these cars that the future is going to be +Tesla Motors
inspired, if not shaped wholly during the next few years. There was very little I could fault with vehicle and the driving experience was immensely fun, even on this chilly and wet day.