I recently had the opportunity to attend a Tesla Model S driving event. Tesla holds no pressure sales events across the country at their stores to allow guests and potential buyers to test drive and get a feel for their cars.
Styling wise Tesla has done a great job at making this electric car attractive. One look at the Model S you see it looks luxurious and sporty. Tesla did a great job in making this electric car not looks like an econobox like the Nissan Leaf. As with any electric car the Tesla is very technologically advanced, from its battery packs to its interior fit and finish. The Tesla is a rear wheel drive car powered by 60 kWh microprocessor controlled, lithium-ion batteries.
Once you approach the car with keys in the pocket the door handles automatically come out, open the door and you are welcomed into the cockpit. Once inside the car you can’t but help notice the giant tablet like screen. This touchscreen controls much of the functions on the car, from the air conditioning, radio, moonroof, hood and trunk release. However, also on this touchscreen you can adjust the car’s steering, handling, and ride height. During the test drive I was able to try out these functions, with a touch on the screen you can make the car ride more comfortable or more sportier. As for steering you can change it to make it tighter and looser, which ever you want in a day, whether it be normal driving or sporty driving. The shifter looks familiar because its from the Mercedes E-Class parts bin. The comfortable plush leather seats and quality soft touch dash give this car the feeling that rivals many other luxury brands. The backseat is roomy and the floor is flat due to the way Tesla strategically placing the battery packs underneath. The rear seats to have split 60/40 for those who may need to carry large cargo. However, optional on the Model S and a rarity on new cars is the rear jump seats. These seats allow an extra two passengers to sit in the car (5 passengers + 2 extra passengers), but its more for children rather than adults. Even with that, the Tesla has ample cargo room not just in the rear, but also up front. The hood opens not to an engine, but extra trunk space or what Tesla likes to call it a “frunk.” Here you enough space to put weekend getaway bags.
One the road driving the Model S has no engine noise only road noise. The test drive did allow me to test acceleration, braking, and handling. The model I drove was the P85+ which offers greater performance, handling, and range than the 60s and P85s. Acceleration wise the Tesla is fast off the line due to all the power being available front the get go. Handling is a dream and rivals that of BMWs. However, you can adjust the driving dynamics of the car anytime if you do not want it to be sporty.
The Model S is quite possibly the best car I’ve driven and I’ve driven many types of cars from many different brands. This car will make you rethink the electric car.
Tesla is still holding driving events across the country at their stores. The Tesla website has a list of current locations holding the driving events: http://www.teslamotors.com/events