By on August 25, 2014

Tesla Model S P85 black It’s difficult for any test drive of a Tesla Model S to result in a review that doesn’t become an analysis of the company’s business model, an attempt to justify the cost of the car because of the fuel savings, or a simulated comparison test with a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

But what if the Tesla was just a car made by any other conventional automaker? What if we stopped thinking of its electric propulsion system as a sacrifice, or ignored its unique means of generating thrust? And what if we recognized that, because of the company’s desire to operate unconventionally and because it’s plugged in and not fuelled up, no such comparison test can be validated?

My friend, who we’ll call Rob, recently acquired this black Model S P85. He isn’t a wealthy environmentalist; he is a true gearhead. Last time I saw him, he was driving a previous-gen Nissan Pathfinder, having shuffled through various performance cars before discovering married life with children. He wasn’t cross-shopping the Model S with an S-Class or a Porsche Panamera or a Jaguar XJ or really anything at all. He wanted this car, and not just with a little bit of desire.

Thankfully, he also wanted me to drive it.

2013 Tesla Model S Summerside LighthouseBefore even acquiring the all-electric Tesla, Rob had a few advantages not available to residents of, oh, I don’t know, Rawlins, Wyoming. Rob lives in Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, a bona fide shrinking sandbar in the Northumberland Strait. Rob could drive his Model S tip to tip, North Cape to East Point, and still have enough range to get back to his home in the western part of the island outside the small city of Summerside. And yes, Summerside is absolutely littered with electric car chargers. There are eight within a three-mile drive of Rob’s business, in part because of the government’s attempts to show what all of their wind turbines can do. None of the chargers are in use as I write this.

So Rob’s range, especially if he decides not to cross the Confederation Bridge to the mainland, is as much (if not more) limited by the size of his island as it is the capacity of his Tesla’s battery.

Not that the top of the line Model S is particularly range-limited, but once range anxiety is removed from the equation, a Tesla owner is simply left with the benefits of low energy costs and always available torque. After a brief tutorial from Rob – the car is on because you got in it, align your personal settings at the top of the screen where it says Rob, open the glass roof by virtually sliding it open here, check Tesla’s share price via the free-for-life web browser – he encouraged me to suspend the speech of my passengers with firm prods of the accelerator, such is the capability of all that right now torque.

2013 Tesla Model S Freetown PEIRob headed back into work; I left Summerside for greener pastures and emptier roads. Veering away from an awkwardly-designed roundabout between Summerside and Kensington with the right pedal set to loud and the Model S not really leaning at all through a fast, getting faster, really fast, almost too fast right-hand sweeper, my mother-in-law was in fact silenced. My father-in-law, who’s ongoing root canal left him half-high on Tylenol 3, may have clenched his teeth tight enough to need an extra visit to the dentist. These folks are used to passenger rides in fast cars, and I’m accustomed to driving them.

But electric torque is different.

The twin-turbocharged Cadillac CTS V Sport reviewed here recently weighs less than the Tesla and produces similar power. Yet no matter what we say about the removal of turbo lag in modern cars, and indeed no matter how we laud the best naturally-aspirated V8s for their instantaneous throttle response, they just don’t feel like this. They may also not lose three miles of range over the span of a 650-yard acceleration run.

Up to cruising altitude, Tesla has effectively hushed the aggressive 21-inch 245/35ZR Michelin Pilot Sports. Wind noise, particularly around the driver’s side A-pillar, is another matter. It’s likely that a conventional car may overwhelm that swshh with a vibrating V8; the Tesla has no such powerplant to drown out the sound of the wind. Nevertheless, the future of silent propulsion will necessitate an even greater focus on noise and harshness, if not vibration, of which there is none.

2013 Tesla Model S P85 InteriorThe P85’s straight-line performance (416 horsepower, 443 lb-ft of torque, quarter mile in the low 12s) doesn’t stop impressing, especially on an island full of two-lane roads with tourists who need overtaking, but in daily driving I have to believe that the car’s balance and rough-road composure will provide greater satisfaction. 48/52 weight distribution, particularly when that weight is settled way down low with a centre of gravity of just 17.5 inches, makes for the kind of tossable handling you’d never expect to find in a car that weighs around 4700 pounds. Ride quality is certainly no worse than what you’d expect in a five-passenger car that costs this much, perhaps better given its roadholding skills.

The Tesla’s accurate and realistic steering is best left in the Standard setting, as Sport’s hefty weight is better left reserved for twisty-road hustling and Comfort is unnecessarily light, though not unusable. If there is one dynamic complaint, it’s a small one concerning the car’s knack for remaining on an even keel, as there’s not much to signal that the Tesla’s high limits are approaching. A small measure of body roll would be enough for the chassis to effectively communicate its current status.

There are certainly no complaints with the brakes, which I hardly ever used. Somewhat more normal braking with less regen is available by way of a simple settings change, but leaving the brakes in Tesla’s standard mode, and thus backing off the throttle, is distinctly more pleasant in town. It also provides a more performance-like sensation when the car’s being driven with gusto.

2013 Tesla Model S Cargo areasInside, the Tesla Model S is vast. Rob’s car didn’t have the optional third row, so the cargo area (26.3 cubic feet) appeared all the more expansive. Don’t forget, there’s another 5.3 cubic feet of space under the front hood, space which Rob uses as a change table for his toddler. Rear seat leg room is plentiful, but the floor does feel much too high back there. Up front, I found the driver’s seat needs more side bolstering, but the seat is hugely adjustable and sufficiently lengthy for those of us who are long of thigh. The large minivan-like area between the front seats is more than a little useful but some extra dividing options wouldn’t go amiss. I was no fan of the Model S’s spindly cruise control lever, and the seatbelt buckles are far from premium in a car which emphasizes high end materials, as exemplified by the Alcantara headliner.

The interior, however, centres around the vertically-mounted 17-inch screen. I found myself grateful for the simplicity of the controls. After all, I wasn’t going to have a week with Rob’s Tesla as I typically do with manufacturer-supplied press cars. The ease with which I shuffled between menus, read TTAC readers’ disagreeing comments on last Friday’s Impala story, and operated the always-visible climate controls speaks to the lack of complexity in the system. Yet I was more fond of the speed with which the screen operated. All too often, current vehicle-installed infotainment systems possess none of a modern computer’s speed. The Tesla’s device never required a wait. The big screen’s one letdown? Rob told me a system reset would be required if we left the browser for an extended period on any page other than Tesla’s own website, as other websites tend to cause the screen to freeze.

2013 Tesla Model S P85 Fishing boatSpeaking of freezing, Tesla’s fortunately going to take care of Rob’s leaking cargo area before winter temperatures set in by flying in a technician to solve the problem. This is symptomatic of Rob’s overall service experience. I asked him whether he put up with the car’s (admittedly few) faults just because he loves the car so much, noting that a flooded trunk in a new Honda Civic would have consumers up in arms. “No,” he said, “it’s the service experience.” If problems are resolved this efficiently, the problems which should seem substantial become trivial, even forgotten.

Priced from $95,000 and fully-optioned at $130,000, the Tesla Model S P85 is not the electric car for the masses. Tesla’s upcoming crossover won’t be either. Yet if Tesla can continue to prioritize performance and market the best-looking cars, they’ll be special devices at any price point and in any category.

To a certain extent, the Model S transcends “car” to function in a broader consumer marketplace as the next best thing. After an extended test drive in Rob’s Model S, I’d argue that the Model S transcends “car” because it’s better than other cars, regardless of its place in popular culture alongside advancements like the iPhone, Google Streetview, and gourmet burgers.

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67 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2013 Tesla Model S P85 Performance...”


  • avatar
    PriusV16

    Man, this car looks so drop-dead gorgeous.

    I want one, range anxiety be damned.

    Even if this thing left me stranded, I could still stand there and stare at it.

    I think I would actually choose this thing over a new Ferrari V12 or a Lamborghini.

    • 0 avatar

      I think I would too. I might not choose it over a clean manual-transmission Murcielago or 550M, but I’d choose it over any other Lamborghini or Ferrari made since 2002 or so.

    • 0 avatar
      Da Coyote

      There is a Tesla store in the Park Meadows shopping center in Denver.

      There’s a red S Type there that stops hearts.

      I still do not think that electrics are good enough for general use yet, and even if they were, our ham-fisted neglect of our power network insures that we’d not be able to support any measurable infusion of electric cars.

      But, dammit, I love that thing!!

    • 0 avatar
      jdogma

      This “range anxiety”, is a term meant to belittle somebody who is concerned that the car will not suit their needs because of its limited range. The way I drive, if I drove for 2 hours away from home, only a tow truck would get it back. I could not make it to the beach. I could not take it to visit family in Florida. It would not make it to the mountains and back. The car is range limited. Yes, the Tesla S is tripophobic.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        In my hooniverse, trips of < 300 miles are for motorbikes. Which renders the Tesla a bit moot. My brother in law has one, and it is a pretty darned awesome car, although in my opinion more impressive than particularly entertaining.

      • 0 avatar

        You don’t say where you live, but what about a supercharger and a bite to eat on the way?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        The way _I_ drive, I would probably make it to the beach and back over YOUR route with charge left over. I just drive 871 miles in an ’08 Jeep JKU Wrangler and averaged 22.8 mpg–an economy that is supposedly impossible for the older JKU.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      They look much better with tints, no matter what color the exterior is. I don’t get why people drive them around not tinted.

  • avatar

    Ongoing quality issues aside, they did such a nice job on the Model S. I would get a loaded P85 in a heartbeat…if it weren’t just about exactly twice the price of a Hellcat. Next time, maybe.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Here’s my new business idea, free for the taking:

    Buy a nice diesel flatbed truck, maybe a RAM or one of those Isuzu cabovers.

    Mount a 3Kva genset on the flatbed, either diesel-powered or driven by a PTO.

    Use the genset to power a Tesla SmartCharger, and be the “AAA brings you gas when you run out” of the EV world.

    Profit!

    • 0 avatar

      Good idea, probably a little premature — but in an area like Silicon Valley or metrowest Boston where there are already a lot of Teslas, it might have some merit. Will the Tesla SmartCharger work with something like a Nissan Leaf? (If not, carry one that will.)

      • 0 avatar

        We do have a lot of Teslas in metrowest Boston. I see them frequently. Of course, it helps that the Tesla is a distinctive looking car in a world where most cars look less different from each other than different types of sparrows do.

        I really like the approach this review took. I now have a much better feel for what this car is like.

        I will say, though, that while Rob can easily get all over PEI and back, and even over to Halifax, Nova Scotia, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be able to travel out of the Maritimes in this car, although I suppose if Portland Maine ever gets a charger, he could drive to Yarmouth, NS and take the ferry. But PEI does sound lovely.

    • 0 avatar

      Unfortunately, I think the amount of power needed and time to charge is way too long for that to work.

      Nice try, though.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Great review. I know know much more about the car its self. Thank you for not bleating on about range and empty comparisons.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Just want to point out that here we have a good looking expensive luxury hatchback.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I wish they would hire some interior design folks from other luxury automakers. The interior may be functional, but it’s not pretty, and there are obvious signs of cost-cutting. It would be fantastic on a $40,000 near-luxury sedan but at $100,000 it’s just not good enough.

    The exterior is sure purty, though, and the electric driving experience can’t be beat.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Sitting in the car, those were my impressions too. The lack of features available in cars that cost significantly less was apparent as well.

      It’s attractive looking and is apparently is a hoot to drive, but aside from the novelty of the drivetrain, that’s where the advantages end for me.

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      Why hire designers when you can just put a huge, nonadjustable iPad in the middle of the dash? If your customers can browse the internet at stop lights, the fit and finish doesn’t matter anymore!

      I have to wonder how much the cloudy skies in all of the pictures helped alleviate the glare issues with the touchscreen.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        I now you intended it to be sarcastic, but honestly, why not just mount an iPad in the dash? With a 4U rack behind it…. Wish other makes would provide similar flexibility for updating rapidly changing tech…

        Car makers should build cars. Even Elon is too old to keep up to date with tech features anymore.

  • avatar

    I was in Iceland two weeks ago and walking by the Spanish Embassy in Reykjavik I saw a charging station with two cars plugged in: a Nissan Leaf and a Tesla S. In a country with cheap electrical power (thermal springs) and no fossil fuels it would probably makes sense to have EVs but there are a disproportionate number of SUVs in the country since the backroads are gravel or only semi-existant. Still, it was impressive to see a Tesla pioneer there!

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      And on Iceland, you really are more limited by geography than battery as far as range goes….. Ain’t no bridge from there to anywhere (Hmm, I’m gonna try working that line into a country song…. Please shoot me down if I’m plagiarizing..)

  • avatar
    dwford

    Tesla points out the proper way to advance tech: Design an amazing machine that is desirable to the early adopters that can afford it. Why the electric auto industry has taken to the heavily subsidized glorified golf cart model is beyond me. Tech trickles down. it always has.

    Every automaker should be following Tesla’s model. They’d be losing less money and the government wouldn’t be wasting so much on handouts. And yes, those handouts should be income dependent.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Why the electric auto industry has taken to the heavily subsidized glorified golf cart model is beyond me”

      Because Tesla’s approach loses money and is bad for battery life.

      Tesla adds a very large battery, permits its users to overcharge it, and then allows them again to deeply discharge it. That improves the range, but makes the battery more costly and less durable.

      With a few years of its release, 19% of Tesla roadsters have had their battery packs at least partially replaced. If Toyota had a car with a 19% component failure rate, you’d never hear the end of it (and neither would they, as sales started to fall.)

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        >> Tesla adds a very large battery, permits its users to overcharge it,

        Keep it in standard mode and it isn’t a problem.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          That misses the point.

          Other automakers have reasons for not doing that — they care about reliability and their overall reputations as automakers. They don’t want a low-volume EV to hurt their brands.

          Tesla has other reasons for doing what it does — because it wants to get its customers to believe that it has solved the range problem and play its shareholders. Very different motivations.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Nissan allows 100% charging for L2. However, L3 supercharging is limited to 80% and the battery temperature has to be within a certain range.

            BTW, will running an ICE based car at 100% speed reduce the engine life? They allow it, so if take a car to the desert and manage to keep the thing at maximum speed, everything will be just fine? The manufacturers allow it.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “BTW, will running an ICE based car at 100% speed reduce the engine life?”

            Not a good analogy. The range can be improved significantly by allowing deep discharging and topping up, and that’s an everyday problem.

            Tesla is gaming the numbers. Even Toyota using a Tesla drivetrain gets very ordinary range numbers out of its RAV4 EV. Funny how Tesla’s numbers start looking like everyone else’s when a conventional automaker dictates the specs.

          • 0 avatar
            ellomdian

            “BTW, will running an ICE based car at 100% speed reduce the engine life?”

            Depends entirely on the design of the ICE – most industrial and heavy-duty Marine applications are designed for either 0% or 100%, and do not like being ‘throttled down’ during operation.

            Hell, I would posit that most large Diesels prefer to be at a constant load, since designing thermal management, stress, and even efficiency is easier when you are not changing parameters like throttle input and load.

            The problem with batteries in general is you have 3 numbers – charge capacity, total capacity, and discharge capacity, and you have to design your solution with all 3 in mind. The direct parallel in an ICE design is the fuel tank, and it’s not hard to make a larger filler neck, or a smaller pump :p

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            >> @PCH101 Tesla is gaming the numbers. Even Toyota using a Tesla drivetrain gets very ordinary range numbers out of its RAV4 EV

            Why would you expect to get the same numbers out of a RAV 4 EV? It’s pushing a bit more air than then Model S and the battery is about half the size. By the way, you do know that Toyota allows the 100% charging as well (source P58 of the RAV4 EV manual).

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The RAV4 EV battery pack is close in size to the planned 40 kwh Model S that was discontinued.

            The RAV4 is rated for about 100 miles instead of the 140 miles of that version of the Model S. And the RAV4 is a lighter vehicle, which should give it more range.

            Every automaker know that topping up and draining provides more range, but that doing so comes at a price. Tesla is playing on the segment of the public that believes that technological improvements are being withheld from them on purpose, when Tesla hasn’t done anything to change the fundamental nature of how a battery functions.

      • 0 avatar

        Of course, people who can afford the Tesla in the first place can probably afford the partial replacement, and Tesla probably takes care of it quite quickly. Nonetheless, this shows that the technology is even less ready for prime time than I previously thought.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        “Because Tesla’s approach loses money and is bad for battery life.”

        [Citation Needed]

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Tesla just posted another quarterly loss. You should already know that if you claim to follow the financial performance of the company.

          As for the nature of batteries, that’s just Battery 101. Topping up and deep discharging reduces battery life. The reliability of the Prius comes from the battery management system limiting both, but that results in more fuel being burned (for obvious reasons.) There’s no free lunch.

          Plug-In America performed the study of the Tesla roadster batteries. You can find it easily enough if you look for it.

          • 0 avatar
            RogerB34

            Most Prius use NIMH batteries. CR tested a 10 year old Prius and found no significant performance degradation. The newer Prius and the RAV4 use lithium ion batteries. Better battery performance and with degradation issues.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Topping up and deep discharging reduces battery life”
            You’ve got that backwards, Pch. You get the BEST battery life with topping off and deep discharge; so-called ‘short-charging’ is what kills laptop batteries and leaving them plugged in full time kills them even faster. Tesla effectively uses laptop batteries to power their cars.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m pretty sure the glorified golf carts also lose a ton of money, since they cost a fortune to build, and nobody wants them.

        Tesla has learned a lot about manufacturing and batteries since the Roadster. I’ll bet the first cars made by Ford or GM had their flaws, too.

        D

  • avatar
    rolosrevenge

    So the ‘P’ in P85 stands for Performance. Your title is therefore redundant. Great article though.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    Nice write and impressive car.
    Current Popular Mechanics has a science article How To Make Battery Power More Powerful. A dry lithium ion battery is in the T&E stage that shows promise of a significant increase in energy density with low fire risk.
    If true, the electric auto is here.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      There are several examples of oh-so-close battery innovations.

      I do believe some will work out and will make a big difference in how we drive, use the electric grid, power our homes, etc. I believe the problems with EVs will be solved and that eventually, batteries/capacitors will become the replacement for ICEs in city applications.

      However, I’m not counting those chickens yet. Many technologies look great, but they just don’t pan out. I will continue to only count on incremental improvements in battery capability and price. Even with only incremental improvements, batteries aren’t far from being superior to ICEs in certain situations.

  • avatar
    ChiefPontiaxe

    I love this car, but “flying in a technician to solve the problem” makes me wonder how they’re going to scale up their production.

    • 0 avatar
      akatsuki

      They are essentially trying to act like a software company. They fly the technician out – solve the problem – owner is happy.

      They then go to production and immediately fix the problem and cars start rolling out with the fix. No model year nonsense and waiting for redesigns (or hoping nobody notices for a decade a la Porsche with IMS or BMW with HPFP).

      Any previous cars that have the problem are also fixed with no fuss. Nobody minds since the service level is very high.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        It would be quite an undertaking for Microsoft to fly a guy out to install a fix on every Windows desktop when it had problems……The whole point of software, is to not have to fly anyone anywhere.

        In Tesla’s case, it’s probably more accurate to say the cost of the hotel and airplane ticket comes out of the marketing and advertising budget. Access to cheap, easy, plenty money allows for that, in the early stages of a well funded startup. Tesla’s using their war chest to get around the catch 22 of too few cars to warrant the kind of permanent repair infrastructure that buyers may have waited for before they bought otherwise. While boosting their reputation for customer service in the process.

        As the original poster noted, It’s an approach that doesn’t really scale, though. There’s a reason why not every single problem with a Chevy results in someone flying out from Detroit to fix it.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      The same as I suspect anyone who bought a conventional premium car on PEI would have to do – get it trucked to Halifax.

  • avatar
    marmot

    I think the owner is minimizing his feelings about the leaking trunk. I would be biting nails. The car will never be the same unless Tesla replaces all the parts that were soaked. The idea that a $100,000 car would leak is really outrageous.

  • avatar
    marmot

    They have been building the Model S for quite a while, yet their manufacturing processes are so loose they will allow a fault like this? And they don’t test them before delivery with a high pressure shower? Crazy!

  • avatar
    danio3834

    “Rear seat leg room is plentiful, but the floor does feel much too high back there.”

    This is exactly what I noticed when sitting in the back of the S. My knees felt too close to my chest. Long legged folks would probably feel more comfortable sitting cross-legged.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I did not find the back seat of the Model S to be comfortable, and in fact, it did not feel like a large car at all back there.

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        You are correct, it is not, despite the Tesla lovers desperate attempt to compare this car to a 7 series, S-Class and A8 tho justify its high price, this car inside is 5 series sized with Honda Accord fit and finish.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          It may have the Size of a 5, but the _Prestige_ of a 7….. And that, my dear Venom, is what matters…

          Also, anyone who justifies their 100K car based on physical size, really ought to come look, in awe, at my Promaster….

          • 0 avatar
            VenomV12

            I don’t think it has the prestige of the top cars at all maybe to a few. I have zero interest in getting out of my S-Class for it and my father hated it, he loves his A8 and doesn’t even think the S-Class is as good as his car.

            Trust me, pull up where it matters in a new S, especially an AMG or 600 and the Tesla is getting booted to the back of the lot. Once the novelty of the Tesla wears off and people realize they paid S-Class money for a VW Passat level car, one that looks like all the others around it, they will return to buying the top tier prestige cars again. I mean for Christ’s sake the new Hyundai Genesis has more features than the Tesla and better fit and finish.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    The service is great because it is a new company trying to survive with very little cars on the road and also because you paid $100,000 plus for a $60,000 car. Your “free” supercharging requires you to purchase $3,000 to $5,000 of stuff to make it work and you are severely range limited in where you can go and what you can do in this car. In a normal car if you hit a detour or large traffic jam, or decide you want to deviate from your route and go explore a bit before you get back to it, no big deal, any gas station will fix you right up and in a few minutes.

    Until the issues are fixed, to me a car like a Tesla only makes sense as a cheap runabout around town and in that sense a Leaf makes much more sense. BFD about the front and rear trunks, I can buy a loaded Lexus RX450 which will swallow up just just as much stuff and be more useful because it can carry taller items for $50K plus. Numerous other vehicles fit this criteria also. I’d rather buy a 2-3 year old Jaguar XJ, a 2 year old Lexus RX and a Leaf before I bought a Tesla to be honest.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I don’t know….

      Out of all classes of cars, the big S,7,LS sized ones are probably the ones most often used for bopping around cities. They’re “Town Cars” for a reason, after all. And large “towns” are where people have the money to buy them. What matters is that they are large enough, but beyond that, they need to have an aura of prestige. In many professions, you can’t reasonably pick up clients or partners in an “econobox.” But a 100K electric with nominal performance up there with the established luxo brands is a-ok.

      Never mind noone ever using a quarter of the performance; neither do they in the S550. And even though the S class et al are fantastic road trip cars, the kind of people who buy them, don’t much go on road trips. And if they do, they take the SUV anyway.

      So 90% of these magnificently engineered and performant long distance cars, live lives that could be just as well served by an expensive, high end electric like the Tesla.

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        I own an S-Class, the Tesla is nowhere close to being on par with it. The average S-Class owner is a physician, attorney or business professional that drives to work on his own, not someone being chauffeured around, I have no idea why this fantasy continues to live on? My next door neighbor is the #2 guy at a Top 50 Fortune 500 company, he drives his S8 to work everyday, all by himself, he even cuts his own grass, there are no legions of servants trimming his grass with scissors.

        I drive my S-Class on long road trips all the time, that’s why I bought it, that is what it excels at beautifully.

        i am curious where people like you come up with these facts and stories, is it just fantasy about how you think people that drive these cars live?

        Why the hell exactly would I take the theoretical SUV instead of the S-Class anyway unless I was towing a boat or planning to go off-road now? I’m going on a road trip, not moving out of my house.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          You’re probably atypical. More like certainly atypical, simply for posting here.

          I have spent enough time working with C-levels,professionals and owners to have a fair idea of how they use their cars. Even in Cali, where people drive longer distances than in most places, the big sedans are rarely driven beyond the range of a Tesla. It’s airports, restaurants, meetings across town,……. And virtually never more than 100-200 miles per day. Idling up and down Silicon Valley may be a sorry existence for an Autobahn bred twin turbo 8, but that’s how by far most of them are used. As is the Tesla, which currently serves it’s main purpose, conferring status to the owner, just as well as the Germans do.

          People here mostly drive themselves, but they still as soon as they’re goig further than SF-Tahoe. And when they go to Tahoe, they take the SUV. Even here in ecoland.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    Well, let’s give credit where credit is due: Elon did a good job with this car.
    And Timothy gave us a good write-up.

    But for me, it won’t fly (gad, I hope not!):
    1) Gotta have ICE;
    2) Gotta have clutch;
    3) Gotta have manual transmission;
    4) Gotta have the roar of my lightly-muffled engine;
    5) Gotta have 400-mile range at 0-dgrees F, with no hemming and hawing.

    Wonder if some one can actually build a vehicle like that? Oh, wait….

    —————–

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Having visited PEI, this does sound like a bit of overkill. A Leaf would be more appropriate.

    I believe it gets quite cold in PEI in winter. It will be interesting to learn the owner’s reaction after he has cycled the car through some extreme cold temperatures.

    All in all, an expensive toy — like just about any other car in that price range.

  • avatar
    jdash1972

    So they fly out a technician to fix a leaking trunk, I’ll bet that guy feels like he took a wrong turn in his youth. Plane ticket: $1000, round trip. Hotel (2 nights, $250), meals (per diem: $80), one employee overhead at three days: call it whatever you want, $600-$800?). It’s a $2500 trip and this us why GM and Ford have gotten into trouble for letting quality issues slide for as long as they can get away with it. What percentage of those Cobalts were already in junk yards? The longer you put it off, the fewer the cars you have to fix and many people won’t bother to even bring in an older car, they don’t care. Tesla can’t afford to do it either, even at $100k a car. They must be doing some really creative accounting.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    A very enjoyable write up. Thank you. The photography is amazing. I’ll likely come back to this post a few more times this week just to see them again.

    The car is ridiculous. There is no rational explanation for purchasing one, it would have to be based on some kind of emotional attachment to the thing. Somewhat like a Miata, Hellcat, or Raptor. It’s not my favorite flavor, but I like tea.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “The photography is amazing.”

      That’s getting to be Mr. Cain’s trademark, isn’t it?

      This car is a hella ugly blob of black solder but the photos, especially the first, are compelling.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        They look super sloppy in light colors, because the uneven panel gaps show up. I’ve noticed this both in person and in photographs both professional and Ebay.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Not to sound too cynical, but I think this Tesla makes a heck of a lot more sense than a new Rolls Royce or Bentley, which are just absurdly overpriced. If prestige and image are a buyer’s goal, this car has it in spades. People still point and gawk when they drive by. Drive a new Phantom and they will just point with a different finger. If one wants to make a statement about their environmental bent or their love of technology, this is the current best rolling example.

    As for “range anxiety,” yes, you can’t drive this car across the country. But, I suspect people who have six figures to spend on this car have another one at home. And a large number of American families with lower levels of wealth have more than one car in their fleet already.

    An EV with even far less range than the Tesla will take care of 90% of the daily driving needs of most people (commuting, running errands, etc.). If you want to take a cross country trip to Wally World once a year, take the family truckster or rent a car. The rest of the time this car works pretty darned well. I am still amazed at how many families I see who have two full-sized SUVs in their driveways. Do you really need to two of them? Do you ever take family ski trips with two cars at the same time?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    4700 lbs is a very nice weight for a car to have. I’m sure that aids in the solid state feel it has under movement. More cars should be so heavy.


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