CODE BROWN! Help Review Tesla's Model S P85D

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
code brown help review tesla s model s p85d

Park Anywhere, this is a Code BROWN!!!

An autojourno told me that getting a Tesla Model S P85D for evaluation is tough, even without a Death Watch series hanging over their head. Yet Tesla’s boss went on 60 minutes admitting his concerns during Christmas 2008, concerns that paralleled ours. No matter, Death Watches are TTAC’s past. Meet our “Code Brown” instead.

And stick around: because you, dear reader, shall help us review it.

Spend a few minutes in a freshly delivered P85D for sensory overload: one cannot process all the new and radical in one sitting.

To wit, the gigantic screen’s demand for a vehicle name: there’s only one name for perhaps the last brown Tesla ever made, ordered with this speedy powertrain.

One can rightly argue the P85D’s holeshot is diaper worthy.

And while “insane mode” is a big part of the story, it’s kinda not. Code Brown possesses more than a single man could road test over the course of a week.

Hence the clarion call for reader feedback, before testing begins. Post your questions, concerns, insights, etc for TTAC’s upcoming review. I’ll read them, make notes and citations, using it as a foundation for my time with this Tesla Model S P85D.

Off to you, Best and Brightest.

(Special thanks to my brother for giving me his new daily driver for the upcoming review. No Public Relations Butts were hurt in TTAC’s acquisition of Code Brown.)

Join the conversation
5 of 85 comments
  • Lurker_n Lurker_n on Feb 18, 2015

    I'm interested in how well the AWD system works with 2 motors and I assume 2 diffs. i.e. go find something slippery and have fun. Oh and I'll assume (rather than googling it) the 2nd motor upfront reduces the turning radius, could you try parallel parking code brown outside a hospital. (pic please)

    • See 2 previous
    • Lurker_n Lurker_n on Feb 18, 2015

      @WEGIV If you can find a big enough water puddle on the highway, try driving over it with just one side. It'd be interesting to know if the car will pull you towards the puddle. (bonus point if you can repeat the test using your daily driver and compare the feel)

  • Oakes Oakes on Feb 28, 2015

    I test drove a red P85D two weeks ago. It was thrilling. The raw acceleration is simply amazing. But this isn't what I liked best in this car. No one has yet mentioned the cruise control. You can set how many car lengths you want empty in front of you, set the top speed, then take your foot off the pedal. Both pedals. That's right, this sucker senses anything in front of you and brakes automatically to keep the set distance you dialed in. Are you reading the map in a neighborhood when some small child darts in front of your car? Guess what, he's ok. You won't have nightmares the rest of your life. It's amazing. It will sense even dogs and cats. Are you merging and glancing the wrong direction when some a-hole stops short right in front of you? No accident, no wasted time, no jacked up insurance rates, no whiplash. Now that raw acceleration? It gave me mild whiplash. I'm not even kidding. Holy mokes!! There's no differential. Both motors are mounted directly to their axles. Difference between city and highway 'EPA'? Negligible due to really good regen of battery when braking. Now the regen feature makes it slow hard when you take your foot off the pedal, and that takes some getting used to. you don't ease off as fast as with a gas car, you kind of slowly ease off otherwise it is uncomfortably hard slowing down. For 'cash purchase' with the green tax credit (both fed and state in my home state) the maxed out version was 120k approx. whoever said 3500$ extra for sick sick sumptuous hug your body racing Recaro seats isn't something many will want to spring for? Really? It already costs 120k and you won't pay 3.5k for awesome seats? That's nuts man. If you can afford this car you can afford the top line maxed out version. SO MUCH ROOM. Don't like the interior? Ok that's personal obviously. And personally I think it's really well designed and comfortable and roomy and techy-cool and with the carbon fiber dash kinda hawt. Think that big screen is distracting? Set the cruise control and don't sweat it. It will warn you if you're drifting laterally into another lane too. Yeah. THIS CAR IS PROBABLY THE SAFEST CAR ON THE ROAD TODAY. I'm waiting for the model X because I have a jacked up back and I like the few extra inches height it will offer. Easier to get into and out of plus a few added inches ground clearance. All that on the very same chassis as the P85D. Sick. Also I have two years to go on my current lease so there's that too. Honda Pilot if you want to know. Too all you Tesla haters - grow the f*** up already. Whether you believe in green or not this is a sick car. Try one yourself if you don't believe me. Super easy to set up test drive and the guy I went with was super knowledgeable and nice. Not pushy or arrogant at all. Maintenance costs? Tires and brake pads. That's all. Tesla plans to saturate America with super charger stations and why hasn't anyone mentioned that Teslas charge for free at all Tesla stations? For the life of the car. Yup. Free gas for life. 15 min gets you I think 200 miles. Take a piss, have a drink, check your emails. Hey, call your mom. Seriously, call her, she misses you and you wouldn't be driving this awesome car if it weren't for her! Cheers and happy motoring mi amigos.

  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.
  • SCE to AUX One data point: my rental '23 Model 3 had good build quality, but still not as good as my Hyundais.Test mule aside, perhaps the build quality of the CT will be good in 2027.
  • DenverMike He knows what he has bro, never mind the lowball offer.American, 4x4, V8, short wheel base, full size, historical, customizable, easy resto with or without the Mod, convertible and more. No subscriptions, no bull sh!t, just too cool. Plus the thing will just keep gaining in value. Talk about driving for Free. Never mind that your Ex hates it. $60K Hot Rod that shows $1,800 on paper!?Yes the hobby is pushed on by enthusiast money launderers and hidden wealth in plain sight that you can drive, to name a few.
  • ToolGuy Skim milk? Who stands in the aisle at the grocery store and consciously chooses skim milk? That's like shopping for cars and asking, "Do you have one with a CVT?" 😉