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Thread: Tesla Test Drive

  1. #1

    Tesla Test Drive

    I had the opportunity to drive the Tesla Model S (Performance option) last week. A fascinating experience! Elon Musk has left nothing to chance in creating this amazing automobile, from engineering to design to performance to marketing. Here are a few of my observations.

    Given that it was my first experience in anything electric other than a golf cart, I was not prepared for such acceleration without sound. To go so effortlessly from zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds in what felt like a vacuum was unprecedented. No third petal, no tach, no sound. Nothing.


    The concept that a 4700 lb. car has no bearing on its energy efficiency, and is more efficient in the city than on the highway is hard to grasp. To realize that the car will require virtually no maintenance - not even an oil change - and has none of the traditional parts (alternators, fuel pumps, belts) to wear out is equally difficult to realize. From a driving perspective, it is virtually flawless: the 1300 lb. battery (guaranteed 100% for 8 years) is essentially the chassis, so the low center of gravity gives it exceptional handling capabilities. The power is instant, but lags when you step on it at 70. The steering is precise. The passenger space is huge, and the storage trunks both front and rear will never get filled. State of the art stereo, easy to work onboard computer. Very comfortable seats and nicely appointed interior. This automobile is flawless.


    The new envelope for marketing an automobile has been created. No huge brick and mortar showrooms, no acres of inventory, and not a high-pressure salesman to be found. Just another retail store in a mall. Place your order, online if you wish, and wait for delivery. Think Apple. Brilliant.


    All that being said, I can't see myself owning a Tesla in the near future. From a practical point of view, a car has to fit one's lifestyle, and here it fails me. If I am going to drive more than 300 miles a day, and I do quite often, I really have to plan ahead. Where, when, and for how long am I going to stop to recharge? There are a number of ways to go about it, but all take time and planning. Their recharging station placement is increasing daily and within the next couple of years this problem will largely disappear. If I am a commuter or don't take road trips, this car could be perfect, starting today. Except…


    I felt so far removed from any driving sensation that it was like playing a video game. There is just no contact with the vehicle you are driving, the road, or the vehicles around you. Being so detached from the road was not a comforting feeling. That "watch out for the other guy" feeling just wasn't there. A bit surreal, although over time I'm sure I would get used to it. It is surely what driving automobiles in the future will come to, and no doubt they will be more economical, safer, and better for our environment. This car makes more sense than anything I have ever driven. But I'm not there yet.

  2. #2
    Oddly enough I can't wait, but I just can't justify the expense at the moment. I think it is such a bold, brave idea for a daily driver, but I do between 4-8 miles a day on average, so its wasted on me, but then again so is my AMG!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    between 4-8 miles a day on average
    How about the i3?
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  4. #4
    I am playing golf this Friday in Livermore with a friend who recently traded in his MB E63 for the Tesla Model S. Looking forward to catching up with him and the 80+ mile drive in his electric car.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I am playing golf this Friday in Livermore with a friend who recently traded in his MB E63 for the Tesla Model S. Looking forward to catching up with him and the 80+ mile drive in his electric car.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  5. #5
    Sport Button On - DSC Off raka's Avatar
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    if only I'd invested in Tesla stock, it would have paid for a car by now - heck, with the way it shot up, could have gotten 'his & hers' models

  6. #6
    Z8Mania
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    Nice review thanks! :cheers:

    I'm not so sure I agree Musk has turned the industry on the ear. This business requires repeating transactions. Tesla has proven a lot but they have not yet proven they can do that.

    Time will tell. You have to give them their due though, its very impressive.

  7. #7
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I tested one earlier in the year, and I was so impressed that I put a deposit on the Model X. By the time it's out the charging network should be vastly improved.
    thegunguy

  8. #8
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    I bet you are right and I think there is a pretty strong market for a suv one of these. Im curious to see how they handle the electric propulsion and AWD. I have some friends who have bought Model S's. They would never in a million years think about buying a RWD car- it would always have to be AWD. I wonder how they will feel when the snow begins to fall in a few weeks......

  9. #9
    I enjoyed my time in my friend's Model S P85 (performance version) from both the right and left front seats yesterday with a nominally 100-mile round trip. I am pleased to report that we left his house with range of 260 miles, and returned with 145 miles remaining after driving 70% highway/30% city with air-conditioning in both directions and headlights for the return trip in use. The car is so quiet and fast, I found myself pulling away from traffic at will. Facilitated by Tesla's partnership with Daimler, the Mercedes Benz sourced steering wheel and related stalks felt familiar when driving the Model S. I've read about Elon Musk's obsession with the details of the interior and I was impressed by both the materials used and the rattle-free environment his engineers have designed.

    Living in Northern California I could see myself driving a Tesla for my 40 mile round trip commute to work and for local trips. The Model X looks like a great addition to the Model S line.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  10. #10
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    How the Tesla Model S is Made -- Behind The Scenes -- The Window - Wired - YouTube

    I would like to see more refinement in the interior and also more range out of the battery. I think they are doing great things and I would consider one of these in the next generation. Also I would like to see all wheel drive for a daily driver. I think several friends are going to be unhappy come winter time.

    But anyone can be a critic. I have to say what Musk has done is really impressive.

  11. #11
    I'm absolutely impressed, and I love that the best selling big sedan is made here in Cali. I really hope he can build up the range and his company to be a serious 21st century contender. It'll be hard, especially as I'd guess he needs 4 or 5 models across the range to pull it off long term.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  12. #12
    Z8Mania
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    I think thats about right. I think they also need to refine the customer support model.

  13. #13
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    I had a limo service in San Francisco pick me up in one. First time
    I have ever been in one. I must say I was very impressed. I sat in the front seat. The headroom was not bad but in the backseat it is tight for tall people. Tesla is doing great and I hope they continue to do so but the last manufacturer to launch a new car built in the US and is still in business today is Chrysler and that was in 1923!!
    Marty

    2001 Z8
    2014 Range Rover sport Autobiography
    2013 Ford Raptor
    2011 Porsche 911 turbo S coupe

  14. #14
    That's crazy, every car maker that started in the last 90 years has failed! It makes me want to cheer Tesla even more, he really has a mountain to climb, but based on the way his saloon is outselling the big Mercs, 7 Series and A8's I'd say he's come out of his corner swinging hard and with serious intent.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  15. #15
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Every US car maker has failed since 1923. Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Etc are doing fine.
    Marty

    2001 Z8
    2014 Range Rover sport Autobiography
    2013 Ford Raptor
    2011 Porsche 911 turbo S coupe

  16. #16
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari are old brands too... Any new brands from Europe? All the new brands are Asian? Other than Paganini etc...

  17. #17
    I guess that all the major new brands are Asian, which makes it even more surprising.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  18. #18
    Z8Mania
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    USA USA USA

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