I tested the fastest car I have ever driven today. I have tested Ferrari, Porsche Turbo and some heavily modified Japanese cars that came close but not quite. This one got from 0 to 100 kmh in 3,3 seconds. The strange this is that it is a normal family car on the outside. But as with some other things, the beauty comes from the inside. The Tesla Model S is an amazing car.
The design of the Tesla concept is fantastic and the experience in the car is the same. Driving the car in normal situations is not that different from other cars in the same class. For example I recently tested a new top of the line 5-series BMW with digital instrument panel and navigation system that is just beaten by the simplicity. While it takes weeks to get used to the strange centre console wheel that controls the navigation system and other systems in the car, the touchscreen in the Tesla is comfortable on the parking lot where Google maps is just like home.
And this is basically the attitude of the big old brands. They are slow moving and it takes them a decade to change lanes. At Tesla they just upload a new software to your car while you sleep. It is online and all electric, there is not even brakefluid. It has electric brakes.
At the parking lot there is no different from a gasoline car. The gear switch is just in the steering console and easy acceleration is just like any other automatic car. Going smoothly on to the road was good and quit felling. At the first red light the release of the accelerator puts the car in a quite heavy breaking position. It turns out that a newbie in driving electric cars was not expecting the car to be using the deceleration to charge the batteries back. This takes a few hours to get used to but in the end you basically just use the brakes every now and then. (There is another setting where you can choose to have a low resistance and long coasting but that does not charge the batteries.)
With 7000 batteries in the floor the tesla can take you 350 to 600 kilometers in one charge depending on your driving. With normal charging at home you only charge it for 15 km driving in one hour. But with a little more powerful outlets you can speed this up rather quickly. And then are these charging stations all over Europe and USA that can fully charge the car in one hour. Not many of them in Sweden and only one in Skåne (Löddeköpinge) so far.
Another benefit of the design is the position of the batteries. It makes the centre of gravity extremely low and therefore the car goes through corners (and roundabouts) like a Ferrari. The gearbox tells a similar story; there is no gearbox! You only use one speed and there are no concerns or hesitations when changing gears which makes a huge difference when “racing” and gives you good comfort in driving the family around.
I tested the most expensive model, P85D, which stands for P=Performance, 85=85kwh and D=4 wheel drive. This car starts at just more than 1m SEK, but the standard model costs 727.000. It is quite high numbers but I am definitely gonna calculate this carefully so I can have one in my garage within 18 months.