If I were to try and persuade you to replace your perfectly good sofa for one that is more environmentally friendly but could only be sat on at certain times of the day, you would be unlikely to take me up on that offer. Whilst that little scenario may sound silly, it is exactly the same principle behind why people are not buying electric cars on mass. Yes they are better for the environment, yes you can run it for a fraction of the price of a combustion engine, but primarily due to range anxiety and charging times you would have to make big compromises. This is why the Tesla Model S is such a revelation. No longer do you have to sacrifice to enjoy the benefits of electric cars. This range topping Tesla Model S P85+, I believe, is the best example of what this technology can offer us so far.
Before I begin let me get one thing out in the open. I am a “petrol head” and love nothing more than the thundering sound of combustion. I am not the most environmentally friendly fellow, neither do I want to be. Now that might sound selfish and not “on message” with what the ethos of the world should be, but I am being honest. I have driven a handful of electric cars and whilst their technology is improving with each generation, they are still not as convenient as their conventional counterparts. This is why I think the Tesla Model S is a watershed moment, because for the first time in automotive history an electric car can stand as an equal to others.
This is the Tesla Model S P85+, a sleek saloon from the American car manufacturer. You may of heard of the Roadster, a little electric sports car, but the Model S has taken its home nation by storm. Why? The modern silhouette looks an feels premium. From the moment the door handles slide out of the doors to greet you to the silent event of you starting it, it feels exceptionally well engineered.
The cabin seats five and is dominated by a huge 17 inch touchscreen interface on the console. Here you can access every element of the car such as; radio, climate control, driving statistics, ride hight, panoramic sun roof, internet access and more. The user interface is intuitive and exceptionally user friendly. As for the interior as a whole, this Tesla Model S P85+ was trimmed with leather and alcantara. Supportive seats hold you in place with the rear bench being more spacious than usual thanks to the lack of a transmission tunnel. The practicality doesn’t stop there as a large boot at the front awaits, not to mention a front luggage area at the nose. There is something very Apple about this car. Its detailed execution is unlike any other electric vehicle on the market.
In motion the car is whisper quiet with just wind and road noise narrating your movement. On the customisable digital dashboard this car displayed a a predicted range of 247 miles on a battery that was practically fully charged. When you factor in this cars performance range anxiety is nonexistent as petrol competitors can do roughly the same. The cars electric motor outputs 410BHP and 600Nm of torque. 0-62MPH in just 4.2 seconds. Impressive, but this being an electric car means that at a prod of your right foot that potential is deployed immediately. The surge of acceleration sucks you back into your seat as the world whisks by the window in a silent blur. Our Tesla Model S P85+ had a handling pack that gives it wider tyres and stiffer dampers. It is quick, refined thanks to its adjustable suspension and appeared to handle well. There wasn’t much body roll around corners but its 2.1 tonne weight was evident.
The Tesla Model S P85+ is an object of desire, something that no other electric car has been before it. Charging from a Tesla supercharger takes 40 minutes and is free, whilst charging from home will cost you only £7. With Quattro, AMG and M rivalling performance yet lacking the usual electric drawbacks, I challenge any of my fellow “petrol heads” to experience this car and not be impressed.