I am not a car guy. If someone would ask me what I think about the Audi R8, my mind franticly wanders away to find the perfect, sarcastic .gif response, rather than pretending to know what car it is. However, when you give me a fully electric car with advanced technology, beautiful looks and a great leader – I am a car guy.
Whether it’s official or not, Norway has become Tesla’s flag ship country. Because you don’t pay registration fee or tax on electric cars in Norway, price is significant lower on the Tesla Model S compared to other countries. There’s also other benefits like free parking, driving in the bus/taxi lanes and free passage through toll booths.
It’s estimated that Norway will have 800 Model S cars on the road by the end of 2013. I even got the word from Tesla that a taxi company has ordered 200 Tesla Model S. Quite fun for a country that is known for it’s general high prices.
The reason I drove a Model S is pretty simply: I want one. I really want one.
Because of a leasing deal with my Toyota Prius 2013, I would have to sell my soul and then some to make my Tesla purchase a reality – at least for the next two years. That didn’t stop me from trying it out though. Tesla actually encourages people to try it out, since they don’t really do any marketing because people talk about it and, you know, blog about it. Hi, Tesla!
So now that I´ve laid out the evidence that I actually have driven a Tesla Model S, here’s my thoughts.
Admittedly, I was a huge fan of Tesla, Elon Musk and Tesla Model S before I drove it. Because of that, it is hard to keep a critical view on something I’ve waited so long to test. Comparable to other brands, Tesla has this magical sense of belonging or even culture that drags you in. It’s so magically, i’m actually blogging about a car.
It’s weird that a car can be such an emotional charged driving experience.
Tesla Model S is truly an amazing car. A hybrid between sports and family car, both with the extremely powerful engine (err.. batteries) mixed with heaps of space in the seats and luggage room (back and front). It actually has length wise more room than my Toyota Prius 2013, but because of Prius height at the back door, the Prius has an slight advantage. With that said, the Tesla Model S really serves multiple purposes.
Tesla Model S has a beautiful body. I mean, look at that picture! It’s exactly like a white stallion galloping along the beach.
It will definitely get some looks. When we drove, there where almost some collisions because people kept staring at the Tesla while driving (not exaggerating). A truck driver even gave me the thumbs up and let me through traffic. Did it feel good? Yes. Is it because it’s so new and really talked about here? Probably. But still, I felt beautiful like the white stallion for 30 minutes.
Every Tesla Model S comes with a 17″ screen – which basically serves as the central hub for everything that happens in the car. You definetly have to get used to not using knobs while you drive, but after some time, its not that hard. Kinda like an iPad (but not as responsive in the touche display), it gives you easy to understand options. It even lets you create different users and save how you like you mirrors, seat, steering wheel and display.
The OS in the display is based on Linux. However, to correct some faulty rumours, the control and engine are not Linux, but rather just some C code. That way, if Linux crashes, the car will not go of the road. Kind of calming when your sitting in a tech hub of a car. With that said, building the engine and controls based on Linux would have been a weird decision.
For more info, I recommend you check out this video:
A bit surprising, Tesla Model S is really comfortable to sit in. Looking at the pictures, it seems a bit hard and to sports-car-ish. The seats are soft, though not to soft, and the car in general is very spacious. That’s from a 6-4 tall (193 cm) guy speaking. The only thing I missed was something to have in the middle of the car, which Tesla have said are coming. You see, in the middle of the center at front, under the 17″ screen, there´s nothing. So it leaves this awkward space of nothingness. You can buy this accessory for around $600, but until then, you can leaving your keys there.
Hitting and realizing the pedal is something to get used to. Because it’s electric, there’s no ignition that needs to commence before acceleration kicks on. The moment you hit gas, the car goes faster. In the same way, once you release the pedal, the car breaks rather then sail on the speed created. This is because every time you break, steer or creating some sort of friction, the lithium battery charges – the exact same thing my Toyota Prius 2013 did.
We where driving the Tesla Model S Performance model. Yes, that´s the one that does 0 – 100 km in 4.4 seconds. Two times, I got to test the speed on the Tesla and oh my, it´s fast. You know when you play Burnout and you get the tunnel vision. The geeks know what I´m talking about here. I got the same sensation. I pushed the gas from about 20 km to 100 km, boarding the high way, and it was so fast we all got pushed back in the seats – all while the car didn’t make that much sound.
As I opened in the post, I’m not really a car guy, but I wanted to do a comparison. So when it came to comparing the speed of Tesla Model S to other cars, I took the ones that seemed appropriate. If I missed out some obvious cars, I blame something.
These graphs show the speed it takes to go from 0 – 100 km. All numbers are taken from Wikipedia.
Speed compared to other cars:
[tmb_chart columns=»Tesla Model S (4.4),Audi R8 (4.8),Mercedes CLK (3.8),BMW M3 (4.8),Ford Mustang (5.0)» values=»50,60,40,60,70″]
As I said in the opening of this post: It’s weird that a car can be such an emotional charged driving experience. I’m that guy that doesn’t care about cars. But, yet here I am in a state where I can’t stop thinking about the Tesla Model S. It’s a weird sensation few other «gadgets» have given me.
The price for a really good Tesla Model S here (custom built by me and the sales guy) is 565 000,- Norwegian kroners. That equals to around $94 000. Tough, you can’t compare the prices since it various for country to country.
Is this my next car? Yes. Am I jealous at every one else that has one? Very.
The conclusion is that this is a car everyone should try out. Warning: if you do, you will likely get hooked.
And Tesla: I would love if you could borrow me a Tesla Model S for a day so I could make a video out of it. Just saying.
Most of picture is courtesy of Tesla Motors