First drive: Tesla Model S P90D

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

If you think electric cars are boring think again the Tesla Model S is about as sexy as going green gets  writes Geraldine Herbert

What is it? The Model S a full-sized, five-door and is Tesla’s first flagship product.  Despite being an electric car Elon Musk, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal and CEO of Tesla  has always maintained the Model S is a car you will buy for its driving dynamics, the green credentials are just a bonus.

First impressions of the new Tesla Model S? In terms of size it is bigger than a five series BMW but smaller than a seven.  It’s also got the option of seven seats, as there are two extra in the back, so it is unlike anything else in this market.

What about the interior?  Stylish and uncluttered a large touch screen in the centre console allows you to control virtually everything from the satnav to the steering feel and suspension.  Fans of Mercedes Benz will  instantly recognise the transmission gear lever on the steering column and the windows switches, all have been borrowed from the German car maker.

There is plenty of space for luggage also as you get two boots – one in the front plus the main one at the back. The lack of storage and cubby holes inside the cabin is a little disappointing though and you will be scrambling to find places for keys, water etc .

How Smart is it?  As you approach the car with key  the door handles slide out. Inside there’s no starter button just place your foot on the brake and the car comes to life. Simply select drive and you are on your way.

What is the range? If you drive the car reasonably sensible you can expect to come close to the 500 km plus range but drive it hard and you will probably reduce that by about 75%.  

Tesla Model S on road?  Despite a hefty weight, the road handling is impressive and it is comfortable and refined. It feels very “normal” so its  easy to forget about that intoxicating power that can be unleashed at any time.  Our test car, the top of the range P90D, came with “ludicrous mode” which means it  goes from zero to 100km/h in 2.8 seconds, so it will keep pace with a Lamborghini Huracan and a McLaren 650S and only the Koenigsegg One and the Bugatti Veyron are fasterBehind the wheel it feels even quicker than the figures suggest as it is pure straight line acceleration. The only disappointing aspect about the drive is the steering could be a little more involving.

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How much? Our top of the range all-wheel drive Tesla Model S P90 (P is for performance, D is for all-wheel drive and 90 kilowatt-hour battery pack) costs just under €160,000.

Where can I buy one? There is no Tesla outlet in Ireland as yet so to buy one you would have to source it in the UK and import it privately.

3 words to describe the Tesla?  Fast; Futuristic; Fantastic

 

For more information check out  Tesla.com the Tesla facebook page, or follow them on twitter

 

Geraldine Herbert

18th August, 2016

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK), EuroNews and to RTÉ, Newstalk, TodayFM, BBC Radio and Vigin Media. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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