Motoring expert Chris Walsh test drives the new model…
Words: Chris Walsh
Let’s start with a dose of honesty here: I’ve never been the biggest fan of electric cars. This is unfortunate, as they don’t seem to be going away any time soon. But, if the opportunity ever arises to drive one, I make sure I always do, if only to reconfirm yet again that the experience is going to be just as tremendously boring as the last.
But before you scream at me about the actual purpose of the humble car (electronic or not) I, more than anyone, understand the basic requirement of just getting from A to B in the most cost effective way possible. So I ask you this: if frugality is the sole reason for owning an economical car, why does Ford’s ECOnetic Fiestas and Volkswagen’s BlueMotion Golfs do such a good job of blasting around every corner?
At this point, step forward Tesla – the saviours of all things holy. Thankfully, their Model S is infinitely more electrifying
to drive than any other alternative I can bear to consider. And it is currently the only electric car that is seemingly tuned
in to what customers actually want from this new and, as yet, underused source of power (although I’m sure BMW’s i8 might have a word on that).
My newfound joy for the electric car (and Tesla) should be summed up in two simple points. Firstly, it has around 600 Nm of torque fed through the entire range and, secondly, recent announcements to AWD models means it has become the fastest production saloon car in history. All with zero emissions. I’m falling in love here. It’s a good-looking car, too, so worthy of falling in love with – the last thing I would ever do with a G-Wiz.
Personal ‘Petrol Station’
In fact, when I really take time to examine the Model S further, I honestly can’t think of a reason why I wouldn’t own one. Because along with the above, it’s incredibly well put together; it’s very safe and it’s very cool. And I mean ‘cool’ in a way that only Californian companies can do cool.
Plus there is the very real chance that you may never need to visit a petrol station again, rendering the late-night splash-and-dash a thing of the past. Because if you do consider buying one, which you should, the lovely guys from Tesla will even come and fit your very own ‘petrol station’ in your garage, allowing all your refills to happen peacefully overnight. Around the time that you’re having yet another nightmare involving a Renault Twizy.
At a Glance
Model: Tesla Model S, P85+
Priced: From £75,000
Power plant: 85 kWh Dual Motor
Drive train: Rear Wheel Drive
Transmission: 1 Speed Automatic
Power: 420 hp (equivalent)
Torque: 600 Nm
Weight: 2,100 Kg
0-60 mph: 4.2 Seconds
Top Speed: 155 Mph
Range: 300 miles (NEDC est.)
CO2 emission: 0 g/km