Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper


Let me preface this by saying that I do not normally test drive cars that cost $120,000.

However, today my financial advisor had arranged a presentation on the energy industry and investing at the local Tesla dealer which included the opportunity to take a test drive. How could I pass this up?

When my turn for the test drive came up, the model that was available was the performance version. This was not a problem.

Getting into the car was. The one thing that is abundantly clear is that there is really not enough roof clearance in a Tesla Model S for me to sit comfortably. As a result, I was pretty far reclined back from the wheel.

The car, on the other hand, as a piece of engineering is enormously impressive. Where you would normally find controls on the dash, there is a 17 inch portrait orientation touch screen. Its most useful function is as a display for the rear-facing camera which has a monstrously wide field of view. This is good, because the rear window is pretty much a slit. :)

The batteries sit underneath the entire chassis, so the vehicle is about as stable as you can imagine. Apparently the Feds couldn't figure out how to get it to roll over for their crush testing, so they just kind of tipped it by brute force...

It wasn't quite rush hour yet, so there was an opportunity to take it up and back on the Edens Expressway. I got to the ramp, tapped the accelerator and --

Holy crap! There was enough acceleration to give me a touch of motion sickness. The salesman who was riding with me explained that was what they called the "Tesla Moment". Oh, yes. Yes it was. :)

I eased up on the throttle and merged in easily.

The car handled really, really well. Of course, you'd expect that. Really, the only thing that was unusual -- other than the massive torque! -- was that the regenerative braking slowed the car down very quickly when you took the foot off the accelerator. That apparently takes a bit of getting used to, but I'm pretty sure that I could sort that out eventually.

In any case, it is a lovely, lovely vehicle.

It is not the vehicle that I am looking for, barring a sudden and jarring midlife crisis arriving, but whoa!

It is definitely cool. :)
Tags: cars, home, musings, tech

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