After seven days with the Tesla Model S P85 here are some thoughts on the car from my daily experiences.
Day 1 – Collection from the Tesla Store
I had arranged to meet a member of the press team to discuss and collect the Tesla Model S from the new Birmingham Tesla Store.
Going into a Tesla Store is a very different car buying experience to the norm. There is a very crisp and clean cut style to the interior of the store and it has a slightly Apple-esque feel. The environment makes you feel a lot more like you’re buying an item of technology rather than a car.
In the store I briefly spoke with a product specialist who gave me an overview on the car buying experience and gave me a bit of an insight into the type of people who visit the store and ultimately become customers.
Shortly after that I was greeted by Laura from the press team to show me the Tesla Model S I would be testing and give me a walk-through of all the features. There is no way I can summarise all the features and functionality of the Model S in a few words, there is just so much this car can do, so you’ll have to keep reading to find out more, but I can certainly say I have never seen a car as unique and configurable as this one.
Day 2 – The Silent Treatment
Getting to know the Tesla Model S P85 on the second day was lots of fun, driving the car was the most surreal driving experiences and also one of my favourite driving experiences too. The fact that the car has no engine but still works better than most combustion engine cars on the road is just insane.
To start there isn’t even a concept of actually turning the car on, walking up to the car with the the key in your pocket, the Model S deploys the door handles on approach, turns itself on, and gets itself ready to go. This means you can get into the car, put it in drive, and you’re off, without a sound or single vibration. The sensation is just unreal. Initially you feel as if you have either gone deaf or forgotten to turn the car on and are just rolling.
The first thing I noticed driving the Model S was the complete lack of noise, at worst you will get a bit of tyre noise followed by some wind noise. The second thing I noticed was the extreme amount of instantly deliverable torque that is available from the electric motor. One sharp prod on the accelerator will send the car thrusting forward with immense amount of force… it’s absolutely incredible.
Day 3 – What do Others Think?
Going out for the evening I picked up a few friends, which gave me a good opportunity to see what other people’s opinions of the car were, and also how much usable room there is in the car. My passengers loved the external design features of the Tesla Model S P85 and felt that it looked very high class. Once inside they were amazed by the amount of room in the car as well as the use of luxury materials and build quality. Obviously they were all blown away by the 17inch central console screen, which goes without saying really.
Day 4 – The Most Connected Car on the Planet
After having the car for a few days I really started to settle into it. With its own 3g connection and iPhone App I just love how connected the car is. I love the performance and I even love the fact that it makes no noise; somehow that seems to take away some of the guilt of driving a fast car.
As well as a petrol head I am also a tech guy, so this car simply feels like the one for me. More than anything else about the car I was very intrigued to see how a truly electric car can challenge the combustion engine market. After my time with the Tesla it doesn’t just challenge the combustion engine but it also exceeds it both in performance and environmentally.
Day 5 – Planning the Perfect Photoshoot
Ross Jukes and I had plans for shooting the Tesla Model S from the moment it was booked in, months before. And one shot that we really wanted to get nailed with the Tesla was a powerful rolling shot of this modern and innovative car. We carefully selected the right road, tracking car and camera gear and then did some testing beforehand to make sure everything was spot on. I’m happy to say we definitely got the shot we were after. Take a look at the picture below and let us know what you think of the shot.
In the evening I took the car to a social event where it certainly got some attention, and well deserved attention too. A lot of people asked what car it was and when I said “it’s a Tesla” the common response was “who makes a Tesla?”. This really drove home to me that the brand awareness in the UK is still a work in progress. But despite some people not knowing the brand, they were all very interested in the car and clearly identified it to be a premium product right from the off.
Day 6 – Long Distance Testing
With all electric cars there is currently a big discussion about the usable range available. So we made it our challenge to ensure to test this out, put some miles on the car and give it a proper test.
We settled on a two day 700 mile round trip from Birmingham to Edinburgh and back again. You can read more about the trip soon, but in summary we started from the Hyatt Hotel in Birmingham, where there is a Supercharger, and worked our way all the way up the country to the Supercharger at Edinburgh Airport.
Day 7 – Scottish Return Journey
While in Scotland and before we headed home from this epic journey it would have been wrong not to treat the P85 to some of the U.K’s best driving roads. We took the Model S on the A708 from Selkirk to Moffat, which has some of the most impressive pieces of asphalt landscape that you could ever imagine. The Tesla Model S was an absolute dream driving through these roads. I can guarantee I won’t forget a single minute of the trip in my lifetime. Take a look at a few highlights from the A708 in the video below.
Once out of the hills and back onto the motorway we drove the car back to Birmingham and sadly delivered it back to the Birmingham Tesla Store. I was very sad to drop this car off and can’t wait for another opportunity to test out a later revision of the Tesla Model S.
Supplied by: Tesla