Watching the first episode of the new season of Top Gear, and Chris Harris made a comment about the Ferrari FXX K possibly being the last gasp of the combustion engine. It’s a comment we’ve heard before, and I’m sure it’s a comment many will continue to make. But I don’t buy it for a number of reasons.
Sure, I do think electric cars, specifically self-driven electric cars, are the future for mass independent transportation. I think so many people out there have so little interest in driving that they’re a danger to themselves and everyone around them when they get behind the wheel. Those folks should leave the driving to the machines, the world will be a much happier place.
But what about those of us who live to drive for recreation, just because driving is so much fun? Obviously you can totally forget the self-driving cars, but are electric cars even that desirable to us?
I got my first taste of the Tesla magic in 2015 when I drove a Model S P85D. It made one hell of a first impression, and I was totally blown away. I felt like I had just experienced the true next step for the automobile, capable of blistering acceleration, superior practicality and sublime comfort, all in a single package. Oh, and did I mention it was green, too? I was enamored with it then, but I was curious to see how the Tesla would fair the second time around, now that my initial fascination had worn off.
I was recently able to take a spin in the new, facelifted, Model S P90D. This drive was much better than the first one. It lasted much longer, the roads were much better, and I got to try out some of Tesla’s amazing new features (including Autopilot). I also gained more perspective on the Model S, what it is, and what it is not.
I was sold on the electric car the second I experienced 0-84mph in a Tesla Model S P85D. It’s not just brutal acceleration, it’s brutal acceleration you can actually use from any speed, available immediately. Even just squirting from 0-30mph off a city stop light is a total riot. It is the kind of enjoyment you can only have in an electric car. There is no engine, no gears, and no delay. Thrills come simply at a push of the button, or pedal, in this case.
I thought Elon Musk summed up Tesla’s path brilliantly. Prove electric can be fun with the Tesla Roadster, then prove them practical and desirable with the Model S and Model X. But now comes the make or break moment for Tesla Motors, a truly affordable, mass-production car, the Tesla Model 3. It must be practical, it must be dependable, and it must be quite desirable to out-compete fierce competition.
Only time will tell for dependability, an issue that Tesla has been working on. Any new car company should expect some bumps in the road, it’s how they deal with them that counts. This factor gets greatly amplified as you move into the mass-market realm.
What we did find out last night in the short part one of the Tesla Model 3 reveal is that the car will be quite desirable and quite practical… so long as Musk’s promises are kept.
Tesla released their 691hp Model S P85D with an “Insane Mode.” Any company that would be so honestly bold with their products definitely has a sense of humor. Now the Model S can actually drive itself, and to highlight the car’s capability they released their new “Ticket Avoidance Mode” on April 1st. A gag, surely, but how great would it be if it were a real feature of the car?
A few weeks ago I had the privilege to drive a Tesla Model S P85D. The whole time driving it I was thinking that if someone had told me this was really the iCar from Apple, I probably would’ve believed them. The Tesla feels so much like an Apple product in car form, and that’s because Tesla has pilfered quite a few employees from Apple over the last few years. But here we are, just a couple weeks later and all of these rumors have surfaced about Apple’s “Project Titan.” Supposedly it is a sort of “iCar”, aimed to actually compete against Tesla.
This of course has gotten me thinking about the idea of Apple making a car, and how they might go about doing it properly. The following is my take on Apple making a car, the struggles they will face, and some possible ways they could make a successful product.
Tesla has taken the industry by storm, shattering all expectations and continuing to surprise everyone. I remember about a year ago when Tesla shares were around $120 and many analysts were saying that was far too high. Well guess what, today shares are selling for $218.
Elon Musk’s can-do spirit permeates through the Tesla brand. That charisma associated with the brand seems to appeal to many customers as much the car itself does. Lately, I’ve grown accustomed to seeing Teslas everywhere in my area. For a high-end luxury car, they are selling like hotcakes.
The Model S P85D is surely the most multi-functional vehicle that I’ve ever experienced, and that is what surprised and impressed me the most about it. In fact, I’d say it’s like having four distinct cars in one…
This is the first Model S I have spotted in the wild. It is nothing short of gorgeous in person, and even more so in white. It looks like a really nice car, and I can’t wait until I get to try one out from behind the wheel.
Tesla’s Model S gets tested properly… as a car. They ask the question of, “Is it fun?”, and they compare it to the Mercedes E63 as a rival. Oh, and before you scoff at the 416hp figure, just know that the motors are hooked up directly to the wheels so there is no drivetrain loss. This means this car is comparable to petrol cars in the 500hp range. Have an open mind, this may be the future.