Tesla- the company that makes it’s own rules, keeps improving its product. Tesla is the company that made fully electric cars a real, viable proposition. When I ask people in Southern California what their dream car is, it’s almost always a Tesla. Tesla’s have great appeal to the current, very environmentally conscious social atmosphere. Also a technophile’s dream with a big touch screen right in the middle of the dash among other technologies.
P100D. In Tesla speak, P stands for performance- lots of performance. 100 is 100 kilowatt hour battery pack and D stands for dual motor. Improving on the P90D ludicrous, the P100D delivers ludicrous plus. The performance Teslas have inconel contacts between the battery pack and the twin electric motors. This precious, super alloy allows more power to flow more quickly to the dual motors, delivering insane electric performance.
This really is an amazing vehicle. It has the lowest center of gravity on the road with the heavy battery pack mounted under the passenger floor and the low profile electric motors are low in the chassis, centered with the road wheels. Unlike gasoline engines that have to be revved to make horsepower, electric motors deliver their power instantaneously. Compared to any other road going car, the P100D has unbeatable acceleration off the line. With all wheel drive and instant electric motor torque, the P100D catapults off the line with violent acceleration, with a 0-60 time of under 2.5 seconds. The Tesla P100D is the quickest accelerating production car to 60 mph currently available! It has the highest acceleration G-load at 1.4 g’s!
The quarter mile time of 10.5 (!) seconds ties a Porsche 911 Turbo S. This acceleration is in ludicrous plus mode of course. The only cars that are quicker are exotics like the Porsche 918, La Ferrari and Mclaren P1. But unlike those cars the Tesla can unleash all of its power instantly, with no lag. Teslas are direct drive- they don’t have to downshift to the right gear, no turbo’s to spool up. You hit the pedal and it just goes… brutal acceleration is always underfoot. This from a car that weighs a portly 4900 lbs.
The flip side to this is you have to make sure you get where you’re going without draining the batteries. Battery range is something Tesla has innovated and made great progress with. The P100D is able to travel about 300 miles on a charge. The dual motors are claimed to help improve the range by together moving the car more easily then with one motor. But when you’re into the power all the time, two motors will drain the battery pack in a hot hurry. As an owner of a Tesla you have free access to a network of “supercharger” stations that the company is continuing to set up across North America. “Superchargers” will recharge your batteries in about an hour.
Something that affects range is wind drag and the Tesla Model S bodywork is one of the most aerodynamic shapes around if not the most. The drag area is the same as the much smaller and awkwardly styled Toyota Prius- the Tesla being a bigger car but with a super low .24 drag coefficient. Underneath it has a completely flat and aerodynamic efficient underbody. Its 4 corner air spring suspension lowers at highway speeds for less wind resistance. (remember the Lincoln Mark VIII)
Criticisms usually point towards an interior that is somewhat bland and underwhelming especially when you consider a P100D base price is $135,000 dollars. When compared to other cars in this price range, the design of the interior is rather lackluster. A big iPod like touch screen takes the place of any tactile controls. It does have the best Navigation and menus in the business however. The exterior styling is much more successful than the interior- very handsome with great proportions while also being aerodynamically efficient. It’s a 5 door hatchback which is quite practical plus a rear facing child seat can be added. Worth mentioning is the styling hasn’t changed since 2012.
The autonomous self driving option is something else entirely and the future is now. I believe this is a $5000 dollar option to equip. If you know more about this, please leave a comment. : ) Also remarkable is the Tesla mobile app. It lets you control key functions of the car like climate and security and will even allow you to ‘summon’ your car like the batmobile- very cool.