Amsterdam - It’s not everyday that a local motoring scribe gets to test a car like the Tesla Model S. With this in mind, you can imagine my excitement when, whilst in Amsterdam on a recent sojourn, I was invited to visit the Tesla mini factory and showroom right in the heart of one of the most amazing cities in the world.
First up was the orientation on the vehicle which was really entertaining and amazing at the same time. But when the Tesla representative offered a test drive, I jumped at the opportunity.
Sustainable energy is all the rage in Europe and it is truly fascinating to observe just how many electric cars are on European roads. On one day, I counted approximately 200 electric cars of most makes and models. And if you thought that charging stations would be a hindrance to your ride or journey, then stop and think again. There are numerous charging stations littered throughout the city and on the outskirts of the scenic countryside.
South African Elon Musk had an incredible dream when he thought out the Tesla brand and its gradual expansion, and whilst the company has had its fair share of problems, it is pleasing to see that production is now in full swing and the company is now posting very moderate profit margins.
Every Tesla vehicle is designed to be the safest and quickest vehicle in its class - equipped with the most advanced active safety features on earth, and, in flagship P100D form, it is capable of accelerating from zero to 100km/h in as little as 2.7 seconds. Amazing, isn’t it!
Tesla offers a complete clean energy solution, allowing you to generate, store and use your own renewable energy. I drove the Model S P100D flagship, which is built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, with high-strength architecture and a floor-mounted battery pack allowing for incredible impact protection.
Model S is built for safety, with all-electric architecture designed to provide protection from every side - the position and weight of the floor-mounted battery pack provides a very low centre of gravity, allowing for the lowest rollover risk of any car on the road.
There is no internal combustion engine in Model S, so the crumple zone has greater opportunity to minimise occupant deceleration in the event of a frontal impact. The combination of a high-strength central pillar and an energy-absorbing sill structure provides exceptional protection to both the occupant and the under-floor mounted battery pack.
Talk about quick acceleration… Model S sets an industry standard for performance. Tesla’s all-electric powertrain delivers unparalleled performance in all weather conditions – with Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive and stunning acceleration.
Being a fully electric vehicle, I found the Model S to be highly responsive when accelerating, so much so that you forget that you are driving in the city. But the braking dynamics of the car were equally pleasing and re-assuring, while the traction and road holding are among the best I have experienced.
The claimed range once the battery pack is fully charged is around 550km.
All Tesla models detect objects and automatically apply brakes to prevent impact. With unparalleled performance delivered through Tesla's unique, all-electric powertrain, Model S accelerates and de-cellerate with ease. Model S comes with Autopilot capabilities designed to make your highway driving not only safer, but stress free. Now how’s that for technology.
The Model S is built with best in class storage, seating for up to five adults and two children and an expansive 43cm touchscreen.
Everything you would need to know, and control is all on the screen. Advanced noise engineering creates sound dynamics comparable to a recording studio, while the standard glass roof provides an airy atmosphere in the cabin.
Every element was designed with the driver and passengers in mind - with uncompromised aesthetics and ludicrous performance. A carbon fibre spoiler provides Model S with incredible aerodynamics and the lowest drag coefficient of any vehicle in its class.
This car is all the rage in Europe, and with good reason, and it is widely rumoured that the brand will be introduced to South Africa, although not as yet officially confirmed.