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Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is a luxury all-electric car with an aluminium body structure and steel for extra strength in important areas. Tesla only became incorporated in 2003 but has become one of the major players in the EV market and has released the Model S to take on the might of Jaguar, BMW and others but can its upmarket electric car defeat the power of these car giants?

tesla model s exterior

Tesla Model S. Image: Google UK

Design

From the outside, the Tesla Model S looks very stylish and under the bonnet is a large amount of luggage volume because the battery is actually located underneath the cabin floor. The car is made with an aluminium and steel structure and has large crumple zones and reinforcement on the front for extra crash strength.

There are a trio of battery options:

  • 60kWh – 5.9 sec for 0-60 and 208 mile range
  • 85kWh – 5.4 sec and 265 miles
  • 85kWh ‘Performance’ – 4.2 sec and 265 miles

There is also a Performance Plus pack which includes uprated dampers, anti-roll bars and 20mm wider rear tyres. As the battery is so large, it can take up to an hour of charge for 30 miles of drive.

Interior

The Tesla Model S certainly deviates from convention with its interior which includes a huge touchscreen that looks like a giant iPad and it controls almost everything including air conditioning and the ride height of the air suspension. It also gives out information about energy consumption; the sat-nav and battery charge and is a long way ahead of traditional cockpit functionality.

You can stream music via USB or Bluetooth though there is no CD player. Its radio accesses Internet radio and the web browser can keep you entertained on your journey. There is also an optional Tech Pack available which allows for Bluetooth connection in seconds and can also connect to your home wi-fi network. The material quality is not as good as it could be but the interior is aesthetically pleasing and comfortable.

tesla model s interior

Tesla Model S. Image: Google UK

Performance

Its 0-60 performance is very impressive but while the Tesla Model S moves like a dream, it won’t go flat out for very long. After a matter of miles, the safe mode will kick in and halve your peak output. It handles beautifully at 40mph and also manages to feel great at 60mph; indeed, it outperforms most of its EV rivals in this department.

Verdict

The Tesla Model S is credible, luxurious and extremely useful. While it doesn’t allow you to travel flat out, it handles superbly and is one of the most powerful electric cars on the market. With a huge level of cabin and load space included, it has to be said that the Tesla Model S is a worthy purchase for anyone interested in investing in an EV.

  • Rating: 5/5
  • Price: From £49,500 ($82,000)
  • Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPG): 94-97
  • Official Driving Range (Miles): 208-265 miles
  • Standard Charging Time (Hours): 31 miles of drive charged every hour
  • Practicality (Seats & Doors): 5 door liftback
  • Engine Size: 310kW, 600N.m electric motor
  • Engine Power: 302-416bhp at peak
  • Transmission: 1 speed fixed gear
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 4.2-5.9 seconds
  • Top Speed (mph): 130mph
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 5/5

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