Tesla Model S P100D Introduced; 0-60 Times Make for Good Marketing →

August 25, 2016 · 14:17

The Tesla Team:

The Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode is the third fastest accelerating production car ever produced, with a 0-60 mph time of 2.5* seconds. However, both the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder were limited run, million dollar vehicles and cannot be bought new. While those cars are small two seaters with very little luggage space, the pure electric, all-wheel drive Model S P100D has four doors, seats up to 5 adults plus 2 children and has exceptional cargo capacity.

The 0-60 time makes for surprisingly good marketing. In the real world, it’s meaningless for most people. Give me a Tesla, with an interior that matches today’s Audis, BMWs, and Mercs, make it slower (6 seconds to 62 mph is plenty fast), and increase range dramatically. When that happens, I won’t have any more reservations about the car. Oh, and put a set of good brakes on it please.

Tesla Model S Finally Gets a Facelift →

April 13, 2016 · 11:50

Alex Kierstein:

From an aesthetic standpoint, the front fascia will be the most obvious and consequential change to the consumer. It brings the styling inline with the Model X, and likely the production version of the Model 3. The headlights also adopt a Model X look. Inside, there are two new woods available to trim the interior: one that Tesla calls “Figured Ash”, and the other simply a dark ash. That rounds out the changes this time around, although Tesla would like you to remember that over-the-air software updates may bring other changes as soon as they’re available.

Love the new look, much prettier than the old one.

A Nerd’s Review of the Tesla Model S — My Comments →

April 5, 2016 · 12:26

I have had my reservations about electric cars for many years now, and for many reasons. David Smith chose to write about his experience, and I’m happy he chose to:

The only real analogy I can think of to describe how different this feels is to compare it to SSD hard-drives. SSD hard drives when they came out were ‘worse’ than traditional spinning disks in a wide variety of ways. They were smaller capacity, sometimes had lower maximum throughput and were considerably more expensive. But, from the moment you first used one it completely ruined computers for you. Going back to spinning disks once you have tasted instantaneous delivery feels broken.

It is the same with driving a Tesla. There is essentially no latency in your driving interaction with the car. I’ve often heard car fanatics (especially those who love manual transmissions) describe the feeling of being ‘connected’ to their car as they drive it. That their desire and the car’s ability to deliver it become closely and completely linked. Tesla delivers that experience but without all the training and skill needed to dance with a transmission.

That’s a unique way of looking at it, and I understood what David’s trying to convey instantly.

However, there are a few things I love about cars, being an enthusiast myself:

  • I love the sound of a good engine (NA V8s especially) and a decent exhaust (here’s mine in quiet mode).
  • I praise low weight in cars — the heavier a car, the worse it handles.
  • I don’t much care for outright speed (despite having a quick car) — cornering is much more important. This is what does it for me.
  • I actually prefer older cars to what the market now offers, apart from a few models which have caught my interest. The Mazda MX-5 RF is the newest addition to my wish list.

Perhaps most remarkable is how having regenerative braking changes things. Whenever I slide my foot slightly backward on the accelerator the car immediately begins to slow. The subtle difference between having to pull my foot all the way off the accelerator and then depress the brake makes a huge difference in how responsive the car feels to my desires.

I spent a day driving a BMW i3 — the regenerative braking experience was probably the only thing that really spoke to me, and which I got the hang of in just a few minutes. I do have one issue with this however — I used this method of braking to actually stop the car at lights, etc, but if you use regenerative braking to stop or slow down an electric car, the rear stop lights don’t light up. This could potentially be very dangerous if someone behind you isn’t paying attention.

Owning an electric car in my country is currently only for the extremely brave — there are hardly any charging stations and zero Superchargers. While I could see myself owning a Model S or 3, it would be relegated to being driven only in the city. One of my Twitter followers calculated that a 400 kilometre drive that I take regularly every few weeks, most of which is at 140-150 km/h speeds on the motorway, would take at least 7 hours, instead of the 3.5 it does now. No Superchargers, no fun.