Tesla Motors is never going to be able to fill orders when people start seeing and driving the new Tesla S. Yes, it’s just that good.
I was out of town and missed the normal media drives, but Shanna Hendriks, communications manager for Tesla Motors in Palo Alto, California, kindly squeezed me in for a test drive here in Chicago.
I stood in a velvet- roped line with guys, gals and families, all of whom were anticipating delivery of their Tesla Model S. Like kids at an amusement park, we watched for our ride, waited, and then scrambled for a seat, finally buckling up, all smiles.
- A beautiful exterior—Maserati GranToursimo at the front—Jaguar at the rear, the car is big like a 6 series BMW, but very well proportioned.
- Celebrity status– everyone looks. Just ask the couple in the 5 Series BMW constantly trying (and failing) to catch me, just to snap pictures.
- Flush until it’s pushed, the door handle glides out of the body toward you, providing finger gripping to open the doors. Fit and finish on par with its competition (BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Panamera), the interior is stylish but not lavish, comfortable not stuffy.
- 17 inch navigation/info screen that reminds you of a drive-in movie, with WI-FI and mobile connectivity linking you to everyone and everything on earth.
- George Blankenship, best known as the architect of Apple’s brand building retail strategy for an amazing in-store experience, designed the stores to reflect the interactive genius of Apple.
And this is a ride that doesn’t disappoint. Hit the uh…, juice, and the equivalent of 416 HP moves this thing quickly.
Absolutely effortless acceleration ( 4.4 seconds to 60 MPH, mid 12’s through the quarter mile) is matched with extremely good handling. For me, part of owning a high-performance car is the exhaust sounds, but here the silence is punctuated only by tire noise when cornering hard, and you will corner hard at every opportunity as there is terrific grip with very little body roll.
YOU WILL LIKE THIS CAR BECAUSE:
- Tesla has managed to roll chic, high-tech, and eco-friendly into a hugely desirable means of transportation. Someday soon, other automotive journalists are going to chronicle the point where everything changed, and a lot of them are going to point to this car.
I know I’m going to hear the bitching. Yes, it needs recharging but so do I, and as we speak, power stations are springing up all over the place.
Surrounded by all of these people, grinning from ear to ear, anxious to be part of something a little bigger than just a new automobile, has certainly made me a believer. And yes,Tesla in Oak Brook is opened on Sundays.
For a test drive, call Senica Giese (708-906-6847) at Tesla and mention my name.
58 Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, IL 60523
See you on down the road,