As i’m writing this post its been exactly 4 weeks since I took delivery of my Model S after many weeks of anticipation. Never had I researched and anticipated something so much. Delivery day was very special and I had some first impressions but that was 4 weeks and over 2,900 miles ago. I’ve collected a number of thoughts over time on specific areas of the car like the parking sensors along with other areas that i’ll cover in the future but there are a few things that really stand out after the first few weeks.
You’ll notice it on test drives, you’ll hear about it in the press, but even as time passes you appreciate more and more how quiet the car is. To have so much power and capability available whenever you need it but from absolute silence is just an amazing experience that never grows old.
Even as time passes you appreciate more and more how quiet the car is
Sometimes I turn off the radio, air conditioner etc. and just drive. At any speed its surreal how quiet the car is. Does this really improve a ride, help with traffic or other mundane driving matters? No, but it is how all cars should be.
Sometimes I turn off the radio, air conditioner etc. and just drive
I’ve owned high end cars before and some of them are really good at hiding the noise (sometimes by adding more nose into the car with noise cancellation) but its not the same as eliminating the noise and the vibrations of an engine.
Regenerative braking, what happens automatically when you take your foot off the “go” pedal is great for range by putting power back into the battery pack and using your cars momentum for some good use. But that really doesn’t describe the feeling and long term experience of really driving with a single pedal.
Once you get used to the Model S, you will only use your brake for urgent stops (hopefully few), and those last few inches when you come to a full stop at a stop sign or stop light. With a little practice, you can get brake use down to very near zero and the experience is amazing. You will not want to go back to a car where you have to use 2 pedals to drive knowing that when you hit that brake it’s all wasted energy.
You do not want to go back to a car where you have to use 2 pedals to drive.
I didn’t buy the Model S because it was fast, or green, or even cool. I’m an engineer and it called to the engineer in me. But the Model S is all of those things. What stands out every single day is the power of the car. Even when driving responsibly you merge differently, you think about traffic in a different way, you look forward to stop signs and lights as an opportunity feel the power. To my daughter who doesn’t drive yet I explained it as a feeling that the Model S is a shark in a school of fish.
The Model S is a shark in a school of fish
You’re driving along peacefully with the other cars but you and everyone else around you knows you can leap forward in an instant. Thats a very cool feeling, but with great power comes great responsibility and the temptation to abuse it is great.
All this power comes easily and with little fuss. You use this power during the day, plug it in at night and you’re ready to go again tomorrow. Gears, shifting, hesitations, and fuel stops are all things of the past and have been replaced with pure power.
I’m not a car guy but you can feel the beauty of the Model S in its design. No, it isn’t perfect, but the Model S is a creation of passion and every element of the Model S shows that passion. Other cars like the Mercedes S550 are high quality luxury cars, but they are well done versions of the past.
The Model S is a creation of passion
With the Model S, Tesla was willing to re-think everything from the power system, to interior controls, to whether or not you need a spare tire or a CD player. The more you drive the Model S the more you appreciate the work and diligence that went into it. Unlike other cars that have great first impressions but then nag at you over time, the Model S impresses from the start and its beauty only grows over time.
There’s so much to like about the Model S that it’s hard to pick just a few elements. But the silence, braking, power and beauty of the car are the four that stand out to me after my four weeks of ownership. It is an expensive car, less so if you look at the true costs of ownership, but rather than regret the purchase the only thing I wonder is why I didn’t buy the Model S sooner. What are you waiting for?
The only thing I wonder is why I didn’t buy the Model S sooner.