The other day I have spent some time with a black facelift Tesla Model S for private photo shooting. As a motor enthusiast I couldn’t help not to share a few thoughts with you.
1. The Looks.
I would happily say it looks handsome. Thanks to Franz von Holzhausen, who now work for Tesla (obviously) on styling the Model S and Model X. I think the Model S styling sits well in the class with other smart looking executive examples in the market. Tesla didn’t try to put unconventional shapes and lines to make a point. It just blends in with the norm and I bet in early years before it gets too popular, a petrol station assistant would welcome you with “Super or normal unleaded sir?” Good mark here for Tesla styling the Model S for the mass.
2. The Interior.
It has A BIG FLAT SCREEN! Yes, I would say it draws the most attention for the interior. You can control almost everything from central locking to ride height adjustment for the air suspension. It also relays a lot of other information such as energy consumption, Sat-Nav and audio system. I would compliment the inside door handle as it has an artistic sense of design, but the rest are just pretty standard. It has leather seats, cup holders and 3 points seatbelts. Almost too dull but I would understand it as Tesla is not selling their interior but the drivetrain technology. Being inside feels spacious and easy enough, since all Model S have no mechanical linkage between the front and rear axle, the rear legroom can be flat making it convenient to take on three adults for a long commute.
3. The Ride
I haven’t yet driven one with my own hands but I can tell you my feels as a passenger. It rides fine with no harshness even on bumpy roads of Hong Kong, and I think the air suspension did what it should for the car. Then I asked the owner for his comment if he would have a bit of sprinted driving. He said there isn’t much special on how engaging with the steering feels on the road, as though all are filtered and refined beforehand. And I think that would be fair for the Model S because Tesla did make it to set lap records initially.
I like it and I think Tesla makes great first impression to the market. It is practical with both front and rear luggage compartments, powerful drivetrain with absolutely zero emission and comes with high tech gadgets. It is almost a dream-come-true, almost.
As much as I appreciate the philosophy behind the Model S, my biggest concern is the limited charging points in Hong Kong. As from the official website, no more than 20 charging points, and even with the supercharging facilities it will take 40 minutes to charge to 80%. And I haven’t talked about the long queue yet. Basically my priority in motoring is the usability of it. I cannot quite take it on if I have to ‘waste’ 1-2 hours at the supercharging points even just once a week. I know there are motorists finding it liveable but unless Tesla can figure out even quicker charging methods, I would happily stick to my beloved diesel sedan for a bit.