Test Driving the Model S

Today I had a crack at driving the Model S.

I’ll level with you: there is no way I could afford even a base Model S.

In Australia the absolute base standard model is over $110K. That includes all discounts and incentives – of which, thanks to our backwards government, there are few.

I drive a Nissan X-Trail (the last of the “boxy” X-Trails from 2012). The wife has a Yaris. So we’re not “rich car” people. Even the base Model S is about 3 times the cost of the most expensive car I’ve ever owned.

However, in good news, today’s test drive was not in the base Model S.

I was in a dual-motor Model S 90.


I have been thinking about owning an EV for a long time now, and about how it would feel, and how it would respond.


I was unprepared for the sheer awesomeness of this event. The lightness of the steering, the road responsiveness, and that is without me even thinking about the tech that underpins the whole thing. Sure, I’m not a luxury car drive ordinarily, but MAN!

We spent a bit of time driving around Sydney’s lower north shore, getting a feel for the capabilities and luxury of the beast. And the silence, which I found a little unnerving at first, but quickly learned to laugh at… somewhat deliriously.

What I hadn’t appreciated previously, when freaking out about the Model S, was the simplistic elegance of the design. Besides the main screen with all its configuration (handled wonderfully by Adele from Tesla, guiding us on our magical space journey), everything is really thoughtfully laid out and simple to operate.

You just get in, and drive, and nothing about it is an issue, even for a first-timer. Well, except the left-side indicator stem… European layout… Hmph. I’m just used to Japanese cars so no biggie.

We experimented a little with the different modes, and it was really amazing how quickly the car shifted to Sports and Performance modes. You could feel the suspension and steering sharpen up as soon as Adele switched it over, even at 60 km/h.

We also drove past an Audi R8, and we all had a good laugh at the difference in price versus performance.

The Autopilot was really cool at notifying cars and other objects that were within the car’s sphere of influence. It was really noticeable how different the layout was to other cars I’ve driven, particularly the space down the middle of the vehicle, and smart use of every area.

And then, there is that acceleration… I’ll let this short video (and my daughter) do the talking…

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