New York Times contributor blogs about cars and other interesting ways of getting around.
Omigod: A vivid two minutes in the ultra-fast Tesla Model S
Testing the Tesla at Chelsea Piers. (Credit: Jim Motavalli)
- The car is oh-my-god fast, but not quite as big an assault on the senses as the Tesla Roadster.
- The interior is beautifully finished. Techies will love to play with the enormous 17-inch LCD infotainment screen, which has 3G cellphone-type Internet access, iTunes-like music storage and sorting, and all kinds of other things.
- The two rear-facing jump seats that are supposed to give this relatively compact sedan seven-seater capacity were not in evidence. The battery drivetrain means there’s storage both under the hood and in the long but shallow trunk. “More room than a station wagon,” Tesla claims.
- It’s really pretty in person. The “pusher” had incredible iridescent pearl paint that can also boast of being water-based and environmentally friendly. Other green features include 100 percent recycled PET carpeting and chrome-free, vegetable-tanned Italian leather (but vegetarians will still object).
- Don’t battery cars just transfer their pollution from tailpipe to power plant smokestack? Not so, says CEO Elon Musk. He claims the Model S, even if its electricity is 100 percent coal-derived, produces less carbon dioxide per mile than a Toyota Prius.
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