Since Elon Musk, the self-made billionaire driving force behind PayPal and SpaceX, came on board at Tesla, the trajectory has been ever upwards. And no wonder, with the all-electric range of cars ousting fossil fuels and needing to make no excuses along the way. Choose from great performance or a decent range and travel in style and luxury. The only down-side is that, whilst long distances can be completed via free charging stations, the stationary period will be for at least half an hour for an 80% charge. But as that is a reasonable break after a four hour drive, it is not too unreasonable.
The Model S range has a staggering performance, with the 0-60mph time of the slowest model being 5.5 seconds. Whilst that is amazing in itself this rear-wheel drive 70 has a 260 mile driving range. Meanwhile the top-model four-wheel drive P85D, together with the ludicrous speed option, charges to 60mph in a bewildering 2.8 seconds, and a can travel 305 rather more sedate miles on a single charge. Of course, using that performance will eat into the range, but at least you have a choice. And if range is the sole requirement, the 85D drops the P for performance and can cover up to 330 miles.
Well, those are the headline figures. But the manufacturer goes further by providing free charging points throughout Europe and an unlimited (infinite, according to Tesla) battery warrantee.
The car competes directly with cars such as the BMW 5 series, but is far quieter and much more luxurious, with a unique interior featuring a massive 17” central touchscreen.
The Model X range is Tesla’s take on BMW’s X6, a luxury SUV coupe. This gull-wing doored car, which has an anticipated launch date somewhere in 2016, has an electric motor on each axle. The claimed range is expected to be up to 300 miles when not pushing, with a 0-60mph of around 4.4 seconds when it is pushed. Expect all the luxury, refinement and comfort ofthe Model S, together with all the ‘standard’ Tesla charging points and warrantees.
With the usual long range associated with any new Tesla, this is another electric-only car that is allowed to squeeze onto this web site. It is intended to be a competitor to the BMW 3-Series, in price, quality and size. Expect M3-bashing performance to go with it. It is anticipated to arrive in the UK before the end of summer, 2017.
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