Driving into the future in a green machine

The Tesla Model S is one of the models the American company is using to woo overseas buyers. Photo / Supplied
The Tesla Model S is one of the models the American company is using to woo overseas buyers. Photo / Supplied

Not many test drives start from inside a gleamingly white, smoothly contoured interior of a shopping centre, but Tesla isn't an ordinary car manufacturer.

And the Model S isn't an ordinary sedan. It's set to transform the way we get from place to place and how we treat the planet.

Just launched in right-hand drive in the UK (see page 11), the Model S has had plenty of hype. The more sceptical might point out that a car costing £50,000 to £100,000 ($98,000 to $197,000) and sold around the corner from a Louis Vuitton store in White City, London, will struggle to be a green car for the masses.

Nonetheless, the Model S is a truly revolutionary car. Until now, most electric cars only offered a range of about 160km before recharging, but its unique battery pack containing over 7000 cells means the Model S has practically trebled that distance.

Plus, it's a proper sedan with space for five adults, all the creature comforts you want, and the ability to recharge via one of Tesla's supercharging stations in just 30 minutes.

It's the same story on the road, where the Model S is just as refined, if not more comfortable, than a top-of-the-range Mercedes or Audi, with terrifyingly immediate acceleration.

Buttons are few and far between and it feels a bit like driving a smartphone. Yet, despite all this future-heavy stuff, you still have to plug it in at the mains.

-Independent

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