Tesla Model S: Still the top dog when it comes to all-electric motoring

THE Tesla Model S is still the top dog when it comes to all-electric motoring.

Tesla Model S TESLA

Tesla Model S price as tested: From £94,000 (not inc. grant)

What is it?

The S has spacious seating for five, copious amounts of storage, and some of the best in-car tech on the market. It’s also fast and fun, as Elon Musk aims for the perfect all-rounder with his battery-powered saloon.

What’s new?

The 100D is the newest version of the Model S and offers the ideal combination of range and power if you’re in the market for an electric car. According to Tesla, if you drove slowly and carefully, you could coax around 600 miles out of one charge, but realistically it’ll take you 300 without any problems.

Don’t confuse this model with the P 100D, though, where the ‘P’ stands for performance and you’ll do 0-60mph in 2.7 seconds and have the option of ‘Ludicrous’ or ‘Insane’ modes. The 100D is slightly more sensible, achieving this in 4.2 seconds.

What’s under the bonnet?

Under the bonnet of the 100D you won’t find a lot. You’ll have to dig a little deeper to where the twin-electric motors are, giving our test model its all-wheel-drive power. With this option, you’ll get 375bhp and 440Nm of torque, putting it easily in contention with fuel-burning German rivals but without the emissions or cost of fuel.

What’s it like to drive?

Even the smoothest combustion engine will struggle to compete with the power delivery of these electric motors.

As there are no gears, and torque is delivered instantly, pulling away is easy. It’s quiet too – there’s no engine noise, just the sound of the wind rushing across the car.

How does it look?

The Model S has been out for a while now, and although the latest generation has had a slight update to the grille, it largely looks the same.

The sleek lines of the car and simplified structure does set it apart from its German saloon competition, but many have described it as a bit boring.

 

Tesla Model S TESLA

Tesla Model S range (NEDC): 393 miles

Tesla Model S TESLA

Tesla Model S max speed (mph): 155

What’s it like inside?

Design has been kept simple in the cabin too. The centrepiece of the dash is a huge iPad-like screen, which can control the music, sat nav and other functions such as the sunroof, locks and charging.

The floor is completely flat, because there’s no transmission getting in the way, giving rear passengers maximum legroom while headroom will also accommodate even 6ft passengers. There’s far more space in the boot than you’d expect, plus more storage under the bonnet.

What’s the spec like?

There aren’t a lot of choices when you buy a Model S. It all comes down to engine options, which will quickly see the price soaring.

You can choose whether to have an opening sunroof, different wheel colours or interior materials but these are all pretty pricey.

Even if you go for the most basic Model S, you’ll be parting with at least £60,000.

Tesla Model S TESLA

Tesla Model S 0-60mph: 4.2 seconds

Verdict

The Model S 100D is an ideal choice for those who want to move to an electric car but also need to regularly drive long distances.

With 300 miles easily achievable, charging won’t be a particularly frequent occurrence for most owners.

However, the initial price will still be a problem for a lot of buyers but, if you can afford it, the benefits will start to rack up fast.

Tesla Model S TESLA

Tesla Model S charge time: 1.75 hours at 440V

FACTS AT A GLANCE

Model: Tesla Model S 100D

Price as tested: From £94,000 (not inc. grant)

Engine: 100kW electric motor

Power (bhp): 371

Torque (Nm): 440

Max speed (mph): 155

0-60mph: 4.2 seconds

Charge time: 1.75 hours at 440V

Range (NEDC): 393 miles

Emissions (g/km): 0

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