Day 1 Recap: First Drive

3:30pm: We finally finish with delivery and Bill gets a chance to take it for a spin. We pull it into the daylight for the first time and head off on the same test loop that Tesla uses for all factory/media test drives.

First impressions are that the car is butter smooth without being wallowy or sloppy. For having 21″ wheels, there is no harshness in the suspension and the car tracks very well. It’s quiet, enough to the point where you hear things you’ve never heard before, pebbles on the road, tire noise, a distinct whine when you punch the accelerator. Matt tells us this is a harmonic resonance set up in the contacts (not sure where) that happens when you send that much current through them.

On a sad note, we pass the old Solyndra plant, with a for sale sign out front, hoping that Tesla isn’t ever religated to a black eyed foot note in the history books.

Bill also noticed the prominent torque in the Model S, available from 0 RPM. I don’t think he really put his foot into it and was able to catch up to the traffic in front of him rather quickly.

Regen braking was also interesting. Bill’s used to this in his roadster, but says it’s “weird to experience this in a normal car.” Normal car my foot, this thing is a full size rocket ship.


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