Final Thoughts: On the Model S

Hello Blog Readers,

A big thank you to each and every one of you for following our journey.   Your questions, positive comments and overall interest in what we were doing certainly helped us push through the harder times of the journey, the late nights, early arrivals and imminent zombie-like state that can easily overwhelm anyone taking a cross country road trip.

As I sit on the plane on the way back to real life in Los Angeles, I will attempt to capture some of the lasting impressions of the trip in subsequent posts.

On the Model S (I’ll leave the real road tests to the automotive mags):

  • The car is a superb grand tourer if there ever was one.  It’s a large car, by design, but the way that it’s constructed, with the weight down low, makes much more nimble than you’d think.  Once you get used to the heft, you can dart in and out of traffic, take on/off ramps at speed, and defend your spot in the lane with ease.
  • Steering is precise, but a little light for my tastes, even on ‘sport’ mode.
  • Many of you are curious about the seats.  My final word on them is that they were comfortable for up to 300 miles at a time, for me.  Your results may vary.
  • Accelerator response takes a little getting used to for ultimate precision needed for parallel parking, but once you know how things are going to react, it responds predictably.  I recently got in a ‘normal’ car and was surprised at how sluggish it felt.
  • The braking transition between regen and real brakes is super smooth.  There’s no abrupt transition between regen and real brakes, like one would find on a Prius.
  • It’s also easy to drive.  My mother, who normally drives a Honda Accord, hopped in the car last night and, with minimal coaching on the operating controls,  was able to successfully pilot the car down the road and she enjoyed herself.  I can’t say that she shared the same opinion after driving the roadster.  From my time at the helm, the ride is butter smooth, even with the 21″ wheels, allowing us to put 2800+ miles on the car without feeling beat up.  When trying to maximize your range, cruise control is your best friend, and in tandem with the regen braking, keeps your speed exactly.  Trucks and other vehicles on the road hate you for this, but it’s very exact.
  • It’s a gorgeous car.  Pictures don’t do it justice and often times I found my gaze drifting back to the car, just observing it’s curves, watching it silently charge.  Occasionally, a cooling fan would kick on to regulate the battery temperature, but, Tesla has done a good job of minimizing the disturbance from cooling fans.  They must have gotten some negative feedback from the charging noises of the roadster.
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9 thoughts on “Final Thoughts: On the Model S

  1. Thanks for detailing your adventure, was a fun read. One correction to this post. You say “The braking transition between regen and real brakes is super smooth. There’s no abrupt transition between regen and real brakes, like one would find on a Prius.” This is because there is no transition. In the Model S the brake pedal is pure brake. Regen happens when you lift your foot from the accelerator completely. Thanks again,

  2. I have enjoyed each night reading about ur adventure! Sorry to see it come to an end. I was a sig , dropped to a gen p to get the color I wanted with the news from today it looks like Jan will be my delivery. Thx for the voyeuristic trip!

  3. Thanks for this, the Model S is a beautiful car and this site is very interesting read. However I have to disagree with cruise control improving the range, at least on IC cars it’s the opposite.

    • I drive a Tesla roadster and can say that the cruise control indeed increases the range. Cruise control on an electric car is much simpler because you don’t have to deal with gear changes. CC just increases or decreases the flow of electricity in a way that’s much more precise than what somebody could do manually. When driving without CC, you constantly accelerate and decelerate as your attention wanders. With CC in an electric car the car just coasts at the exact speed using exactly the amount of energy necessary to keep it.

  4. Tesla motors have launched new model S series. The car is extremely beautiful, elegant also. This could be confirmed from the above images of the car. It is a super grand tourer, a large car which can accommodate many persons in it. The best reason to buy the car is that it is easy to drive the car.

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