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.