Insane! That was the verdict of the journalist behind the first automotive review of Tesla’s new dual motor four-wheel drive model. He went on to define the term ‘insanity’ in context, retrieving two definitions from the dictionary and as the third synonym, he simply suggested: Tesla Model S P85D. You have most probably heard of Tesla, and maybe you have even seen a Model S silently glide past you on the street. And if you’re among the lucky few, you’ve even had the pleasure of experiencing the car from the driver’s seat, soundlessly picking up speed to blow you away. For the uninitiated, we are here talking of the Tesla Model S, a luxury electric car that was hailed as the “best performing electric car ever tested” by the US Consumer Reports.
And now the Tesla Model S has a crazy twin brother. With the introduction of the Tesla Model S P85D, the eco-friendly Model S not only offers the comfort of an executive-class luxury sedan, it now also feels like a Ferrari-killer. But it isn’t just the car’s lightning-fast performance that’s insane – the interface is pretty wacky, too, in a geeky kind of way. For instance, you can adjust the stereo volume to level 11 (one up on the regular scale of 0-10) – a reference to the This is Spinal Tap rock music mockumentary. And in the settings of the car you can choose between ‘normal, sporty and insane’. Because the latter, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk explains, really is “insane”!
On the exterior, the Tesla S P85D only differs from its sibling by discreetly displaying the letter D (for Dual motor) on the tailgate, but on the interior, the new car marks nothing less than a revolution. Despite its executive-class size the car tears up tarmac like a Ferrari and reaches 100kpm in an impressive 3.4 seconds. Top speed is limited to 250kph to conserve power. The Tesla Model P85D is the world’s first dual engine production car, with one 470hp motor located between the rear wheels and an additional 221hp motor located between the two front wheels. The two motors are digitally controlled and there is no heavy, bulky drive shaft, which is why the distribution of force between the wheels can be modified in just milliseconds, far more efficiently than with any mechanical system.
But what makes a Tesla so unique? The first things that overwhelm you when stepping on the accelerator are the sheer G-forces, followed by the silence. You are pressed back in your seat with the feeling of being swept away like a leaf by a mighty gust of wind. No torque, no redeeming roar as the forces are unleashed. Just silent comfort, as we know it primarily from German executive sedans. But it’s not just the Tesla Model S that is in a class of its own. The whole Tesla concept is radically different from anything we’ve ever seen before. For example, Tesla has set up a network of supercharger stations covering most of Europe. Here, cars are supercharged at no expense to motorists owning Tesla models with larger battery packs. The European network has been up and running since August 2013 and by the end of 2014, Tesla customers will enjoy access to over 100 supercharging stations in Europe, reaching from the North Cape to Rome. Tesla already has two showrooms and service centres in Copenhagen and has just opened a showroom with service facilities in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city.
At the heart of the Tesla S P85D is the well-tested Tesla drivetrain, which delivers both extreme range and great handling. With a range of over 500km, the Tesla S P85D even surpasses the Model S. The two electric motors provide full momentum from the very moment of ignition, and the rigidity and balanced weight distribution of the car combined with its powerful pull, low centre of gravity and all-wheel drive ensures that you enjoy not only the comfort of a luxury sedan but also the easy handling of a sports car. The absence of an internal combustion engine also gives the Tesla Model S ample luggage space, including storage under the hood/bonnet. Among its other features, the Tesla S P85D cabin interior is dominated by a 17” touch screen with Internet access.
Tesla is investing huge sums in infrastructure in Denmark. In December, Europe’s largest Supercharger station will open near the town of Køge south of Copenhagen. Tesla’s superchargers are the world’s fastest charging system for electric vehicles. A 15-minute charge provides enough power to reach the next charging station (200 km). In addition there are already Supercharger stations in the towns of Middelfart, Randers and Hjørring and there are at least two more in the pipeline for 2015. In practical terms this means that on a return trip between Copenhagen and Esbjerg, for instance, you just need to allow for 20 minutes of supercharging, and also according to Google Maps you will save DKK 620 on gasoline in addition to saving the planet a large amount of CO2 since the stations offer eco-certified power supply. The European network is being developed at lightning speed, and you can now cross large parts of Europe using the Tesla charger stations. By the end of 2015, you will be able to drive all the way from North Cape to Rome and in 2016 you can also reach Istanbul and Lisbon. If you own a Tesla with the larger of the battery packs, using the Supercharger stations is entirely free of charge.
Model S P85D Acceleration: 0-100kph in 3.4 seconds Top speed: 250kph Range: 460km on one charge (models with lower force have longer range) All-wheel drive Charging time: 50% in 20 min. (with Supercharge) Active safety: lane-change warning and speed warning The Aarhus service centre Tesla’s new service centre in Aarhus ensures Tesla owners west of Zealand access to full service. In addition, the new showroom located at Bredskiftevej 20 in Aarhus offers trial runs. Book a trial next time you are in Aarhus: www.teslamotors.com