Is this the future of motoring?

Tesla Model S

In the future, this new Tesla Model S electric car might just be remembered alongside the Model T Ford as “an automotive game-changer”, says Ben Oliver in The Daily Telegraph.

It will only be made in small numbers (deliveries to the UK start early next year), will be expensive (somewhere between £50,000 and £80,000), and the driving range is limited (about 265 miles between charges). “But few new cars have ever combined so many radical innovations in one new design.”

For example, most of the car’s functions are controlled via an iPad-style touchscreen and there is a huge amount of cabin and bootspace as the car has minimal mechanics (no transmission tunnel, for example).

It is a very big car, says Jim Holder in Autocar, and driving it, particularly around town, can be “a nervy experience” until you get used to the dimension, especially the width of the thing.

And the acceleration is “shocking” too – it may weigh two tonnes, but the engine will still whisk you to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 130mph. But it’s also perhaps the most practical and credible yet of the pure electric cars. 

The Tesla is “both incredibly engaging and fully practical”, agrees Damon Lavrinc in Wired. It “feels and drives like the future” and is “a rolling testament to the potential of automotive innovation”.

Price: £50,000-£90,000 (estimate)
Top speed: 130mph (limited)
0-62mph: 4.4 seconds
Economy: 265-mile range
Power: 416bhp at 5,000-8,600rpm

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