TESLA Model S 100D | 2500km. 3 Countries. 4 Days. All Electric. All fun.
What started out as a, “Take a Tesla for a drive and let us know what you think”, became so much more after driving 2500km across three countries and in only four days.
I can only compare the feeling of driving the Tesla Model S 100D to what someone would feel riding an old steam locomotive and then trying a high-speed bullet train, or to flying in an old propeller plane and then breaking the sound barrier in a jet plane. The Tesla really is that remarkable and makes you smile and giggle when you tap the accelerator and instantaneously rocket from 0-100 kmh in just 4.3 seconds. And all of this completely silent! It’s quite a marvelous feeling to be pushed back in the seat while accelerating and yet to be hearing the sounds of birds chirping along the countryside road. This is why people buy electric cars, I thought.
When you first sit in the Tesla Model S 100D you can’t help but think you are sitting in an IMAX theater. It’s as if someone removed the 1980’s rotary dial telephone dashboards and replaced them with the largest smartphone touchscreen ever. The result really is a game changer and makes the entire interface to the car immediately familiar It’s like getting your first touch screen phone all over again that you just keep poking the screen to see what else the car can do.
We set the destination for Cannes, France into the GPS and the route was plotted for the 637km from Barcelona, Spain. Immediately we thought, “what could go wrong, will go wrong”. Could we make it? What if the recharging stations were full? What if we didn’t make it to the charger? Our Tesla Model S had a range of 500km, so we were going to put her to the real long distance travel test or get stranded on the road trying!
“All very automated, all very easy, all very Tesla”
It was as if the Tesla knew. As if she could sense the rookie pilots and their range anxiety and just in a matter of seconds the GPS routed us through a charging station in Nimes, France on the way to Cannes. And even to make sure we would arrive with enough electric juice she would even give us warnings to slow down to conserve enough battery throughout the journey. All very automated, all very easy, all very Tesla. We began to bond and build a relationship with this car knowing that it was not going to let us down.
When we arrived in Nimes four hours later we pulled up to the Superchargers and plugged in our Model S. At this point we discover that it will take forty-minutes to charge and be on our way again. I’m thinking that the feeling of waiting forty minutes would pretty much feel just like watching paint dry. I imagined it was going to be just plain boring to watch other gas-powered cars come and be on their way quickly while we sat waiting.
“Tesla really is the new standard in what a car should be. All electric, all performance, and best of all, just a lot of fun”
What happened next is hard to explain and probably can only be experienced to really understand, but it’s like when you put on a pair of jeans that you have not worn for a while and find money hiding in the pocket. You feel like it’s your lucky day! Those forty-minutes of charging time is just like someone magically giving you extra time in the day while saying, “You deserve this, take a load off”. I found myself enjoying these stops more and more to just stretch the legs, get a bite to eat/drink, or even just lay the seat back and day-dream a bit!
From Cannes, France we continued towards Monaco as we drove along the beautiful French Riviera. This was the beginning of really testing the performance of the Model S along the hilly and curvy roads. If you have ever driven a Go-Kart you can imagine what the Model S 100D feels like taking curves. The tires just stick to the road and accelerating into the curves makes you feel like the car is on rails as the car just goes and you don’t feel any lateral rolling. When you see those roadside arrows alerting you to slow down as a sharp curve is coming, well, with this Tesla it’s like Formula 1 and the Model S just eats up the corners. It’s like you are sitting there with your little angel on one shoulder and your little devil on the other arguing it out and saying, “Slow down, Speed up, Slow down”. Sometimes you just have to let the little devil inside win! It’s a fabulous sensation arriving in Monaco and seeing all the other exotic sport cars, there was no car-envy while driving the Tesla. Would not trade in my new all-electric buddy for anything!
“It’s a fabulous sensation arriving in Monaco and seeing all the other exotic sport cars, there was no car-envy while driving the Tesla”
After leaving the glitz and glamour of Monaco we headed through the contrasting rustic, beautiful, and winding roads of Cinque Terre, Italy. There are few things more beautiful than the Italian coastline dotted with these colorful and quaint sleepy fishing villages. However, it was all the more impressive by turning on something very special called, “autopilot”. With one-click it was as if the Tesla turned itself into Bumblebee from the Transformers movie and just drove itself! The Tesla would brake by itself, stay in its lane by itself, and take all the winding curves by itself. It was as if there was a second pair of ‘hands and eyes’ keeping watch safely over the car leaving me to enjoy all the scenery of Bella Italia and dream a bit about the upcoming lunch plans of pasta and mozzarella on the Mediterranean Sea.
It had been a great few days of driving, but it was now time to return my new friend. We returned the Tesla back to where we started just a few days earlier with 2501km and we could have kept on going. Tesla really is the new standard in what a car should be. All electric, all performance, and best of all, just a lot of fun. I can definitely say I will never buy a gas-powered car again.