Left-hand-drive test car, you see. And I kept doing it all week. Grrr… The first thing that happened on the other hand was far less irritating, as all four gleaming silver door handles magically, silently and simultaneously appeared out of nowhere to greet me.
And that was only the beginning There has never been a car remotely like the Model S before. Buckle up, everyone, for this is the future. Apart from the usual essentials — steering wheel, a couple of stalks for the indicators, lights, windscreen wipers, etc — there is nothing except for what looks like a giant iPad sitting smack bang in the centre of the console.
It is from here that Tesla Man can rule the world! Every variable is controlled via this tablet, so simple a budgie could use it. A giant iPad sits smack bang in the centre of the console. Well, think again Sherlock: A jolt delivered with such force it put me in mind of being a live crash-test dummy just as the catapult is released.
Post lift-off, having left my stomach half a mile down the road, it was time to ascertain how she performed out on the open road, doing things all cars need to do, regardless of how futuristic they may be. In short, she was fabulous — thanks in no small way to the monumental slab of batteries from which she derives her power. On countless occasions I challenged this authority, trying to get her out of shape and generally misbehave, but she was having none of it.
Whether we were gunning it down the next straight or sweeping around one bend after another, she just kept on keeping on without the slightest waver. Around town, she's a dream. A prudent measure Tesla has developed because of the dramatic rate at which the car slows down purely as a result of lifting off the power. Model S owners will also need to plan ahead should a road trip, say, from the south coast to the Lakes, be on the cards.
The other major worry I have with regards to a machine of such admirable ambition is reliability, especially where an all-electrical car is concerned Indeed, the original Sound Of Silence awaits all who are fortunate enough to travel in this cocoon of calm and tranquillity.
Everything runs off the titanic battery pack, ergo the more things you have turned on, the quicker the available power disappears, and the more you begin to picture yourself in your own budget version of Gravity.
Or at least this is what happened to me. A list of procedures that included reducing the brightness on the computer screen and turning down the volume on the radio, both of which scarily did actually make a difference. Thank you, Tesla, for the latest and largest addition yet to an ever-growing list of technology we now have to remember to plug in on a daily basis lest our lives come grinding to a halt.
Phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, electronic cigarettes and now this lovely motor.