2012 Tesla Model S - waiting for our 90-second rideEnlarge Photo
2012 Tesla Model S prototypeEnlarge Photo
Tesla Model SEnlarge Photo
John Voelcker over at our sister site GreenCarReports.com got a once in a lifetime chance a couple of days ago. A chance that he says occurred by simply being in the right place at the right time. Voelcker, got his 90 seconds of passenger seat time in the world's only running prototype of the Tesla Model S.
Along with other journalists, soon to be Model S owners, car enthusiasts and others with connections, Voelcker waited in a long line until his turn came up around midnight. He got to ride alongside Zak Edson who drove the Model S. The ride lasted less than 90 seconds, but initial impressions are listed below.
Performance wise, Voelcker stated that the Model S is not as quick as the Roadster, but noted that it did accelerate smoothly and quickly. He commented that the car is silent in motion and that it acclerates from 0-40 in a manner consistent with the numbers that Tesla has posted.
The exterior styling is handsome according to Voelcker and despite what some believe from the pictures, getting in and out of the rear seats did not prove to be problematic. On the inside, the vehicle is roomy, but the rear is tight for riders. The much talked about display inside the Model S looked huge and similar to pictures shown previously, but could not be evaluated in 90 seconds.
Conclusion. From the limited seat time, Voelcker is unable to do a full evaluation of the vehicle, but notes that its acceleration is lively, its exterior styling is world class and the interior is as good as expected for its price class.
The brief test ride took place April 29th at the Chelsea Piers sports complex across from the West Side Highway in Manhattan. The Tesla Model S has been in New York City as part of its launch party and appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday night.
The Model S is expected in 2012.