The Tesla Model S has taken the electric car market by storm, with 21,000 finding homes globally in the last two years and sales of 40,000 predicted in 2014.
Right-hand-drive versions don’t arrive in the UK until the middle of next year, but LHD deliveries have already begun. We tried the the Tesla Model S P85+ - the top-spec performance version in full seven-seat configuration.
With no combustion engine to fit in, there’s space for a pair of optional rear-facing child seats in the boot and 150 litres of storage under the bonnet. Fold the rear seats flat and you get 1,642 litres of luggage capacity – as much as in a BMW 5 Series Touring.
Not only was our Tesla electric car fitted with the largest battery and high-performance motor – hence the scorching 4.2-second 0-60mph time – but the ‘+’ in the name signifies a handling pack. That adds stiffer dampers and wider Michelin Pilot Sport tyres, giving the Tesla Model S performance a boost.
For a 2.2-tonne car, the way the car flies off the line has to be experienced to be believed; there’s no engine noise, and even as you near the 130mph Tesla Model S top speed, refinement is superb. So is comfort, thanks to the height-adjustable air-suspension, but in corners the weight is apparent.
Keep your steering, brake and throttle inputs smooth, and you can make swift progress. Yet understeer awaits if you’re too ambitious with your entry speed.
The Tesla Model S price is estimated to start at £82,400.