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Arranged a spur-of-the-moment drop-in test drive at the Menlo Park store

Discussion in 'Model S' started by artsci, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I was across the country from my home city of Baltimore in Palo Alto on business last week, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to drop in on the Menlo Park store to see if I could arrange a spur-of-the-moment test drive. Did I luck out! As the store had a few early afternoon openings, in only about half an hour I was behind the wheel of a black Performance Model S. The staff at the store went way out of their way to help me.

    As there have been many test drive threads on the site, I'll limit my comments to the most striking elements of the drive. First, the acceleration was beyond my very high expectations, not only from start but at speed on the highway. It's neck snapping. Having so much torque on instantaneous command is a dream, especially for a driver like me who likes to drive very hard. Second, the handling is extraordinary, especially for a car of this size and weight. In on- and off-ramps to the freeway I pushed the car so hard the tires were squealing in protest, but the S maintained a flat posture and the handling was totally predictable. Third, the ride over the very rough roads of the course we followed was very smooth. I own a Chevy Volt, so the Model S's quiet ride was not so surprising (but noticeably better than the Volt's).

    While the Volt is a triumph of engineering, the Model S trumps it in almost every way. I can't wait for delivery, but with 8,780 people ahead of me, I'll have to be patient.
     
  2. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    Now that the retail stores are getting test drive cars it shouldn't be a big deal to arrange a test drive at a convenient time. I need to check with the Santa Monica store to see if I can get a test drive there. I've been wanting to visit the store there anyways :)
     
  3. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    Cool story! Must have been the same car my wife test drove (and possibly me too at the get amped event), while I was smeared across the backseat from G forces. Since the performance model is out of my reach, it's financially wise for me to not test drive/ride the performance model any more...
     
  4. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Sounds like a Tesla employee drove with you? (Just curious) What is a pre-defined course?
     
  5. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Yes, a Product Specialist, James Anderson, rode with me and indicated all of the turns. He was very knowledgeable and extremely helpful.

    I don't know the area at all, so the route was not familiar, but it was mostly two lane roads with a brief stretch on a freeway, where I got up to the 80mph limiter in a flash. It might have been the same course as the AmpedUp event, but I don't know. The route certainly provided a good test of the car's capabilities. Plenty of opportunities to test the suspension, ride quality, handling, and performance.

    They were scheduled for test drives all day. I was just lucky to walk in when there was an opening.
     
  6. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    The Get Amped event had no freeway segment, so this route is different. It would be different anyway, since it leaves from the Menlo Park store rather than the Palo Alto headquarters building. I would guess you probably went up Sand Hill road to 280. That's easily accessible from the store.
     
  7. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    You're right. Looking at a map of the area I was able to figure out the route. We went left on El Camino Real out of the store lot, then right on Sand Hill to I-280, then to the Alpine Road exit. We reconnected to Sand Hill on Alpine Road then back to the store.
     
  8. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    If only there were stores close to Atlanta!
     
  9. ChrisHenryOC

    ChrisHenryOC Member

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    Does anyone know where/if there is a list of stores that have test drive cars available? This thread is very exciting and planning a similar adventure sounds like a good time.

    Maybe a sticky topic on stores with test drive cars available?

    -Chris
     
  10. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Pretty soon all the stores will have test drive vehicles. It's easy enough to call ahead: Tesla website store list.
     
  11. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    FYI, I have been calling around in search of a Green to go see in person. Most of the stores don't know when the vehicles will arrive, other than "sometime in September", and the color combinations will be a surprise to them as well.
     
  12. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    The Toronto store (currently under construction in Yorkdale Mall) has a black Performance model.
     
  13. ChrisHenryOC

    ChrisHenryOC Member

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    I was at the Fashion Island Tesla Store in Newport Beach, CA today and they now have a production, non-Signature, Model S in the store now in Sunset Red for people to check out. They also have a Performance model available for test drives for reservation holders. I've got a test drive booked for Thursday afternoon and can't wait.

    -Chris
     
  14. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Did you have to make a reservation or just stop by? I'm heading to the area on Thursday for a week or so and would love another test drive.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oops! Re-read and you said you booked it. Just got excited I guess :)
     

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