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Back from Germany, ICE experience and how successful will Telsa be there ?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by joer00, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. joer00

    joer00 Member

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    Hi,

    I just came back from a two weeks vacation in "good old Germany". I haven't been there for a while and just forgot how beautiful it is :)

    A while ago I posted somewhere that I think Tesla will be a failure in Germany due to the lack of high speed performance. Some (mostly Germans living there) responded that high speeds are over in Germany, so it should not be an issue for Tesla. After being back here some of my thoughts/experiences:

    1.) The first day I drove an almost 10 year old Mercedes E class from a friend. The car had more than 100k miles and it's amazing how great it drove ! I must admit it was quieter at 100 MPH than my MS and it also had a (small) pano roof ! The quality of the German cars, be it MB, BMW, Audi or Porsche is still outstanding and NOT reached by Tesla (yet).

    2.) The Autobahn "racing" is indeed far less than in 1997 when I moved to US. BUT, it's not over ! At 90 mph I had a Fedex truck (Mercedes Benz Sprinter DIESEL) in my back giving my light signals to free the lane for him ! A few days later we started our motor bike tour, my bike maxed out at 150 mph and this time a 911 gave me the lights to free the lane ! This in my opinion WILL BE a problem for Tesla. Even if most of the time you never drive at that speed, if you spend >100k on your car and any 30k car passes you, it will be to much embarrassment for many German car freaks. In addition even the top speed of the MS can only be sustained for only seconds. "A friend" was just driving my P85 at 115 mph and immediately the power restriction line went on. 100 mph is an easy going cruising speed in Germany, but even that speed is nothing for a MS as it uses to much battery and it is just to noisy with the pano roof. It is a shame, but currently still the fact. Of course none of this is an issue in USA.

    3.) Beside the old Mercedes of my friend, I drove two brand new BMW's. What a TERRIBLE experience !! The Germans are experts in getting the most out of their cars and getting the best fuel economy. Both BMW's had a start/stop automatic, so finally at each stop you get for a few seconds the feeling how it is to drive a Tesla, quiiiiiiiiiiite. Especially on the Diesel models once the engine stops with some heavy shaking of the whole car you immediately say "ahhhh what a relief". Just to be woken up in the terrible ICE world shortly after by a more extreme shaking of the whole car when the engine starts again. In the city you have a constant change of ahhhh's and arghs%^$#! Driving is a constant disturbance as the automatic shifts up or down, noises going up or down with more or less shaking. If you think a German luxury car makes no noise and no vibration, just switch it off and you see how wrong your are !

    I really had to admire my brother how he messed in a fast and professional way with that "stupid" control wheel (I had in in my previous Audi too and I hated it). Indeed after maybe 20 turns of that stupid wheel left and right and 20 button clicks he finally found that address we wanted to drive too ! Not to forget the 5 times pressing buttons in between when he entered the wrong letter. We still failed our target first as we got into a construction closed street and with the tiny screen there was no way to really see where we are and where we are going.

    Long story short, NEVER EVER I want to drive an ICE ! Non Tesla drivers think we all wear rose colored glasses here and are crazy, and sometimes I thought "are they maybe right ?". They are not, it is real ! I just came back from the world's finest cars and I don't want them ! Those cars are awesome but history which will die out slowly but for sure until all replaced by technology we drive today in the MS. I will not step back into the past just for some fancier leather or missing parking sensors. Fact is that currently I can pay 50k or so to some interior car tuning company and get the finest leather, cherry wood and what have you if I really want it. However there is no company I can give a magnitude of that money to modify a BMW/Mercedes etc to drive like an MS. The only option I would have is to pay >500.000 US$ for an electric MB AMG SLS with a 150 miles OPTIMAL range.

    I think we all sometimes have to go "back to the past" to appreciate how great the MS is as we get used to it so quickly.
     
  2. Ven Rala

    Ven Rala Member

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    I just came back from Germany myself (though I had a puny Citroen wagon). One thing I will add is that the top speeds I saw on the Autobahns were only sustained for a few miles, then the speed limit kicks in or there is construction, etc. In the areas I drove it was difficult to drive more than 95 for more than a few miles.
     
  3. joer00

    joer00 Member

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    That really depends on which "Autobahn" you drive. When I had to go long distances I usually drove at late night where there is no traffic. There are places where you can go 150 mph for longer time.
     
  4. Realist

    Realist Member

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    Very nice report.

    Regarding the new BMWs. Many of these new cars combine a 4 cycl Diesel with the Start Stop. These cars are efficient but not nice to drive. Friend of mine has a BMW 525d with a 218hp 4 cycl Diesel. It’s not really refined.
    Things are however very different in a gasoline car.

    In a BMW 7series you will not hear the engine being turned off at idle and you hardly notice it jumping back to life again. In combination with an 8 speed gearbox the twin turbo v8 or V12 offer a very smooth and always powerful driving experience.

    The high Speed performance in the Model S is disappointing.
     
  5. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    And no one should forget why Germans and Europeans in general (are forced to) put up with extremely fuel-efficient cars in the first place: horrendous gas/diesel prices. That is why BMW for example is quietly phasing out many of its excellent 6-cylinder engines in favor of 4-cylinder versions with turbos and other tech that gets the same amount of power out of a smaller block. Other manufacturers are doing the same thing, even 3- and 2-cylinder (!) cars are now quite common. Start-stop functionality is standard in most models, high-end cars sometimes offer "active-cylinder management" whereby when the car is not using full power or coasting along, several cylinders are temporarily deactivated.

    Now you could say "all the more reason to switch to an EV", but mind you, electricity prices have also soared in the last few years and continue to rise sharply every year. So from a money-saving perspective, an EV isn't really good value for money either, especially as the starting price is so much higher than for comparable ICEs.

    So, many people put up with (sometimes, not always) noisy but (more or less) efficient ICEs, as they are the best compromise between price, running costs, range, speed and comfort - for now.
    And as for those Sprinter-type transporters. Those are a real nuisance and danger to anyone on the roads, especially on the Autobahn.
     
  6. Right_Said_Fred

    Right_Said_Fred Model S - Sig. 283 EU

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    Those idiots in their Sprinters should be history in ten years time. From 2014 all new vans in the European Union will get a mandatory electronic speed limiter (built-in in the factory) that prevents them from exceeding 120 km/h. It will take a while for the older cars to be phased out, but they will become less and less of a nuisance.
     

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