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Had my First Test Drive Today.. Hmmmmmm...

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by jeffreyjames, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. jeffreyjames

    jeffreyjames Member

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    Hi All-

    Great forum.. Glad to be a part of it. I went to my local mall today that has a Tesla Shop.. Did a test drive in the 85.. A few thoughts..

    I'm a bit of an over-analyzer.. I also am a "car guy".. I can imagine most on here are.. I've had a Porsche 911-S, BMW 535i, drivers cars basically.. I do admit that I have been a fan of the engine revving, down shifting (even with paddles), etc.. The visceral feel of an engine and all of it's parts connected to the driver.. I hope I'm not alone in that liking here.. I doubt it.

    Obviously the Tesla is a completely different animal.. I did the test drive, and although appreciated the smooth linear acceleration, perhaps I was subconsciously looking for the familiarity of my past vehicles.. Honestly it hindered the experience.. I HATE to say this or offend anyone, but it felt a little boring.. I remember test driving the 911, and feeling the hair raise on my neck, and my adrenaline flow.. I didn't have that with the model S.. Perhaps the P85 would have suited me more? The problem is, I don't want to spend the money on the P85 car..

    My questions is this.. Have others here had similar experiences, and if so, did you overcome it, and how? I'd love to hear about it..

    I love everything in theory about the car, even the power delivery.. I just wonder if it's not a fit for me based on my past car loves.. Thoughts?
     
  2. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    You need the P. Floor it and it pulls. Instantly. And hard.

    You can't compare a 911-S to an S85. You should compare it to the P85 (and then recognize all of the benefits you get compared to the 911).
     
  3. rogbmw

    rogbmw Member

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    I would have to say you did not drive it long enough. I do not have a P85, but rather a S85. I came out of a 1M Coupe, and to be honest, the S85 is just as quick if not quicker than the 1M. I have always been a BMW guy and driven M cars (still own 2 and am president of a BMW club), but I love the S85. One thing that is hard to grasp in a short test drive is the instant torque the car has, especially in day to day traffic. If you want to go, you simply press the accelerator pedal - and it goes! Also, to be honest, I DO NOT miss the exhaust note. The 1M was visceral as you say, and I do not miss it in the least. I have driven P85 and P85+ cars as my loaners, and having lived with both I do not really miss a P85 when compared to my S85. I know that the P85 group may not agree, but in everyday traffic (and everything else), the S85 is an excellent and very quick car.

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    Granted, both are different in size, but I think the S85 would be just as quick in daily traffic!
     
  4. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    To be honest, that was somewhat of my reaction after test driving the Model S. I got out and said 'I love LOVE the car. It's beautiful. Wow. Better than any sedan I've ever driven. But it's not the Roadster. I've lost that connection to the road.'

    But hey. It's a sedan. And there is nothing like it. Roadster owners are in love with their Roadsters for a reason. Roadsters are the car that have that soul you're talking about. I can't wait to add a Model X to my garage and I'm sure it will very similar to the Model S and I know I will love it for all sorts of reasons. But when I want to drive and feel the road, I'll be in the Roadster.
     
  5. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    I have been a car guy my whole life, the Tesla is completely different than any other car I have owned. If you need the shifting and exhaust noise this is not the car for you. This is a very technically advanced electric car. Cannot compare to the cars you mentioned or really any other ICE. If you are happy supporting the petroleum companies and do not mind your carbon footprint this is also not the car to own. But again this is just my perspective and not everyone's and it is just an opinion.
     
  6. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I know how you feel. I think my first post on these forums (several years ago) wondered about a fake engine sound because I thought I'd miss it. And with gas cars, I always bought manual transmissions, so I thought I'd miss that too.

    But it turns out that noise is not a good thing by itself; we only like it because we associate it with power. When you are used to power ALWAYS being accompanied by a lot of noise, it is very weird to experience silent power. But your brain will come to adjust after about three weeks of driving electric (longer if you switch back and forth with gas cars) and you will come to appreciate the silence.

    Similarly, we like shifting because we feel "in the flow" when we are working with a familiar machine to keep it in its powerband. But an EV is always in the powerband; you have the same control, it's just all in the accelerator now. I don't miss shifting either.

    It will take a little while to get used to the differences, but I am confident you will enjoy it if you make the switch.

    Though, yeah - if you really like off-the-line power, the P85 really is worth considering (it's not very different at higher speeds). If it's a budget issue, maybe look at pre-owned or something? Or as Bonnie noted, perhaps a Roadster would be more suitable.
     
  7. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    Seems to me that it could be kind of hard to want to buy a car if you haven’t taken a test drive. And it also seems like you should try out both the P85 and the P85+. And why not try both the coil spring suspension as well as the air.

    The coil springs can apparently be lowered and improved further. There's a thread about that by lolachampcar et al. on this forum somewhere...
     
  8. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    I think of the MS as a Grand Touring car and prefer to compare it to large cars like the AMG E & S Class or the tuned larger BMW and Audi offerings. In that context, the Model S does extremely well.

    Against the Porsche, I think the comparison is more difficult.
     
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    My other car is a Porsche Cayman. Have also owned other Porsches. I don't drive the Cayman much. I prefer the Model S. Sure it doesn't handle as well but the cars are not comparable. I prefer to look at the big picture: the Tesla is the most amazing car I have ever owned and it burns no gas.

    Engines revving and shifting and making noise and polluting the atmosphere is so last century...it's time to move on and embrace the future. For the sake of the planet.
     
  10. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    Indeed.
     
  11. CalDreamin

    CalDreamin Member

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    Bonnie, have you had a chance to drive a Model S with the coil spring suspension? That's what I have. Seems like most Model S buyers opt for the air suspension, which has less road feel than the coils. The MS with max performance summer tires (which I don't have) + coils are said to be even better for connecting to the road. But I don't know how that compares to a Roadster.
     
  12. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    I think most on here are more concerned with climate change, middle east wars over oil, smog in the cities, etc. and welcome the loss of the sound and feel of a gas engine and all its parts because of what that stands for. Plus, it‘s all so full of unnecessary engine clogging goop when compared to an electric motor and will one day go the way of the horse and buggy. Perhaps if you change your perspective you will see that the things you find important and miss will then seem silly and antiquated.
     
  13. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I have, yes. The Roadster is crude compared to the S. I won't go on, plenty of other threads detailing how rough it is :) ... and why many of us just cannot let go of it. No comparison.

    And there is no reason why they should be the same.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I think that is changing & it's a sign that Tesla is hitting the meat of the market. Less and less people will be buying an electric car for altruistic reasons. For many people it IS about performance. And there is nothing wrong with that.
     
  14. johnnyS

    johnnyS Member

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    I have owned 7 Porsches including 3 911s. I thought I would miss the manual transmission. Sometimes I still drive my wife's Boxster. I like the nimble handling of the small sports car. I do not like the acceleration lag of a gas engine. The model S is fun and can do so much more. It can haul a lot of stuff and people. The model S is a great road and touring car. The S is great around town.

    I really like never going to a gas station and we have added solar panels to our roof. Every time I turn on the news and see the latest war in an oil producing country, I am thankful I do not need gasoline.
     
  15. Vitaman

    Vitaman Member

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    Also had my 1st test drive today, and coming from a Cayenne Turbo (a Torque Monster) I was prepared to be underwhelmed.
    The S85 I drove was a blast! The instant torque felt like the best part of an automatic transmission. The brake regeneration was one the best aspects of manual transmission. Getting the two together was unique and exhilarating.
    I had fun and absolutely loved driving it. The fact that it is better for the environment would not sway me one iota if the ride wasn't special. But it is for me.
    If it doesn't roll your socks down, keep your eyes open. Something else will.
     
  16. Effects

    Effects Member

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    I have owned a couple of Muscle Cars (442's) and have driven other high performance cars and have owned some very high performance motorcycles. After the bikes, it's pretty hard to impress me with performance cars. I did drive the Model S, an S85. My impression of performance was how instantaneous the torque hits you. Driving at highway speed and hitting the pedal is a memorable experience. But to have that kind of performance on a great looking, comfortable and quiet car is pretty amazing. I miss the growl and snarl of a nasty V8 but the Tesla would be great to live with every day.
     
  17. JST

    JST Active Member

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    +1. Other car is a Boxster S. I don't drive it that much, and when I do inevitably my reaction is "why is this car so loud?" Followed by "why is this car so slow?"

    To the OP--In addition to the Porsche I've had a raft of BMWs, from 3ers to 5ers, from NA to turbo, from "garden variety" to four different M3s. All of them have been manuals. My mantra has always been no stick, no sale. It drove me to increasingly bizarre purchase decisions, like the used 535 6MT wagon I bought sight-unseen at a dealer 500 miles from home.

    But even as a consummate "car guy," I really enjoy driving the Model S. It's so freakishly powerful and quick, all the time, it's like a
    circus ride. It's big, it's heavy, and compared to some cars I've had it's pretty isolated, but on coils especially it's fairly taut and handles well.

    I also don't miss shifting as much as I thought I would, for all the reasons Chad gives.

    I do appreciate the chance to hop into one of the other cars and heel and toe now and then. The Porsche has steering feel and agility that the Model S can only dream about, and the turbo lag and whistle in my VW is oddly endearing. But if I could only have one? I'd keep the Model S.
     
  18. 403portside

    403portside Member

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    Try the p85+. I bought one and sold my 911 c2s a few months later. I sometimes toy with getting back into a porsche later this yr but I think Ill have to opt for the 991 Turbo to beat the teslas thrust :)
     
  19. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Have always thought of myself as a car guy, from High school on.
    Loved the idea of Fiat 124s and Alfas while in High school, had a 356 C, a couple of VWs (Karmann Ghia conv. and 1st edition Rabbit GTI), Volvo 850, MB CLK, BMW 135i.
    And have now grown up to a S85.

    A couple of my insights: My MS is sort of a Swiss-Army knife of cars.
    I use it as a pick-up truck hauling building materials, and people, and my dog, and travel (very long distance travel), have slept in the back in my sleeping bag (I'm 6'-3"), and it is my daily travel, and can (and do) still smoke the unwary M5 (and occasional Porsche) that I come across.
    In short: it does everything I ask it to do, and then some.

    Oh, and it is the first American-built car I have even considered owning in the last 43 or so years I have been driving.
    It is stealth-like quiet at lower speeds, and quick off the line every time.

    Once you give yourself permission to enjoy the sensation of really driving the car, instead of listening to the gears and revving engine (that aren't there), you will understand why so many MS drivers are its biggest advocates.
     
  20. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Moderator note - moved a couple of posts to snippiness . Opinions are fine. Insulting other members in the thread when there is absolutely no reason to do so results in a ride over to everone's favorite thread!
     

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