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Model S 90D Test Drive - Indescribable, Stupid Fun

Dengar22

Member
Aug 9, 2015
27
1
Amarillo, TX
Wow. I've been lurking on these boards since July when I read an article on the "Wait But Why" blog about a company I had barely known about, Tesla, and how it is going to change the world. I knew then I was going to buy and have spent every day since researching the S. However, I had never sat inside or driven a Tesla until yesterday at the Northpark Center store in Dallas. Unbelievable.

Even though they weren't doing test drives that day, the store advisor knew I had driven 6 hours and was close to buying, so he made it happen. We drove a similar model to what I will be ordering, a 90D. I knew it would be nice, but didn't expect it to be *that* fast since it wasn't a "P."

What. The. Heck.

As the light turns green and we enter the on-ramp to the freeway, he tells me to floor it. To say I was surprised is an understatement. A guttural, terrified scream escapes my lungs as we accelerate, and maybe a profanity. Okay - it was a string of profanities. And I don't cuss normally! My heart, my stomach, it was all just the most amazing thing. It's almost indescribable, that thrill. The advisor really got a good laugh out it, and I assume that giving newbies test drives must be the best part of his job. Needless to say I launched a couple more times. I was probably 90% the way there before doing that drive, now I'm so there it should have arrived yesterday.

All that is to say, Tesla - where you been all my life? The power even from this non-performance model is something to be marveled at. Maybe it's because I'm not that much of a car guy but this bad boy is going to be more than enough to make driving a real pleasure and to scare my friends. I had that feeling in my stomach the rest of the day, my body reliving the experience. Can't wait to put my order in very soon!
 

Promo714

Member
Aug 6, 2015
78
155
Yorba Linda, CA
I feel you on the power of the D. When I test drove one about 6 weeks ago, I was really taken back by the whole experience. I've driven high performance cars and motorcycles in the past and there's no way to directly compare them with the way the S accelerates. During my test drive, the sales guy said that I should drive a non-D because he thought the acceleration was comparable. We got back and took a rear motor 85 out and the truth was I couldn't really tell the difference. But that's just me.

I pick up my new 85 tomorrow at 11 AM and I went with the single motor because I didn't need to pay for performance I couldn't discern (and living in So Cal I don't need AWD). And since you might wonder, I got white, 19" wheels, pano, all black interior with next gen seats and and matte obeche wood, autopilot, interior upgrade, sound system upgrade. I plan to take a sleeping pill tonight, otherwise I won't sleep.

Also, I read that Wait But Why post on Tesla too and, wow, what an interesting story. Did you read the one on SpaceX? I've been slowly making my way through it. That writer is crazy--26,000 words for the Tesla article alone.
 

m2140

Member
Sep 1, 2015
156
62
Menifee, CA
I just picked up my 85D about 2 weeks ago and I have to agree. The pickup on the D is amazing. It makes the single motor seem slow in comparison. But the P90D is that much more impressive. I got a chance to test Drive one Monday and the speed of the P90D with ludicrous mode is phenomenal. If you've even ridden a Mag Lev roller coaster, The P90D is faster.
 

Jeff P

Member
Jul 6, 2015
53
5
Orlando, FL
It's funny, I've driven the P models, but my "lowly" 70D is crazy fun too. The full on launches are fun, but really it's the ability to jump at a red light, up a freeway ramp, or even just to mash it so you can pass, often under 60 mph, that makes every little maneuver fun. I kind of had a hint at that before, because honestly you get a lot of that in a Nissan Leaf, but it's those feelings times 10 in a Model S. (Also not a car guy.)
 

Discoducky

P100DL, 2021 M3, 4 CT reservations and counting
Supporting Member
Dec 25, 2011
3,697
6,106
My mountain
@Dengar22, love to hear your story of not knowing to elation. Maybe I'll hang onto my TSLA stock a bit longer ;) Happy accelerating!
 

Lyon

2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D
Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2011
2,004
215
Eugene, Oregon
Folks talking about the "power of the D," makes my inner 13 year old die giggling.

Also, yes, the 90D has similar performance numbers to the original P85. It's a silly quick car by any metric.
 

JMG

Member
Feb 26, 2015
386
263
NE Texas
I test drove the P85D at Dallas about 6 months ago but ordered the 85D. There is a noticeable difference between the two for sure. However, I'm plenty happy with the acceleration of my 85D. It's more that adequate for every driving need. Would I want a P90DL acceleration? Yep! Would I want to pay an extra $35,000 for it...nah!

Glad to hear similar stories of mine. In fact, you probably went on the exact ramp that I did when I punched it and felt the Tesla acceleration for the first time.
 

SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,523
2,177
Toronto,Canada
I pick up my new 85 tomorrow at 11 AM and I went with the single motor because I didn't need to pay for performance I couldn't discern

Even in Canada where our winters separate the RWD cars from AWD, the 85 is an excellent car.
Tesla has done a fantastic job on the traction and stability programs for all weather driving.
Our 85 is much faster than the 300HP Mercedes we traded in for it, and when we recently had a P85 loaner, it didn't make me "want more", very happy with RWD Tesla!


So, how did the delivery go today?
 

Eugene

Member
Aug 21, 2015
20
2
NJ
I'm the owner of p85d since april and when "ludicrous" p90d was announced I was so impressed and wanted to upgrade my car immediately. But today I finally wad able to test drive P90d at the mall of short hills nj.
I was with my 9yo daughter and my wife. Before I get to the point want to tell that all of us get used to insane mode acceleration of our p85d and we love it. My car takes off the line brutally, instantly and we have this "butterflies in the stomach" feeling. It is so much fun for us. So we expected to get even more of this from p90d and... all 3 of us were not impressed if not to say disappointed :(.
We tried the car before and after max battery performance preparation (it took about 10 mins to warm it up by constantly driving). Surely the car feels more confident accelerating from mid range (passing) speeds than p85d. When you drive 40-60mph and step on the pedal it definitely jumps forward with more power. But off the line it feels even worse. Maybe the 0-60 timing with accurate measurement would be slightly better but the car has different character. It is less brutal off the line but more confident and constantly accelerating at higher speeds. So that's it. Not much of fun at all which is a great disappointment. I do hope that promised retrofit from insane to ludicrous will make my car feel differently from p90d in good way. But today's testdrive made me questioning whether I should pay 7k for the retrofit or not.
I will most likely repeat the testdrive at the different tesla store with different car. Maybe I missed something...
 

Cattledog

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 9, 2012
2,213
3,234
San Antonio, TX
Wow. I've been lurking on these boards since July when I read an article on the "Wait But Why" blog about a company I had barely known about, Tesla, and how it is going to change the world. I knew then I was going to buy and have spent every day since researching the S. However, I had never sat inside or driven a Tesla until yesterday at the Northpark Center store in Dallas. Unbelievable.

Even though they weren't doing test drives that day, the store advisor knew I had driven 6 hours and was close to buying, so he made it happen. We drove a similar model to what I will be ordering, a 90D. I knew it would be nice, but didn't expect it to be *that* fast since it wasn't a "P."

What. The. Heck.

As the light turns green and we enter the on-ramp to the freeway, he tells me to floor it. To say I was surprised is an understatement. A guttural, terrified scream escapes my lungs as we accelerate, and maybe a profanity. Okay - it was a string of profanities. And I don't cuss normally! My heart, my stomach, it was all just the most amazing thing. It's almost indescribable, that thrill. The advisor really got a good laugh out it, and I assume that giving newbies test drives must be the best part of his job. Needless to say I launched a couple more times. I was probably 90% the way there before doing that drive, now I'm so there it should have arrived yesterday.

All that is to say, Tesla - where you been all my life? The power even from this non-performance model is something to be marveled at. Maybe it's because I'm not that much of a car guy but this bad boy is going to be more than enough to make driving a real pleasure and to scare my friends. I had that feeling in my stomach the rest of the day, my body reliving the experience. Can't wait to put my order in very soon!
Love the write up, can never have too much enthusiasm!
 

Pete90D

Fan of Red Lights
Jul 25, 2015
478
4
Bay Area, CA
I'm the owner of p85d since april and when "ludicrous" p90d was announced I was so impressed and wanted to upgrade my car immediately. But today I finally wad able to test drive P90d at the mall of short hills nj.
I was with my 9yo daughter and my wife. Before I get to the point want to tell that all of us get used to insane mode acceleration of our p85d and we love it. My car takes off the line brutally, instantly and we have this "butterflies in the stomach" feeling. It is so much fun for us. So we expected to get even more of this from p90d and... all 3 of us were not impressed if not to say disappointed :(.
We tried the car before and after max battery performance preparation (it took about 10 mins to warm it up by constantly driving). Surely the car feels more confident accelerating from mid range (passing) speeds than p85d. When you drive 40-60mph and step on the pedal it definitely jumps forward with more power. But off the line it feels even worse. Maybe the 0-60 timing with accurate measurement would be slightly better but the car has different character. It is less brutal off the line but more confident and constantly accelerating at higher speeds. So that's it. Not much of fun at all which is a great disappointment. I do hope that promised retrofit from insane to ludicrous will make my car feel differently from p90d in good way. But today's testdrive made me questioning whether I should pay 7k for the retrofit or not.
I will most likely repeat the testdrive at the different tesla store with different car. Maybe I missed something...

Thanks for the report Eugene. I did notice in a recent launch with someone that it felt more lagged, but I thought it might have been the location as if it detected some slippage it would make adjustments.

Out of curiosity, what was the SOC when you drove it?
 

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