After months of hemming and hawing and worrying about range and battery degradation and all of the other rabbit holes that can distract you, I finally pulled the trigger and confirmed my order on October 9th. Specs: S85 (would love to have the P or P+, but it's just not in the budget) Red Multi-coat paint Panoramic roof Tan leather interior (because it won't be as hot) Piano black trim Tech Package Parking Sensors Ultra High Fidelity Sound Rear Facing Seats (it's as practical as a minivan!) Parcel Shelf 19" standard wheels (mostly for livability, because while the 21s look dead sexy, they are crazy expensive and seem doomed to be rashed instantly) Like many of you, my prior automotive record is long on German cars (I've had a few M3s, a litany of other 3ers, a 5 wagon with a stick, some VW/Audis, and a Porsche). Also like many of you, I drove the Model S on a bit of a lark after hearing a bunch of good reviews, never really expecting to buy one--in fact, at the time I did the first drive, I was sort of thinking of replacing my Boxster S with a 911. Anyone on this board knows what happened next, but for the hell of it I reproduce below the review I wrote right after the test drive, back in May: ______________________ Just got back from test driving a Tesla Model S. Holy. God. There are two things that are dramatic and amazing about the Tesla, and they are flatly contradictory. First, it feels exactly like a normal car, in nearly every way. Second, it feels like it was air-dropped from about 75 years in the future. After a few minutes behind the wheel, you can't help but looking around at all of the drones in their clattering, wheezing, belching contraptions and thinking, "those poor fools. When will they join the future?" Seriously. There are little things about the Tesla that announce its difference, like the fact that there's no key, but when you first get in and pull away, it really does feel like a regular car. The ergonomics are decent (except for the center console, which doesn't open or provide storage, which is dumb). The steering wheel is nicely set up. The controls are where you expect them to be, and have a nice, high-quality feel. The giant screen takes a little getting used to, but not much more than the iPad did the first time you used that. But mostly, it just feels like a big luxury sports sedan; like an Audi, sort of. The seats could use a bit more bolstering, and it needs map pockets, but even the inherent silence of the car is masked a bit by the HVAC system on a hot day like today, so it doesn't really feel that special. And then you get free of traffic, and you stand on it, and you realize that all of the cliches are exactly true. It feels like one of those roller coasters with the linear electric motors launching out of a tube. It is like NOTHING you've ever driven. It is crazily, ungodly fast, with response that makes a mockery of every use of the word "instant" to describe the throttle in an internal combustion car. And it doesn't shift, so the push in the back hits hard and just stays constant as long as you've got the balls to stay in it (which, in the C Street tunnel, was to...well, let's just say I am glad there weren't any mobile speed cameras out today). And, again unlike any car you've ever driven, you are never in the wrong gear. You never have to wait for it to kick down. You never have to wait for it to come on boost, or on cam, or on anything. It's just ON, right now, so if you want to pass that slowpoke in front of you at 60, WHACK, boom, you are around him. It is, for me, the measure of a great car that it makes me laugh out loud. The RX-8 did it the first time I drove it. So did the 911, and the Boxster S. The car made me guffaw--and I am neither making that up or exaggerating. I found myself actually, literally guffawing. I can't say much about the handling, since my test route consisted mostly of high speed blasts between traffic jams in downtown DC, but the chassis tuning feels incredibly sophisticated, so much so that you'd swear this was a company with a long, storied history of building cars that stormed the autobahn, rather than the sophomore effort from a bunch of coders in Northern California. Tesla's chassis tuning makes every other car company look stupid. You can't build something this good, this quickly without making it seem like everyone else is doing it very, very wrong. The giant touch screen is probably a huge pain in the butt to use in the winter wearing gloves, or at high speeds, but the level of intuitive control over the car's systems is astonishing. You can turn off the "creep" that is designed to simulate a slushbox, and turn up (or, actually, leave in default) the regenerative braking, and suddenly the car feels like the message from the future that it actually is. And I haven't mentioned that it's huge, or that it has an enormous amount of passenger space, or that it can seat 7 (sort of), because you don't really notice any of that from the driver's seat. So, yes. This car is really something else. Believe the hype.