2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: Road Trip Dynamics

December 13, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

Okay, so what is our long-term 2013 Tesla Model S like to drive on a long freeway road trip, putting aside the particulars of its unconventional refueling?

In some ways, it's brilliant. Its instantaneous and seamless flood of torque is just wonderfully, brutally effective when you want to pop into holes in traffic or put some distance between you and a brain-dead I-5 driver. But that's not all. See, in the Tesla you can be stealthy. Hit the throttle in a conventional car and the soaring engine noise tips your hand. Mat the Tesla's accelerator and the car simply shoots forward. Very rapidly, I might add.

Of course, this ability must be deployed with great care on a trip like this due to the seriously deleterious effect it has on range. But, man, it sure is a nice thing to have in your pocket.

The ride in Standard ride height is supple and dispatches bumps quite effectively. In Low, the ride gets too busy as the suspension seems to bounce off its bump stops. The steering is quite good, too, as it's precise and has natural weighting around center. For a first-effort car by a new automaker, this is pretty astonishing stuff.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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Most Recommended Comments

By fordson1
on 12/13/13
12:17 PM PST

"Hit the throttle in a conventional car and the soaring engine noise tips your hand." Tips your hand how? Like a tenth of a second before your car takes off? So what? The thousands of times I've hit the throttle to make a hole in traffic, I have never noticed any nearby driver hearing my engine rev and putting the kibosh on my move. You're reaching here.

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