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Tesla Model S P85D review

What is it?

THIS was previously the fastest version of the only fully-electric luxury car with 410bhp and 0-60 acceleration in just 4.2 seconds.

However, there is now a range-topping P85D with four-wheel drive and a mega 683bhp! But our Tesla review majors on this more ‘modest’ 410bhp version in Tesla’s newly updated range (the P85D replaces the previous P85 S+).

What’s hot?

  • Even with just 410bhp, the power from the Model S’s AC electric motor is like nothing else we’ve ever experienced from an electric car. Considering the 2.2 Tonne weight, the way the Tesla accelerates has to be felt to be believed; all in eerie, refined silence. 60mph comes up in just 4.2 seconds and top speed is a licence-losing 155mph.
  • Despite all the performance of the P85 version of the Model S, if you’re careful it’s still capable of 330 miles on a charge. Tesla’s Supercharger network also gives confidence for driving the Model S on long journeys.
  • The exterior styling is a bit generic, but is nicely detailed and sits well on the 20-inch turbine-like alloy wheels.
  • Even getting into the Model S is something different; the door handles stay flush until the transponder (also Model S shaped!) is located – when they pop out, you can get in.
  • The Model S is the perfect example of the car as a computer, as the interior is dominated by the 17-inch, iPad-like touch-screen that operates the majority of the Tesla’s controls. There’s no instrument cluster in front of you, instead it’s made up of a TFT screen that can show different information – drivers even have their own user names! Other Tesla changes over a standard car are the flat floor, as there’s not a transmission tunnel and gears are engaged by a Mercedes-supplied column change.
  • Our car had the seven-seat option, which equalled an extra pair of rear facing seats for children, located Volvo-style in the boot of the Model S. The fact there’s no engine in the front of the Tesla means this car’s load carrying capabilities are not compromised. Front and rear legroom is also impressive and the driving position is comfortable.
  • Despite the weight and the fact that our review car was on the optional 20-inch alloy wheels, the Model S felt pleasingly sharp in corners, as there’s a reasonable amount of feel from the Tesla’s steering and plenty of grip.
  • Considering the performance, the fact the Tesla is electric and produces zero emissions, means the Model S falls into the 5% company car tax band for 2015/16.
  • If you’re company’s flush with cash, it also qualifies for 100% first year capital allowances.

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