Chicago Get Amped Tour

Chicago Get Amped Tour

The Chicago get Amped tour is well underway, and I got to drive a Performance Model S today. All I can say is THIS CAR IS LIKE NO OTHER ON EARTH - IT IS SECOND TO NONE! The test track was very well chosen - good curves and straight-aways - some of which were roads less traveled which is perfect to see what the car can do. And what can it do? Hugs the curves like a glove. I haven't experienced that since driving a BMW touring bike through the Alps. What else? A real-world 0-60 time of 4.9 sec - using a less-than-perfect timing mechanism (human hands for start/stop). I haven't seen that kind of acceleration since I rode a Honda 909 sport bike. And the feel of the ride? Definitely a magic-carpet feel! Like an airplane without any turbulence. More luxurious than the Mercedes E-class. Truly amazing. Tesla has succeeded in manufacturing a car that is the best in the world. Would be interested in knowing other Chicago tour experiences.

Brian H | July 28, 2012

Hm, a new descriptor for the skateboard: "magic carpet". I betcha the TM sales & promo guyz will steal that, pronto. ;)

Andrew18 | July 28, 2012

Electricblu0303- did you test drive the electric blue one? (sorry , iresistable)

bshortell | July 28, 2012

The Model X rides like a flying carpet. The Model S rides like a rockeT powered skateboard. All the thrust is in the rear.

Andrew18 | July 28, 2012

Just back from Oakbrook.
Drove black performance:

Fit and finish perfect inside and out. I looked at all the panel lines, etc.
Extremely comfortable.
Handling exceptional, very tight, sticks to the road like velcro.
Regen brakes smooth and mild, easy to get used to.
Very fast off the line, but just when you think that's all she's got she keeps going faster and faster- reminded me of Dave Bowman's colorful trip in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Computer screen will take quite a bit of practice to know where to find the icon you're looking for.
Will take time time to get used to hitting the cruise control stalk instead of the turn signal.
Premium sound system sounded great to me, though I'm no audiophile. Only bass treble and mid range adjustable, which is fine for me. Seemed crisp and clear. Fade/ balance adjustable in nice coordinate map of the cockpit by moving the crosshairs with your fingertip.
Brakes unbeatable.

Overall, gorgeous in and out, best car I have ever driven.

Sig/perf 587

ruprecht111 | July 28, 2012

I drove the Grey Performance on Thursday. Just a couple of observations:
1) With respect to the stalk placement, it is identical to my Mercedes M-class. I have had that car over 4 years. I took a little adjustment to not hit the cruise when you wanted the blinker, but I don't even think about it now. I probably would not have been my preference, but it is not a big deal.
2) As a large person (6' 6" tall, 250 pounds) I found the car comfortable to sit in and drive. I was a little worried even though I had sat in the betas, I was pleasantly surprised.
3) I have a Signature Performance on order (#252), so it was great to drive the performance model. The acceleration is incredible, the handling unbelievable, on par with my 911, without the heavy rear end swing. What impressed me was the lack of body roll, even when slaloming on the frontage road and taking turns faster than the posted speed.
4) The stopping power of the brakes was incredible. I stomped pretty hard at 60 mph and they were straight, true, and short.

In summary, I was more favorably impressed than my expectations coming into the drive. I can't wait for my magic number to come up in production. (Hopefully September/October),

Andrew18 | July 28, 2012

+1 ruprecht

electricblue0303 | July 28, 2012

Andrew18 - I drove the silver performance model, but will purchase electric blue when I configure my car.

Brian H | July 29, 2012

Actually, it's "Butane Blue", after the color of the flame ...


sunnysailor | July 29, 2012

I loved the car. Fast excelleration, no roll on turns, and wonderful breaking. Very smooth quiet ride.

Brian H | July 29, 2012

"acceleration" "braking"

We really do respond to those G-force things, don't we? ;)

Andrew18 | July 29, 2012

I never really noticed the giant mass of engine being tossed around in an ICE until I felt the diffence in the S. You really get used to that until it is gone.

Volker.Berlin | August 5, 2012

ruprecht111, thank you for sharing! That's a very interesting assessment, especially from someone who knows a 911 first hand. The German media was less than impressed with the brakes when test driving an early Model S production vehicle, but given that the 911 is considered among the top of automotive vehicles wrt its brakes (among other things), and you got away quite positively impressed, I guess Tesla successfully refined the brakes since. Similar criticism was mentioned in the German media wrt to the steering, deeming it too soft, indirect and imprecise. Is there anything you would like to add regarding the steering of the Model S you were driving?

Andrew18, just a guess: Is that an Audi you are referring to? The RWD setup that BMW and MB use hides the engine weight relatively well, while Audi not only uses FWD but on top insists on fitting their engines in longitudinal direction instead of the usual transversal setup. (Not sure about the "longitudinal" and "transversal" terms here. I hope you can guess what I mean. If anybody would be so kind as to help me out with the correct technical terms for the different engine layouts?) The longitudinal layout allows for larger engines (and, in particular, for placing six and more cylinders in a row rather than requiring the V and W setups that are used for, e.g., VW's transversally placed engines), but it particularly exposes the engine weight to the driving physics -- which is probably part of the reason why Audi practically had to come up with the "Quattro" drive train for their performance-oriented models which it later became famous for.

Volker.Berlin | August 5, 2012
Brian H | August 5, 2012

Those terms are correct, almost. It's "transverse", not "transversal". The latter isn't really used much, it's almost redundant, awkward, though it is a real word.