Quite possibly my two favorite things. Just want to get that out of the way.
What I like about Top Gear and what I like about Model S have nearly no overlap. This is the same Venn diagram of cars Jeremy likes and V4's. But, I want neither to change or compromise for what they believe in for they are both great and wonderful things.
With that being said I do hope the Model S review goes better than the Roadster review. I hope they pit it against the 4 door Panamera, BMW whatever, Merc whatever, Audi whatever and let the chips fall where they may.
How will it all go? My prediction: Jeremy will fall in love with the Model S when he sees it, sits in it, drives it through Gambon and Hammerhead and speeds off the line with the other 4 doors in it's wake. He'll most certainly mention distance to empty and be pleased. But charging will still be an issue he'll note. He'll mention the cargo space and rear leg room, while chuckling at the rear facing seats. And there will be a joke about the door handles, the big dash screen and sum it all up with another "I'm too dumb to email" joke. Stig will push it through it's paces and it will fall ahead of all other 4 doors including the Karma; If Fisker sends them one. Maybe James will get a word in about the environment? Maybe Richard will race it against an electric superbike? Whatever they do I hope it's creative, funny and entertaining without being too negatively pre-scripted, shortsighted and naive. See below...
My recap of the infamous Roadster review...
When I saw the Roadster get shat on by Jeremy it was much like the Prius review in that there was a feel of pre-scripting negativity. Sure they were positives and it rang true to most of their reviews where the anticipation seemed to wane throughout. Yes, viewers notice when there are quotes "It's positively Electric" and end with "...too quiet". Many of my gearhead friends noted that most likely they put their foot to the floor and kept it there until it ran out of juice (AKA 55 miles). I thought, sure, fine, ok, be that as it may, how many miles did the Elise go under the same conditions? 10.6 gallons and I'm guessing it's going to be less than half of it's city rating so let's say 80 Miles maybe? Regardless it's going to be way less just like the Roadster. And the Roadster beats the Elise of the line...so I'm saying this is a win for the Roadster even if it's 100Miles.
For the brakes issue. I'm sure every car they test have zero issues and they never break them while testing. Isn't all TV production and Auto-racing perfect on the first try? So why did they stoop so low here? It seemed rather ridiculous to me that it was mentioned. Almost like they believed they had found a huge flaw in the design of EV's that the whole world must know about as it might happen to you! To answer my own question of why did they even bother to bring this up? Simple, they've set a higher standard for this car *because* it's an EV. Jeremy has had issues with every car he's ever owned, he's mentioned this several times on air. But why not mention how other test cars have broken then? This so rarely happens I'm guessing they just find bigger flaws with the cars that play better on air.
For the cost issue. The car goes around the track for less than the cars below it on the lap times, so there's no argument here. Notice Jeremy doesn't say where the Elise ranks on the board. Surprise! It's way down at the bottom!
For the charging issues. This was the icing for me where I knew they had set a higher standard. Showing a nuclear plant, showing a tiny wind turbine and a standard charging port. Actually most of the UK's electric comes from the burning of natural gas (73%), it's 30% cleaner than burning petrol (Surprise!) and the recommended charging port gets you from empty to full while you sleep. You can't do that while on a trip to another country like Jeremy points out; but I doubt I'm doing that trip in a sportscar anyway.
What was missing from their review was how long the battery is supposed to last, maintenance and TCO. Which I could argue all favor the Roadster.