WSJ Automotive Reviewer Dan Neil Reviews the Tesla Model S P85D

WSJ Automotive Reviewer Dan Neil Reviews the Tesla Model S P85D

I've been suggesting to Dan Neil in e-mails that he review the P85D in the WSJ, and he finally did it today. Here is his review. You won't be disappointed.

daiello | 3 avril 2015

Thanks for posting!

Have you seen the documentary "revenge of the electric car"? It is brilliant and gives me so much more respect for Elon and Tesla. This guy however, Dan Neil, is one of the main commentators and actually slammed tesla saying they will crash and burn. So I enjoyed seeing this video watching him taking another perspective since I came out of the documentary not liking Dan much. "They pretty much nailed it" was my favourite line from this article posted above.

Anyone have any comments on Dan Neil and the documentary?

oildeathspiral | 3 avril 2015

"I know a lot of gear heads. The only ones who don’t think the Model S is the best in the world haven’t driven one."

The second sentence was my favorite quote and exemplifies the difference between someone who's objective and has actually driven a Tesla vs. those who haven't like some in the WSJ's editorial dept. Well, that and someone who is biased and writes editorials on this topic that contain many errors. Holman Jenkins, I'm talking to you.

logicalthinker | 3 avril 2015

That was an excellent article.

Here's hoping Tesla gets a lot of new customers from that article. Tesla deserves it, fully.

carlk | 3 avril 2015

Thanks for your effort if that did persuade him to review the car in some way. It's a great article in a newspaper with a lot of readers that are potential customers.

LizzieG | 3 avril 2015

A bit surprised the Bentley beat the P85D in the quarter mile run. Would the new software update narrow the gap?

Wilber | 3 avril 2015

The WSJ article seems pretty balanced to me. And the article title is great! Glad he is helping getting the word out there.

In the "revenge" movie Neil is also quoted as saying "I will never buy another gasoline powered car as long as i live" - which is a strong endorsement for the EV industry that Tesla is leading.

Neil may have had some 'differences' with Elon due to their strong personalities, but i think any dissing he made in the film was more just humor/sarcasm. I certainly recommend the film for viewing and watching the 'extra' part where Elon and Dan go back and forth onstage at the Tribeca Film Festival...

OHMY | 3 avril 2015

I love my car. Thanks Neil.

Pungoteague_Dave | 3 avril 2015

What? A Rupert Murdock paper says nice things about Tesla? Impossible. Can't happen according to knowledgeable fanbois. He's the anti-Christ. Heads are exploding in confusion all around this place... Maybe they'll have to actually start reading the paper instead of hating on that which the don't know. The world will be a happier place.

Roamer@AZ USA | 3 avril 2015

PD, Sterotypes are hard to overcome.

Al1 | 4 avril 2015


I regularly read the paper. This is nice exception and will hopefully contribute to more balanced and objective opinion across readers. Meanwhile below is type of comments that abound:

"If you believe in long term value investment, Tesla is a bad play. The taxpayer ripoff can't go on forever and a car that takes hours to "refuel" is a loser for all but the greenie and Hollywood crowd".

"tesla is a scam. musk is a con man. the emperor has no clothes".

These people have no clue what they are talking about. Unfortunately those who help them form opinion on Tesla are just as blind.

Al1 | 4 avril 2015

Check out this for instance:

"To date, Mr. Musk has struggled to hit projections and launch vehicles that meet initial timing or pricing expectations, so the Model X’s launch poses a test of Tesla’s ability to make the leap from niche to mainstream".

Albeit it is true that Model X has been delayed by a few months, Mike clearly fails to recognize the fact that model X is a car that is far from being trivial and is well beyond most concept cars demonstrated so far which never give either timing or pricing expectations or even any promise those cars will be ever produced.

About the author:

Mike Ramsey is an automotive reporter working in Detroit. He primarily covers Ford Motor Co. and Asian automakers' North America operations. He also writes about electric vehicles and alternative powertrains.

After couple of years of reading WSJ coverage of Tesla I come to conclusion that expecting objective coverage of Tesla from a Detroit automotive reporter is probably like expecting a Tesla from Detroit.

Jakefarber1 | 4 avril 2015

"A barrel ride over Electron Falls"

I look forward to Dan Neil's reviews every Saturday morning. He may be the best writer on the WSJ staff.

I've been looking forward to reading a P85D review from him, and this didn't disappoint. As in every one of his pieces, there are 2 or 3 turns of phrase that nobody else could have put together.

Stop all the whining about the WSJ and its stance towards Tesla and just enjoy a car guy's take on a car guy's car.


jordanrichard | 4 avril 2015

"...Mr. Musk has struggled to hit projections"? Huh? Is this guy talking about sales or the debut of the Model S and X?

Kutu | 4 avril 2015

I may be reading the WSJ chart wrong, but it appears to me that they a gross errors concerning the Tesla production numbers on this chart.

Al1 | 4 avril 2015


This is their gross estimate. Or gross underestimate rather.

I noticed it too, but didn't pay attention. 1st of April, what do you expect?!

Wilber | 4 avril 2015


I just watched the "Revenge" movie again and did not hear Neil say anything like 'crash and burn' or similar about Tesla. On the contrary he said plenty of good stuff about Tesla and EVs. Can you point us to a particular place in the film where he disses Tesla?

I think Dan is the exception to the rule that all WSJ staff have their head in the sand technologically speaking.

daiello | 4 avril 2015

Hi Wilberforce, I was cooking and watching at the same time. Maybe I got my dinner mixed up with Dan Neil's comments. In all seriousness for some reason I remember some kind of negative comment he said about tesla, maybe I'll rewatch in a couple of days and report back. Great documentary though!

daiello | 4 avril 2015

(Maybe something along the lines of Elon underestimating the work it takes to start a car company and showing some doubts about his newly proposed at the time model S right at the end of the documentary)

Bighorn | 4 avril 2015

He listed a gear ratio but didn't say whether it was for one or both drives.

Grinnin'.VA | 4 avril 2015

@ jordanrichard | April 4, 2015

"...Mr. Musk has struggled to hit projections"? Huh? Is this guy talking about sales or the debut of the Model S and X?

He could be referring to any of several things.
In my 11-month period of following Tesla, the ONLY projection I'm aware of that Tesla actually delivered when Elon said they hoped to was 6.2.

Sure, it isn't comfortable reading such unflattering descriptions of Tesla's progress. But it's true whether we're comfortable or not.

Bet TSLA | 4 avril 2015

They also shipped the D in December.

Opafiets | 4 avril 2015

"Both face forward, but only one looks ahead." Bingo.

Al1 | 4 avril 2015

I am also OK with quarterly guidance: projected 9500 versus delivered 10030. Well, technically this is a miss, but I am fine with it.

NOLEK SUM | 4 avril 2015


Musk has never met a promise he could keep.

NOLEK SUM | 4 avril 2015

Neil correctly calks it a luxury car .. Aamped is wetting his pants.

SamO | 4 avril 2015

The time for honoring yourself is over. Flagged.

Wilber | 4 avril 2015


Perhaps while you were cooking you heard Neil say some bad things about Tesla, but I think he was just quoting the sceptics - not speaking for himself.

I cant wait for the sequel: "The Domination of the Electric Car".