My Belfast test Drive in a Tesla design S P90D Ludicrous

If you’re a routine Automated house visitor you’ll have observed a few electric cars and truck stories creeping in over the last couple of years together with a lot more Tesla protection (including their Powerwall) too.

I got a quick indoor traveler run in a design S earlier this year while at the device show online at the NEC as well as had the choice to tick a box for a test drive.

Currently Tesla have no store or service centre in Ireland, North or South [UPDATE – they do now]. This is set to modification within the next 6 to 12 months however for now Tesla bring over a couple of their cars and trucks a number of times a year for test drives.

So we headed out on a wet Friday morning last weekend to a hotel in Belfast for the pop-up Tesla test drive centre.

Old & New

If you’re a nerd then you probably already understand a lot of of the stats for the Tesla design S. It’s hard to type any type of kind of total viewpoint on a short drive, however right here are a few impressions from an hour with the car.

Our demo cars and truck was the previous shape model, the Deep Blue metallic cars and truck in the photos. There was likewise one of the new face-lifted designs in Titanium metallic (a bit beige for my liking).

Our Tesla person told us there are over 300 new parts in the 2016 Model S. in addition to the cosmetic modifications to the front end the radar has been lifted from below the number plate as well as moved behind that floating Tesla T grille badge. This makes it much less likely to get blocked with snow if you online in a country with extreme winters.

There are some other great bit details for example those air intakes on the inside of each foglight at the front are usually closed off for minimized drag, however can actively open when the battery needs a lot more cooling.

Interestingly all the new 60 kWh entry level cars and trucks really have the 75 kWh battery fitted. It’s then software application locked to 60kWh, leaving you the choice to unlock it at any type of time in the future (with a payment of around $10,000). This raises the 60’s common 248 mile variety by around 50 miles as well as increases the top speed from 130mph to 140mph (0-60 time unchanged at 5.5 seconds).


The inside is airy, particularly as our cars and truck had the optional panoramic glass roofing which provides 3 inches of additional headroom according to our Tesla rep. The second generation seats seemed great, however I’d requirement a drive to Cork as well as back to truly test them.

The rear doors are a little small because of the coupe like shape however they are adequate. You can feel exactly how light the doors are too, because of the all aluminium construction. With no transmission tunnel hump down the middle of the cars and truck the front centre console is deep and beneficial as well as the floor is great as well as flat for rear seat passengers.

The interior is dominated by that 17″ touchscreen that’s the interface to all the cars and trucks systems. The cars and truck is online with its LTE connection as well as all data charges for the very first 4 years are covered in the purchase price.

There’s Google Maps on the huge screen plus a ‘proper’ Garmin based GPS system on the screen behind the wheel that won’t let you down when that cellular data connection disappears.

You can select from a range of apps to screen either side of the dashboard screen as well as you can manage a subset of products like the sunroof from the thumb scrollers on the steering wheel. The new version 8.0 of the software application is due soon however it still appears like there will be no Apple cars and truck Play or Android automobile option. Here’s a video taken from our demo mainly speaking with the systems on the central screen before I took the wheel…


Here’s exactly how to decode a Tesla badge. The number, 90 in this case, refers to the capability of the battery in kWh. The higher the number the bigger the range. The D means double Motor, so four wheel drive. The P denotes a performance model, those with the high performance drive inverter. finally having the whole badge underlined indicates this design has the Ludicrous mode, a further enhancement to the electronics as well as wise fuse that enables an even bigger present draw for the utmost performance.

As long as you have the crucial with you the cars and truck just needs a press of the brake pedal to find to life. No button to press even.

Everything you’ve heard abut the Tesla acceleration is true. This variety topping P90DL with its gargantuan 713 lb-ft of torque does 0-60 in mind blowing 2.8 seconds. You’ll have to spend some severe money to get anywhere close to that in an exotic supercar as well as it’s nigh on impossible to discover in another 4 door saloon.

With a few taps of the touchscreen the test cars and truck was set to software application limit itself as well as emulate the performance of the entry level 60/75. right here the 0-60 time rises to 5.5 seconds, that’s still truly quick by a lot of cars and truck standards.

Our cars and truck rode on those stunning 21″ turbine alloys as well as common (non-air) suspension. It felt excellent as well as cornering was flat from that famously low centre of gravity. Coming from an automatic we had ‘Creep’ enabled which makes the cars and truck roll slowly as soon as you lift your foot off the brake pedal.

Brake regen felt pretty aggressive over the very first couple of miles however by the end of the test drive I was already well into that ‘one pedal’ driving mode, only needing to touch the brakes in the last few metres of a total dead stop.


We had a quick demo of the Autopilot function on a well marked two lane ring-road. Shorty after it was enabled a cars and truck occurred to emerge from a side entry in front of us as well as the cars and truck appropriately responded by breaking to prevent it whilst steering around the bend.

While every cars and truck has the hardware onboard for Autopilot as standard, it’s one more function you’ll have to pay to unlock.

The recent unfavorable publicity surrounding AP as well as the people videoing themselves miss-using it threatens to spoil it for the rest of us. I can quickly see legislation coming that will make it much tougher for Tesla as well as others to bring these interesting new features as well as iterative enhancements to individuals as swiftly in the future. as well as thats particularly a pity as the Tesla fleet is currently adding 3 million miles of understanding each day to the hive mind.

How Much

And so to the thorny problem of cost. even that new entry level 60kWh version of the S starts at around £54,000 (before incentives). however that’s not the whole story. There are a number of optional extras that you’ll most likely want to add to this as well as they make a considerable difference to the price. right here are some examples.

Dual motor / All Wheel Drive – £4,400

21″ Wheel upgrade – £3,900

Premium Upgrades bundle – £2,600

Autopilot comfort features – £2,200

Smart Air Suspension – £2,200

Next Generation Seats – £2,200

Glass Panoramic roofing – £1,300

High Power charger – £1,300

Multi coat paint – £1,300

Metallic paint – £850

Carbon Fibre interior – £850

Adding just 3 of those choices can raise the base cost by over 20%, although that’s not uncommon in this sector. The ‘Premium Upgrades Package’ adds a great deal of features including the new HEPA air filter system with Biodefence mode from the design X in addition to 3 setting LED turning (aka adaptive) lights, LED fog lights, Power liftgate, Lighted door handles, Interior accent lighting, Smartphone dock as well as Alcantara accents.

DON’T MISS: Opinion: Is the Tesla design 3 the Tipping point for the EV

Our Tesla person told us a lot of people selected a PCP offer as its the least expensive method to get behind the wheel. On the exact same 60kWh design a 36 month contract with a 10,000 mile per year allowance will set you back the thick end of £30K over the three years, walking away with nothing at the end however complimentary to upgrade to the current tech. If you’re in the lucky setting to be able to pay for that then I’d state there’s no much better 4 door saloon I’ve ever seen.

The Model 3 will supply a less costly entry into the interesting futuristic world of  Tesla. Although judging by those extras above (even with a reduction factored in for the 3 range) it has the prospective to be much a lot more costly cars and truck when purchasers plump for just a few of those optional, however desirable, upgrades.

Petrol heads Verdict?

I had a chat with a few fellow petrol head friends after the test drive. A minority of them see the future as I do, the majority do not. You see even with this lovely styling, leading innovation as well as extraordinary performance there’s still a major missing element for the enthusiast – the noise of a excellent engine.

While I believe this will always be an problem for our generation, my youngsters will most likely not miss what they’ve never had. For me its an simple moral decision to forgo the noise for the environment.



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Get the Knowledge

I have to admit that my preliminary rate of interest in Tesla was a lot more for its tech than its eco-friendly credentials, however I’ve discovered its been a bit of a gateway medication that’s led to a craving for a lot more understanding on the subject of sustainable energy.

There’s so much equine manure surrounding electric cars and trucks as well as renewable energy. much of the popular opinion on these islands seems to come from enjoying a specific BBC TV series. While I took pleasure in it as much as the next man, lots of still don’t seem to realise the Clarkson age top gear was a light entertainment show, as well as not a factual cars and truck evaluation series.

If you’re truly thinking about reading a lot more on the subject I can heartily suggest the book  “Sustainable energy – Without the hot Air” by the late David J. C. MacKay. I gotten a 2nd hand copy from Amazon for under £10 as well as there’s this complimentary PDF version offered too. Be alerted though, it will make you feel guilty in your Diesel SUV.

Final Thoughts

Our Tesla expert was courteous as well as experienced as well as there was absolutely no difficult sell. personnel are not on compensation as well as Musk has said…

Their goal as well as the sole metric of their success is to have you take pleasure in the experience of checking out so much that you look ahead to returning again.

A welcomed modification from the typical cars and truck getting experience then. As I walked away from the hotel with our nice free design S print, I had a nagging feeling the drive house in my ICE cars and truck was going to feel quite 19th century.

I wasn’t wrong.  :  Tesla design 3 :  Our BMW i3 Review

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Last update on 2021-10-04 / affiliate links / pictures from Amazon product marketing API

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