Pulitzer Prize-winning auto columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Dan Neil, recently took the new Tesla Model S Plaid out for a spin on Route 299 in California. To sum it up, according to Neil, "the Plaid’s signature trick: the instant, seamless, soft-singing surge of scarcely endurable thrust, from whenever, until you see Jesus."
"And this car. Marone. While much has been made of the Plaid’s straight-line acceleration—0-60 mph in 1.99 seconds and ¼-mile time of 9.2 seconds, both records for a series-production automobile—not enough has been said about its lateral acceleration, its race car-like roadholding and mechanical grip. Forget planking. Route 299 is the core workout you’ve been looking for," notes Neil.
He continues, "Between bouts of awe and car sickness—Sharp Curves Next 22 Miles—the Plaid sometimes had a melancholic effect on me. Man, nothing will ever feel fast again. Every piston-powered brag must now come with an asterisk; every Cars and Coffee, a sacrament of denial."
Above: A look at the evolution of Tesla's first sedan from its early days to the recent transformation into 'Plaid" (Source: Tesla)
Okay, so what about Tesla's build quality? "To anyone still grumbling about body-panel gaps, please. Our car was built like a nuclear sub, and sounded a bit like one too, with a bathyspheric quiet provided by acoustic glass in all the windows. Honestly, all you hear is tire noise," writes Neil.
Sure, Neil had a few quibbles, but he says, "The star of the show is the car’s stitched-vegan leather steering yoke, subbing for a conventional steering wheel. More of a butterfly than yoke, the controller wouldn’t look out of place in any late-model business-jet cockpit or simulator. And if you are strafing the redwoods by dawn’s early light—switch-back to hairpin, zing-zoom—the yoke feels amazing, futuristic, like you’re Princess Leia on the forest moon of Endor. Or is that just me?"
Source: Wall Street Journal