McElroy Drinks The Tesla Kool-Aid, Becomes A Believer
Extended drive makes a difference.
John McElroy is a long-time automotive journalist and serves as host of the Autoline This Week, and co-host of Autoline After Hours webcasts in addition to several other professional activities. For many, they might know him as the guy who brought Sandy Munro’s Tesla Model 3 initial teardown to our collective attention or, perhaps, the more positive followup. If you’ve followed his coverage of Tesla, you might be aware that he has never been especially enamored with the cars or the company. Indeed, one would never have accused the man of being a Tesla-flavored Kool-Aid drinker. That may have changed.
Though he’d driven, briefly, the Model S and Model 3 in the past, those experiences were somewhat short in nature. Typically, auto journalists of McElroy’s stature are given different cars to try on a weekly basis. The California automaker, however, doesn’t coordinate with these types of loaner fleet programs, and it turns out this may have been key to his opinion of their vehicles.
Recently, though, a friend of his loaned him their Model X for a weekend and apparently the extended test-drive made a huge difference in how he perceives the Tesla experience. Writing in Wards Auto, McElroy relates how he came to appreciate the vehicle: the convenient way the doors unlock when approached by a key fob holder, and then open as they grow close enough; how there’s no pushing of an on/off button, it just does what it should do; the airy openness and uncluttered feel of the interior.
Of course, being that this particular electric SUV was the P100D version, we suspect its supercar-like acceleration made have made a positive impact. From his piece: “This kind of acceleration doesn’t just push you back into the seat, it pushes all the blood to the back of your head.” Now, some of his compatriots might think his blood never made the trip back home to his frontal lobe, but his summary reveals that, while he may have had some sips of the Kool-Aid, he’s not drunk on the stuff. Says he,
“Tesla soon will face formidable competition from the German juggernauts, Mercedes, Porsche, BMW and Audi. Technically they will be able to match everything Tesla has done. But will they be able to capture the fun, whimsical and sassy attitude that Tesla has created? “
We haven’t given away the complete plot to his conversion, so when you have an extra minute, be sure to check the article. For our part, we can only hope that his column might convince the California automaker to more proactively supply vehicles to journalists (including us here at InsideEVs, of course) as there can be a huge difference between taking a 10-minute spin in a car borrowed from a customer and having a week to experience all the neat touches the brand imbues its vehicles with.
Source: Wards Auto