Top Gear's shaky relationship with Tesla Motors includes several Tesla Roadster antics in which Top Gear set up the Roadster for failure (backstory here).
That shaky relationship should now be part of the past as Top Gear just declared the Tesla Model S the "most important car" it ever tested.
Top Gear recently pitted the Tesla Model S against the Maserati Ghibli. The result was a runaway win for the Model S.
"The Tesla Model S is the most important car Top Gear has tested. Let's just throw that out there. A handsome if generic-looking exec hatch, it threatens to do to the traditional car industry what Amazon did for retailing and Apple's iTunes infrastructure did to the music business - utterly rewire it."
Writes Top Gear.
As for the comparo between the Model S and the Maserati, here's what Top Gear says:
"In the context of this issue's Europe versus America contest, the new upper-medium contender from Italy's second-most glamorous car brand would, ordinarily, have walked it. Effectively an abbreviated Quattroporte, with a form language that gets less awkward the longer you look at it, and bolstered by 100 years of priceless back-story, the charismatic Ghibli is tasked with gate-crashing the German hegemony. Against Tesla, though, heritage counts for less than zero, and the Maserati may have turned up to a gunfight with a water pistol."
You certainly don't want to arrive at a gunfight with a water pistol. The Maserati was doomed from the beginning:
Tesla Model S
"It patters and jostles, and generally refuses to settle down, whether it's on a pockmarked B-road or thrummy motorway. The 20in alloy wheels on the car you see here, by the way, are a £1,960 option. What price vanity?"
"Maserati says the Ghibli is a left-field choice aimed at people bored with the usual suspects. It's far from perfect, but a perfectly credible contender in the hard-nosed fleet world."
On the flip side is the Model S:
"The Tesla Model S is incredible. At £68,700, the most powerful Performance spec version doesn't actually cost much more than a well-specced Ghibli. This isn't the America of old Detroit. The Silicon Valley interloper has changed everything."
That it has...
By crushing a nameplate such as Maserati, the Tesla Model S sets an example of what American automaker can do when it sets out on a mission of making not only the best electric vehicle ever, but quite possibly the best all around automobile to roll off a US assembly line. Mission accomplished? We tend to think so.
Source: Top Gear