2017 Tesla Model S smarter, safer and more practical
Tesla Motors grabbed the world’s attention when they started producing some of the most technologically advanced cars on the planet. Their Model S sedan is the linchpin of the range and like all other car makers Tesla not only needs to update its range in the wake of its own expanding line-up in the form of the Model X and Model 3, but competition from more established and historically traditional manufacturers.
Enter the 2017 Tesla Model S P90D. The Motoring Guru has tested the top of the range P90D previously and has reported that it’s blend of luxury, neck-snapping performance and sheer technological advancement made it and almost irresistible – if you have the money – offering.
The most obvious change for the 2017 Tesla Model S is the new front fascia. The Model S now does away with the fake front grille and replaces it with a simpler more aerodynamic nose that mirrors that on the Model X and most likely the Model 3. That new front houses cornering headlamps too, a first for the 2017 Tesla Model S.
The biggest improvements have been made technologically, by way of the Version 8 software update. The graphics on that huge in dash touchscreen are more refined and pleasing to the eye for instance, but the biggest change comes to the car’s Autopilot system.
The previous incarnation of the system felt jerky, and we personally felt that the automated steering was too slow to react and didn’t follow the curvature of some roads as precisely as we would’ve liked. The adaptive cruise control and automatic braking were fine, though.
Tesla has obviously identified such issues and has amended the system by switching the primary sensor to a radar and allowing the car to have better understanding of its surroundings. The detailed explanation of such changes can be found here.
Whilst not flawless, the system is greatly improved. The car managed to effectively drive itself without incident along Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway. The car remained in the centre of the lane at all times and steering behaviour felt more natural.
Another handy feature of the Autopilot update is that if the satellite navigation identifies the speed limit on a given road, a speed limit sign will appear in the digital instrument cluster. Simply pull the cruise control stalk towards (it’s still a Mercedes-Benz system) and the cruise control will set itself to the posted speed limit. Nifty.
Tesla has also fitted the 2017 Tesla Model S with an impressively named Bio-Weapon defense mode, which is a Medical grade HEPA air filtration system, which removes at least 99.97% of pollutants from the environment, allowing occupants to breathe easier. The downside of this is that it eats into the front cargo area significantly.
Another key update for the 2017 Tesla Model S is the fitment of a centre console. In a move to rectify long complaints around interior storage, Tesla has added a lidded space to charge your smartphone too and the centre console has moveable dividers that can be adjusted as required.
In sum, no more oddments flying around the cabin when you choose to drive, well, enthusiastically. Performance is unchanged from the previous P90D, so you get 568kW and a 0-100km/h time of around 3 seconds, so the Model S P90D retains its crown as the world’s fastest accelerating production sedan. Until the P100D comes along, of course.
A full charge will get you around 500 kilometres range. Should you engage Ludicrous mode, and make spirited use of the car’s performance, that range will drop to around 300 kilometres. A full charge will take around two hours will Tesla’s wall mounted charging system.
The 2017 Tesla Model S is covered by Tesla’s four year/80,000 kilometre warranty.
Name: Tesla Model S P90D
Engine: Twin electric motors, combined output of 568kW and all-wheel drive.
Price: $171,700 plus on road costs and options
Options: Red multi-coat paint ($2,300), panoramic roof ($2,300), 21 inch Grey Turbine wheels ($6800), black next generation seats ($3,800), carbon fibre inserts ($1500), Ludicrous Speed upgrade ($15,000), carbon fibre spoiler ($1,500), High Power Charger upgrade ($2,300), Autopilot convenience features ($3,800), Premium Upgrades Package ($4,500), Smart Air Suspension ($3,800), Ultra High Fidelity Sound ($3,800) and Subzero Weather pack ($1,500).
Country of origin: United States