Introducing the Tesla Model S P100D, the lift back that can hit 100km/h in 2.6 seconds.
Over a few short years Tesla has developed a reputation for electric cars that are comfortable, crammed with geeky tech and attention to detail and in their flagship models at least, neck snapping acceleration.
They brought us the Model S P85+ which hit 0-100km/h in a brisk 4.4 seconds, then there was the Model S P85D, then the P90D and finally, the car we have here, the daddy of pretty much all performance cars, the Tesla Model S P100D.
Performance? Well there’s a new 100 kilowatt hour battery and two electric motors that drive all four wheels, that’ll launch the P100D from 0-100km/h in a whiplash-inducing 2.7 seconds when Ludicrous mode is engaged. Hatch the Easter Egg and that sprint time drops to 2.6 seconds. This thing develops around 568kW and 1400Nm from standstill. Hence the savage acceleration.
In sum, this is probably the fastest car on sale in the world today under $1 million dollars – our heavily specced test car cost around $314k and that’s sure to give you some bragging rights at office social functions. And should you drive it in Sport mode like the controls are made of glass, Tesla says you can get up to 600 kilometres in one charge. So not only is it the fastest Tesla to date, it’s also the most efficient and practical. If you drive it Ludicrously – see what we did there? – you’ll probably only manage 400 kilometres to the charge, if that.
Aesthetically, it’s pretty much the same as the facelifted P90D we drove recently, so it has Tesla’s new corporate nose as the Biohazard air filter. Our test car had heated and cooled seats too.
What counts most with a car of this calibre is how it drives. Well, one of our passengers was complaining of a sore neck after a while, so that’s a testament to the manner in which it serves up its huge amount of torque. It’ll pin you well and truly to your seat, it’ll strain your eyes and smear a huge across your face. There’s truly nothing quite like it.
Yet the Model S P100D has a noticeably different personality to its forebears – yes it’ll waft around town, delivering you to your destination in silence and turning heads on the pavement as you hum along. However, where it’s virtually impossible to break traction on other fast all-wheel Teslas, the Model S P100D is a little different.
If you’re a little too enthusiastic with the throttle and the car is in Ludicrous mode, those stunning and enormous 21inch Turbine wheels (a $6,800 option) will struggle for grip, the car will wiggle its hips and then it’ll charge towards the horizon, with you very probably crapping your pants in the process. It can feel a little heavy in the bends though, it is worth remember that it does tip the scales at nearly 2.5 tonnes.
It feels angry and aggressive, and driving the Model S P100D quickly (within the posted speed limits of course) is like discovering that the physics professor at the local university moonlights as an accomplished MMA fighter. Unbelievably intelligent, a bit geeky but at the same time downright brutal. A soulless electric car it certainly is not.
Then there’s the Easter Egg. In typical Tesla fashion there’s a bit of a faff to activate it – watch our tutorial here – but we question if a function that only shaves one tenth of a second off the 0-100 time is completely necessary. And even if you do want to use it, you need to allow around 45 minutes to an hour for the battery to heat up to an optimum temperature. In short, it’s more than fast enough in Ludicrous mode.
Also worth mentioning that the AutoPilot and adaptive cruise control were disabled in our test car. The hardware was present, however Tesla has recently come under fire for its AutoPilot software, as such the company is working on an upgrade for a better user experience. Disappointing on a car at this price bracket and with this much tech, but the hardware is all there, it’s just a matter of downloading the new software when it’s ready.
Well, would you buy one?
Yes, yes we would (well I would anyway). Ridiculous performance aside, it’s still a technological tour de force.
- Red Multi-Coat Paint $2,300
- All Glass Panoramic Roof $2,300
- 21″ Grey Turbine Wheels $6,800
- Black Tesla Premium Seats $3,800
- Carbon Fiber Décor $1,500
- Carbon fibre spoiler $1,500
- High power charger upgrade $2,300
- Premium Upgrades Package $5,300
- Ultra High-Fidelity Sound $3,800
- Subzero weather package $1,500