5 Thoughts After 500 Miles: Driving the 691 hp Tesla Model S P85D

We’ve just spent 500 miles behind the wheel of the new all electric 691 hp Tesla P85D and we have a ton to say. And while our full review is coming soon, we couldn’t wait to give you a peek into our time with the electric rocketship.

Here are five quick thoughts after five hundred miles.


1. 4,900 lbs has never felt so light. With the majority of the weight inches off the ground and the suspension so well-damped, the Tesla P85D feels like a car 500-700 pounds lighter.

2. The design and interface details inside and out show a quality in thought and execution superior to almost anything out there under $200k. There are plenty of things MINI and BMW get right. But there are more than a few areas that Tesla shames them in.

3. The skeuomorphic design language of interior interface (on that gorgeous 17″ display) is at odds with the beauty and simplicity of the interior design. It cannot change fast enough.

4. The quality of engineering and fit and finish are exceptional given that Tesla wasn’t making cars 10 years ago. It’s perhaps the most impressive thing about the Model S.

5. 0-60 in 3.2 seconds never gets old. And neither do hysterical and/or frightened reactions to it.

Note we didn’t mention range anxiety once and that’s with most of those miles being spent on a three-state road trip. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have some charging downtime. Look for the full review soon.

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  • BimmerFile_Michael

    I can’t love the single panel screen design for EVERYTHING….. Also curious to hear about charging and your overall opinion of the process.

    My one hitch is the size of the Model S- just too big for my needs and driving in Europe with such a massive car, especially in cities, would be a nightmare (parking anyone?).

    It’s quick, has great design language and has some good tech but I am anxious to hear how the batteries last long term as they really are just laptop cells and I have never had much luck with them.

    • It’s smaller than it looks. I got it into some tight spots no problem. The screen is interesting and incredibly versatile. I agree with you there’s a lot in a single screen but frankly BMW and MINI have ALOT to learn from what Tesla is doing with software. Especially it’s ability to update and add features. It makes a modern BMW or MINI’s interior feel like a flip phone in some ways. I can’t imagine BMW/MINI won’t be going down this path.