I’m a really nice guy. Like, really, really nice. All of the time my friends and family approach me with automotive queries because they know I will give them an honest answer. For example, when a family member calls me and says “hey my change oil light is on, what should I do?” and “my tires are bald, should I get new ones?” I have the unique ability to give straight forward answers and not dance around asking questions like; Did you dress yourself today?”.
The other week my brother-in-law called me and asked if I could help get his car tinted and a stone chip on the windshield fixed. “sure I can, I can do that in a day”. He was super happy as he was going out of town and said he would just leave me the car for a couple of days (and I get to drive it). My brother-in-law drives a Tesla 85D. This is an electric car with the ability to go zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds. Understandably I was very excited by the opportunity to thrash, drive his car. Let me back up a bit. When my brother-in-law first ordered his Tesla he was super excited about it and understandably so. Technology from the future, crazy power and great fit and finish. I on the other hand was a little underwhelmed at first, I thought, what’s the big deal right? It’s like driving an electric razor with an i-pad for a console. I thought it would lack the passion of a combustion engine. When he got it I thought “okay, this is cool but I would still rather have ______ insert premium luxury sedan”. Essentially I thought that liking that car would make me less of a “car guy” because I was liking something without an engine.
However, after driving it for a couple of days I would liken it to a slot car with an in between stage. Step on the accelerator pedal (can’t really call it a gas pedal) and it drives like any other car. Mash it with your foot and watch the world melt away though the windshield. Don’t forget, this is with 2 car seats comfortably in the back too! Imagine all that torque and power available from 0 RPM because there is no engine to turn over. Instant terminal velocity…. My tear ducts have not fully recovered.
The technology is amazing in the car. The Auto Pilot mode will legitimately steer, accelerate and brake the car its self. You want to change lanes? just click the turn signal and watch the computer overlords sense when an appropriate opening becomes available and technology will then put you in the next lane. The on board navigation has built in internet browsing and the car will tell you the stock numbers too (if you are into that sort of thing) and a full internet browser. Imagine driving from Toronto to Kingston without using the steering wheel or the pedals. It is a novel concept that took some time for my weak human, non-Tesla brain to comprehend.
Usually when I have to drive family/friends cars for service I can’t wait to give them back. I don’t want to be responsible for any damage like “was this crease in the leather always there?” or, “I don’t remember the car sounding like this”… with this car I would gladly keep driving it because the reward is definitely worth the risk.
Now I will write my first draft of the apology letter to my brother-in-law….