The advantages of the Tesla Model S’s powertrain become as plain when you begin to explore the cabin as they are every time you drive past a fuel station. The extravagant freedom from convention is almost worthy of a concept car.
You’ll find evidence of it the first time you open both bonnet and boot and see the cargo volume that’s split between them: an estate-trumping 1795 litres. Only a pure EV could deliver packaging like it.
But you’ll be even more struck by the enormous touchscreen on the centre of the fascia. Like an extra-large iPad turned portrait, it’s used to control everything from the air conditioning to the selectable ride height of the air suspension.
It also relays information about battery charge, energy consumption, the sat-nav and the audio system and, at a stroke, eliminates the need for individual buttons for the sunroof, demister and charging port door release. In some cases, this convergence adds complication to what ought to be simple processes. But mostly it seems light years ahead of ordinary cockpit functionality.
The sat-nav system is a ‘buy one get one free’ deal. The primary system operates via the instrument binnacle and it’s low on detail but reliable and easy to use. The secondary system can fill the entirety of that 17-inch touchscreen and relies on a decent 4G connection to access Google mapping. This can make programming a bit slow when you’re out in the sticks, but it works brilliantly where there’s good mobile coverage.