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Engine options, top speed, acceleration and refinement

Remember all those drag race videos of Teslas pulling away from various supercars? A Tesla may not be a driver’s car in the traditional sense, but they do trade on performance.

That’s probably why this Long Range base model has an electric motor on each axle for a combined 434bhp and powered to 60mph in 4.7sec. An extra £10,000 buys you a Performance version with 483bhp and a claimed 0-60mph time of 3.5sec, but you certainly wouldn’t feel short-changed with the regular one.

After all, that performance is temptingly easy to access. There is no need to select a special mode or warm up the battery like with early fast Teslas. Just mat the pedal and this family SUV will hurl itself at the horizon. Other than the sheer level of thrust, it’s all pretty undramatic, too. On a dry road, it just grips and goes. Unlike most electric cars, it carries merrily on to an electronically limited top speed of 135mph.

Tesla could easily call this the Performance and have a slower, rear-wheel-drive model underneath. If it is all a bit much for you, you can select Chill mode to soften off the accelerator response and limit power to help save battery, but it is possible to achieve the same thing simply by going easier on the right pedal. Rather than a Chill mode, we would have liked to see more options to vary the regenerative braking.

You get a choice of Creep, Roll and Hold, and all three modes provide the same high level of regen when you lift off the accelerator at speed. The difference is what happens at low speed. Creep mimics an automatic gearbox, Roll lets the car roll when not holding the brake and Hold ups the regen at low speed and enables true one-pedal driving. It’s very good at it, rivalling chauffeurs in how smooth it is when coming to a stop.

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Which is fine if you enjoy driving like that, but some drivers prefer only a little retardation when lifting off, for stronger braking to be controlled using the brake pedal. Tesla doesn’t offer that option. And that typifies the prescriptive way in which the car wants to be driven and operated.