I admit it: I love electric cars. Just a year or two ago I’d have burnt myself at the stake for even thinking, let alone writing those words.
Back then, I wondered how cars could possibly remain as intoxicating as so many of them are without a bit of suck, squeeze, bang and blow generating such ravishing sounds. No V8 warble or V12 howl, and no flat sixes. Heavens above, I fear change so much that I’m only just accepting that 911s are no longer air cooled.
However, all that changed when I drove the Tesla Model S P85D this year. What a truly fabulous thing. I used it over the May bank holiday weekend, and immediately fell head over heels in love with it. I'd never been more popular, either, and not just with people who love their cars. Even my elderly parents wanted a go although, sadly, it did bad things to them.
I put it in the infamous Insane mode and treated them to a blast of instantly delivered torque – all 713lb ft of it. Unfortunately, I forgot to tell them to brace their heads against the headrests.
When the P85D leapt off the line, in its uniquely ferocious way, they both whacked their heads so hard my mum ended up with a ringing in her ears, while my dad was genuinely convinced he had whiplash. That didn’t stop them raving about the experience, though, and dragging their friends around, who were queuing up like it was pension day at the Post Office to be similarly brutalised by the magic Tesla.
My mates were no less enthusiastic. One excitedly complained of experiencing funny vision, while another wanted me to keep repeating the launch process so he could video the stupidly excited look on his face. Another just giggled inanely every time the car accelerated. Even my friend Lou was fascinated, and she’s the kind of person who would see a LaFerrari and ask what it was, then say it looked silly in red.
Meanwhile, the P85D has done the business whenever we’ve put it up against some seriously tricky stuff in drag races this year. Check out Matt Prior’s video when he ran it alongside the Caterham 620R as proof of how accelerative it is, against what must be one of the most accelerative road cars in history.
However, for me, its greatness lies beyond its performance. I love the fact that it’s a four-door car with acres of interior space, and that it offers nearly as much luggage capacity as a Mercedes E-Class Estate that has its rear seats laid flat. I also love the slick iPad-style screen that means you can surf the internet while you’re waiting for your better half to empty the contents of Westfield shopping centre.