Motoring Tesla

We have little choice but to accept that we will all be driving electric (or hydrogen) cars within a decade, whether we like it or not. With Tesla being streets ahead of every other manufacturer, l thought it time we took a look at the latest Tesla model. I reviewed the Tesla S many years ago when it first came out and, begrudgingly, l really liked it.

The Model 3 is an American rear- or four-wheel drive car and is regarded as one of the most significant cars to be released this century - so far. This is Tesla’s ‘affordable’ entry level model, designed to take on the likes of BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class.

The 3 sits just below the model Y, and in two-wheel drive is priced at £42,990. It will get to 60 in 5.8 seconds, hit 140mph top speed and travel a claimed 305 miles per charge.

But that is the entry level. Spend more and get the Long Range, good for 374 miles, or the one to buy, the Performance model. It will out-drag a Lamborghini Huracan – and that is really saying something in a car that has no engine, no gearbox and no oily bits and is utterly silent.

It does have its drawbacks, of course. The build quality can be woeful, the dealer network is sporadic in its customer service, and the steering has all the feel of a wet cotton wool ball.

The lithium-ion batteries are fitted low in the car to keep the centre of gravity low and, therefore, with no engine under the bonnet, you get two boot spaces front and back.

You also get a giant touch screen that controls virtually everything – and then a bunch of silliness, such as the option to have a karaoke machine fitted, built-in games, and it will supply you with TV platforms such as Netflix should you get bored with driving it. Of course, the aim of Tesla is to eventually introduce driverless cars so that you can sit back sing your favourite songs or watch a movie. There is even a fart mode should you wish to pretend to be breaking wind. How did we ever live without that?

But it is the linear acceleration that is most impressive. No pistons pounding up and down, and no cogs meshing together to get off the line - just pure, unbroken speed with even the basic model producing 235bhp that will get to 60 faster than a £55,000 Jaguar F-Type.

There is no doubt that the Tesla 3 is a game-changer, and has been since its release in 2017 while all others companies are scrambling to catch up. Is this the car that changed the world of motoring? Probably, although the Porsche Taycan is the finest EV l have ever driven but with the top model costing £152,000, it makes the Tesla look even better value for money.

The real kicker for Tesla is their charging network. Originally dedicated only to Tesla drivers, it is very fast, mostly always worked, there were enough of them around and only Tesla could use them. This has now changed but only if you are equipped with a CCS connector.

As a motoring journalist, l find electric cars dull to review as they are all the same in 85% of ways, and with so few moving parts, it comes down to price, performance and space.

It’s impressive no doubt but a tad dull but then l am a weirdo. l love the grunt, the noise and the smell of a high-powered petrol engine with a close ratio gearbox, low centre of gravity, fat tyres and an exhaust note that makes your ears bleed.

l will, of course, go the way of the dinosaurs.

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