The coolest gadget on the road5/22/2013
If tomorrow I win the lottery and can finally start making the ludicrous purchases we all dream of making, my first splurge will be the same as many as others’: a new car, specifically the Tesla Model S.
For those expecting to read Ferrari, Aston Martin or Bentley, I’m sorry to disappoint, but to the tech geek imaginary millions can provide more than mere style and comfort. Started in 2003 in California’s Silicon Valley, Tesla builds exclusively electric-powered vehicles and defines itself as “the car company of the future.” While Tesla has struggled for the last 10 years to crack the luxury car market, the masterpiece Model S might be the car to finally break through.
The Model S is a full-sized, four-door sedan equipped with a 416 horsepower engine that runs exclusively off a 1,300-pound lithium-ion battery and reportedly drives like a comfortable sports car. Beyond its eco-friendliness, the Model S is legitimately stylish, something its competitors could never claim.
Tesla has had an extremely turbulent year. First, the Model S was named the Motor Trends “Car of the Year” in January; then weeks later, a bad review in the New York Times supposedly cost the company $100 million in stock value. Fast forward to this May, when the automaker reported its first ever quarterly profits. Then, continuing to recover from the Times review, Consumer Reports gave the Model S a near perfect review with a 99 out of 100-point score, something only the Lexus LS has achieved.
Even with all the plaudits, the Model S has its drawback: a fully charged battery has only a 200-mile life, the standard charging station requires 10 hours to “refuel” (although there is a super charge option), repairs require visits to Tesla service stations (which are extremely scarce), and for peak performance and best charging options, the Model S prices out to roughly $90,000.
Is it a perfect car? No. But it is easily the coolest gadget on the road, which aptly qualifies it for my jackpot daydream. CV
Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. For more tech insights, follow him on Twitter @ResponsiblyWild.