Well, this is the best kind of harbinger for a good Auto Show. I had a major (9 point!) car spotting this afternoon. The time was about 1pm, the place, right in the neighborhood. (At the corner of Lincolnway and Campbell, for those scoring at home.) The car was a Tesla Model S in black. Unfortunately, it was stopped at a red light on the other side of the intersection and the green came up before I got my faithful iPod out of my pocket. If it had been parked, I would have definitely gone back to take a long look and a bunch of pictures, but as it was I just had to sort out the sighting as best I could in the few seconds I had. Here’s an image of an identical car I found on the internet: You will be forgiven if, like mine, your first quick glance screams “Citroen”. That little triangular element in the grille definitely suggests the twin chevrons, and this is a big, low lithe-looking car with a long hood and a very short bobtailed deck, and the front three quarter view is not unsuggestive of the stance of the current large Citroens. I had this glorious freaky second of hope that my new favorite person in the world (whoever they may be) had managed to import a C6, and it had come to live in the neighborhood.The next second proved that to be the pipe dream that I know it is, but the correct identification is hardly disappointing. The T in the grille is a straightforward spotting point. T is for Tesla.
You bet I wasn’t disappointed. The big Tesla is a highly significant car, as well as a very handsome one, and I had never seen one in the metal before at all, much less in the wild. To be blunt, this may be the wave of the future: a powerful full sized sport sedan with a fully electric power train. That’s right: not a gas or diesel, not a hybrid, a pure electric car. Granted there are other pure electrics out there, but the little compact Nissan Leaf is one thing and this Tesla is very much something else.
Read a lot more about the Model S on the Tesla Motors website here. There’s a nifty little design studio that allows you to fit out your own car with your choice of all the options; I made a metallic green one with a tan leather interior and a black roof that is very handsome. I don’t think I’m going to be sending the order in for it any time soon, though. With no options but the green paint, the smaller of the two upgrades on the battery capacity, and the air suspension, the bill comes out to 67, 320 USD. (And that’s not including the cost of the home charging gear, or its installation.) Hey, it’s a technologically advanced car, not a cheap one.
Black Tesla Model S (presumably a 2013, since delivery doesn’t official start until March)– 9 points. (7 points for being a very handsome car you don’t see frequently, plus the standard 1 point bonus for being technologically interesting and significant and the standard 1 point bonus for the first sighting of a new type.)