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Tesla Model S: AWD, all-electric power w/big range

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Sleek and elegant styling, amazingly quick acceleration and an extraordinary driving range have made the all-electric Tesla Model S one of the most talked about vehicles in the world.

That is an impressive achievement for a vehicle that has been in production for just seven years. Interestingly, Tesla does not apply model years to its vehicles like other manufacturers. Instead, it features production dates, and Tesla provides its vehicles with over-the-air software updates periodically. These updates occur without needing to visit a service center.

Get A Charge

Unique to Tesla, is its growing global network of supercharging stations conveniently located near restaurants and rest stops to provide quick (one hour) charging for its customers.

Initially, access to these superchargers was included in the vehicle purchase price. Today, new Tesla buyers get the first 1,000 miles for free. Regardless, the cost to operate the Model S is approximately one-third to one-fifth of what a gasoline-powered counterpart would cost.

Range

With a driving range of up to 335 all-electric miles, and supercharging stations located along interstates roughly every 200 miles, you could drive your Tesla Model S across the country with occasional one-hour stops to recharge the battery. In fact, if you enter your destination in the navigation system, it will let you know where and when it is time to stop for a recharge.

Enhancements

Enhancements over the years to the Model S include a sleeker nose in 2016, improvements to cabin fit and finish, updated wheels, and standard all-wheel drive.

The Model S is very enticing with its impressive stance, elegant curves, short overhangs and lovely flush-mounted chrome door handles that automatically “present” themselves for entry.

The Model S has previously been offered with either rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive versions. In 2018, the rear-wheel-drive Model S has been discontinued.

Power/Pricing

For 2018, Tesla Model S is available only with all-wheel drive, and in three configurations; 75D ($74,500), 100D ($94,000) or P100D ($135,000).

The Model S 75D features a 75kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 518-combined horsepower rating from a 259-horsepower front-mounted electric motor and a 259-horsepower rear-mounted electric motor. Acceleration from 0-60 mph happens in just 4.2 seconds. The 75D provides a driving range of up to 259 miles.

The Model S 100D features a 100kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 518-combined horsepower rating from a 259-horsepower front-mounted electric motor and a 259-horsepower rear-mounted electric motor. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is slightly better at 4.1 seconds. The 100D provides a driving range of up to 335 miles.

The Model S P100D is top performer. It boasts a stronger 503-horsepower rear electric motor and a 680-combined horsepower rating.

Insane/Ludicrous

With “Insane” or “Ludicrous” operating modes, the P100D delivers extraordinarily forceful acceleration with 0-60 mph happening in just 2.5 seconds. The P100D provides a driving range of up to 315 miles.

Of course, the driving range of any electric vehicle diminishes when travelling at highway speeds or in cold climates.

Cabin

The cabin is nicely styled and sophisticated, but not quite as luxuriously appointed as other vehicles at this price point. The Model S comes well equipped and features a 17-inch tablet-like touchscreen.

There is plenty of head and leg room up front, but head room is lacking in the second row.

The Model S is an amazing vehicle and Tesla is showing the world that all-electric vehicles can be elegant, fun-to-drive and suitable for everyday driving.