A couple of months ago I took delivery of my Tesla Model S 70D. Last week I noticed an issue with the car and called Tesla to schedule a service appointment. Here is the link to that blog “Tesla Customer Service Setting the Standards High” .
This blog is not a review of my service experience but a review of the Model S 90DL (an awesome car). In this review I will breakdown the options of the Tesla Model S P90DL (Ludicrous mode). This review is my opinion so I hope I don’t offend anyone.
Let’s get this out of the way first, the Model S has incredible software controlling the car. Car manufactures for the most part do a good job with hardware, but in my opinion, software engineers they are not. Many of the issues with other car manufactures are the integration or lack of integrating software to match hardware; like Bluetooth, smartphone apps, etc. Tesla wins this category because I truly think of Tesla as a technology company that builds cars and batteries. Just think of your car like a smartphone. It gets better with every over-the-air update.
The second thing to mention is the cost. Tesla is a premium car brand that is going up against the high end guys like BMW & Audi. You bet, the cost is going to be very high. Tesla’s Model S price ranges from $70K – $145K USD depending on the options you choose. This review is for their most expensive model the P90DL.
The Model S is arguably one of the sharpest looking cars with incredible lines on the road today. From the headlights to the tail lights I notice people looking at the car trying to figure out what it is. The Model S is constructed mostly of aluminum to keep the weight down. It comes in a variety of colors ranging from their base black and white colors to the upgraded Pearl White and Red Multi-Coat that will cost you an extra $1500.00 USD. The Model S I am driving is their Obsidian Black Metallic color that’ll run an extra $1000.00 USD too. The rims and tires also range in price. There are three tire package options to choose from. Mine has the 21” Silver Turbine Wheels which is an extra $4500.00 USD. You can also get that same tire package in powder coated grey. Also you can choose from there standard 19” wheel package or upgraded 19” Silver Cyclone wheel package that cost an extra $2500.00 USD. My opinion is if you do not need the 21” wheels then just get the standard 19” wheels. The ride is better and you have smaller chance of bending a rim or blowing out a tire when you come across a pothole. Also the ride is much softer. I’d like to point out that I haven’t noticed any big difference in handling between the 19” standard wheels and the 21” wheel package. The P90DL loaner has the All Glass Panoramic Roof option priced at $1500.00 USD. Love the look of it from the inside and out. Great way to top off the look of the car.
Inside this fighter jet that we call a Model S P90DL:
Once you get past the outside beauty of the car, I want to place your attention on the inside of the Model S. First I would like to say the interior of this Model S has tan leather with the white Alcantara Headliner. It’s not my first choice of color as my Model S is black leather and black Alcantara Headliner (show less dirt due to my 3 active boys). Once you sit down in the Model S your eyes tend to focus on the large center screen and WOW it is very large. I mean this screen looks like two IPads! It controls most of the cars functions and is very easy to use. There is zero lag in the touch part of the screen as well. The only issue I’ve noticed is that the web browser is very slow even with the LTE cellular upgrade. Now, about the seats. I love the way the new Next Generation seats feel. They are much better than the original ones. I feel they hold you in the seat as you are taking the curves fast. The All Glass Panoramic Roof is incredible. I ordered it on my Model S, but I have to tell you I was a little scared with all black interior that it would be too hot which turns out to be far from the truth. The roof blocks most of the heat and when you open the roof it’s like a convertible. I absolutely love it and would recommend it to anyone. You’ll be glad to know about storage. Well, I can tell you there is ample room for my wife and three boys in the Model S as well as luggage. This car is really roomy. The loaner has the optional rear facing seats. My 7 year old loves to ride in them. He just waves at everyone we pass and they look at him like he is crazy or perhaps his parents are crazy. I am surprised that I haven’t been stopped by the police for letting a child ride in the “trunk” of a car. Getting around to the premium interior and lighting package, when I ordered my S 70D I wasn’t going to get it. I was really on the fence about it thinking it might be a waste of money but it’s proven to be really nice in both cars. I love the power lift-gate, Nappa leather armrest and dashboard as well as the lighted door handles to the interior accent lighting. I really have no complaints with the interior of the car. Okay…..well maybe just one. And I think it might be an OCD thing. When you open the car doors you noticed the black rubber gaskets around the door seals and pillars. The rubber gasket seems to get rolled up a little and I have to straighten it out. I wish Tesla could have used some type of adhesive or made the rubber gaskets a little larger. Really I think it’s my OCD but I have never seen a high end car with that issue before. Oh, one more thing, it lacks an adequate amount of cup holders. Tesla we are Americans and you are an American company, more cup holders please.
Autopilot Convenience Features
Tesla has set it’s self apart when it comes to autonomous driving technology and it seems no one is getting closer. I’ve had a chance to use this technology a lot, while not perfect yet, Tesla is getting better and better as the updates roll out. I feel the best place to use this technology is on the Interstate and not back roads. Don’t get me wrong, it works good on the back roads but just not as good than if it’s on the Interstate. We have extremely heavy morning traffic where I live and I always used Autopilot in the stop and go traffic. It makes my commute stress free. From a technical point of view, the system consists of a dozen ultrasonic sensors, half of which wrap discreetly around each end of the car in the bumper fascias; one forward-looking camera positioned behind the windshield between the rear-view mirror and the roof header; and a radar sensor located in a low-center position in the grille. Servos and controllers steer the front wheels, apply the brakes, and command the drive motor(s). I can hear my wife saying “Mwa-Mwa-Mwa”. If you are on the fence about this technology, I would say get it. You will regret it if you don’t.
Smart Air Suspension
I did not purchase this option for my 70D because as I thought down the road it could cause problems. I like the smart part about it using GPS to raise and lower the car. Other than that I really can’t tell a difference between my Model S and this loaner from Tesla. Maybe it has more to do with my car having the 19” tires v’s the P90DL having the 21” tires. I could take it or leave it.
Ultra High Fidelity Sound
Ok I am not a big audiophile guy. Don’t get me wrong, I love listening to music but never thought having an upgraded sound system really matter that much to me. Until I took possession of this P90DL. I have to say there is a big difference between my standard audio system and the Ultra High Fidelity one. The biggest difference is I can hear more from the dash than my system as well as everything is crisper and precise and more bass. This is one option I wish I would have purchased. Tesla can you swap it out for me?
Subzero Weather Package
I live in Alabama so to me this is not really an option I would have chosen in my car. We just do not see a lot of cold weather to justify this option. As long as my seat heats up on occasion, I could care less if everyone else in the car is cold. It’s all about me. Now if Tesla would come out with a Heat Weather Package with cooled seats, I am all over it. Seriously Tesla why can’t I have cooled seats?
All Wheel Drive
Outside of a Jeep Wrangler, this is my very first car with all-wheel drive. I bought my Model S with it because I purchased the 70 model and wanted a little more efficiency/range in the car, where have you been all my life all-wheel drive? I can’t make the P90DL break loose at all (you did not hear that Tesla). I have tried in the rain, dry roads and taking off turning a corner; it just will not break loose. I feel so much safer in this car than any other car I have been in. If you are buying a Model S 70 get the all-wheel drive option, you will not regret it on bit.
Ludicrous Speed Upgrade
Ok I saved the best for last. I want to first say, this is “Jesus take the wheel” speed. I have had the opportunity to drive and ride in some very very fast cars in my life, cars that I thought were the quickest cars I will ever drive or ride in until I received the P90DL loaner from Tesla. I have taken many people for a ride in this loaner and told them they have never been in a car as quick as the P90DL. At the end of the ride, they are all laughing and saying how fast the car is. I like to say if you are in a bad mood or sad get in one of these cars and they will put a smile on your face. Seriously the car just hooks up and goes with no smoking of the tires, no sliding, no stress and delivers the power without making you fight the steering wheel. It is so buttery smooth at launch. I’m really glad this feature is out of my price range or I would stay in trouble.
I would not trade my Model S 70D for anything. I know I have been talking about how cool the P90DL is and it really is a very cool car with tons more options than mine, but I really really love my setup. If you have the $145K to spend on a four door super car, then the Tesla Model S P90DL is the car for you. Not only is it the quickest car in the world but it requires no gas. How cool is that? If you can only get the 70D, then buy it. At the end of the day no matter which version of the Tesla Model S you can afford to buy, you are purchasing THE most technological advanced car on the plant and it’s MADE in America. Thanks Elon and Tesla for giving the world a car that others said could not be done. I look forward to the advancements you have up your sleeve.
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