NEW YORK (
) -- I finally had the chance to test drive the
(TSLA - Get Report)
Model S after 15 long, arduous months of waiting, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it was worth every one of those days, and then some.
I'll start with a brief synopsis of the trials and tribulations of getting the review before I go into the actual review.
It started when I first went out to Palo Alto to
and interview the folks at Tesla in June 2012. Unfortunately, I arrived at the car maker's headquarters a week before the company was scheduled to test drive the Model S. Plans to drive the car would have to be postponed. In the following months, other plans were tried but didn't work out for one reason or another.
And then finally, at long last, I was able to get behind the wheel of Tesla earlier this week on the roads and highways of New Jersey.
Here's what it's like:
Before you even get into the car, you'll notice the handles on the doors retract for safety but protrude when the key gets near to the door. You can also tap on the handles to get them to pop out. This is just a sign of things to come.
Getting behind the wheel of the Model S, the first thing you notice is how Elon Musk and Tesla have thought of everything. Yes, you read that right. Your eyes and senses are taken over by the wonders of the car, noticing the giant dash with every feature set you could possibly want.
I test drove the fully-loaded version of the Model S, painted in pearl white, priced at $111,770. Tesla recently introduced a
to make the cars more affordable, though even with that, the car is still catered towards the very affluent.
Here is the spec sheet for the model I drove with pricing included:
P85 kWh battery (INCLUDED)
Pearl White Paint ($1,500)
All glass panoramic sunroof($1,500)
Premium Interior Lighting (INCLUDED)
21" Silver Wheels ($4,500)
Black Napp Leather/Alcanatara with Red Piping (INCLUDED)
Obeche Wood Gloss Decor Accents (INCLUDED)
Tech Package ($3,750)
Ultra High Fidelity Sound Package ($950)
Smart Air Suspension (INCLUDED)
Rear Facing Seats ($1,500)
Twin Chargers ($1,500)
Yacht Floor ($500)
The 60 kWH base model of the car starts at $69,900, not including a $7,500 U.S. federal tax credit. Depending on where you live, drivers are entitled to additional incentives. Interested buyers can check
Getting into the driver's seat, you can easily adjust the seat to your preferred setting with the aide of motorized buttons on the seat's sides. Besides the usual buttons to push forward and backward as well as up or down, there's additional levers for lumbar support and another that moves the back of the seat for added comfort.