Tesla Model S 75D

Tesla Model S 75D £68,950

Top Gear (UK) - - CONTENTS - TOM HAR­RI­SON

WE SAY: UN­TIL THE MODEL 3 MAKES IT OVER THE AT­LANTIC, THIS IS THE CHEAP­EST TESLA

We wish Tesla CEO Elon Musk would spend less time tweet­ing him­self into ex­pen­sive, po­ten­tially dam­ag­ing law­suits, and a bit more run­ning the com­pany he’s helped build into an EV heavy­weight. Then we Brits might fi­nally get our hands on the Model 3, the fa­bled ‘af­ford­able’ Tesla, more than a year af­ter its US launch. Till then, this is the cheap­est Tesla you can buy in the UK. It’s a Model S with the 75kWh bat­tery and dual mo­tors, giv­ing 304 miles of claimed range (NEDC) and 0–60mph in 4.2secs. All for the princely sum of £68,950. Which is still quite a lot of money, isn’t it?

But the Model S is a lot of car. In size terms, if noth­ing else. Be­cause it was de­signed and de­vel­oped by Amer­i­cans, it feels far larger than any of its com­peti­tors (we’re think­ing 5-Se­ries, E-Class, A6). Just a mite too wide to en­joy driv­ing in Bri­tain, in fact. But thank­fully this big­ness is car­ried on in­side, where there’s much stor­age (two boots – handy) and the op­tion

of a pair of rear­ward-fac­ing kids seats, ˆ la Volvo three decades ago. And even though this is the cheap­est Model S, you still get loads of tech. The 17in por­trait touch­screen is present and cor­rect, and, as far as we can tell, not miss­ing any func­tion­al­ity. The only thing we’d add is Au­topi­lot. At £4,800 it’s an ex­pen­sive box to tick, but go­ing with­out is a bit like or­der­ing your fish ’n’ chips with­out bat­ter.

Still fast, too. Enough to make your pas­sen­gers swear/scream – at least up to 60mph. Where the 75D re­ally misses out is on range – that’s what you’re (not) pay­ing for. We live in a world where £30k Kias and Hyundais will do a re­al­world 250 miles to a charge, and we only got about 230 from the Tesla. That said, the per­for­mance/range on of­fer here will be enough for most peo­ple, and be­sides, it’s a de­sir­able item. Amus­ing as it is, don’t be lured in by promises of ‘lu­di­crous’ ac­cel­er­a­tion or what­ever – this is all the Model S you’d ever need.

SPEC­I­FI­CA­TION

75kWh elec­tric mo­tor, AWD, 259bhp, 243lb ft 4.05 mp­kWh, 0g/km CO 0–60mph in 4.2secs, 140mph 2108kg

VER­DICT: Cheap­est Model S is the one to have, even if it is a bit low on range.

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