• Tesla Model S – Driven

    It’s fair to say our first drive of the Tesla Model S is not entirely going to plan. Fellow scribe Phil Huff is peering through the rear window with a slightly quizzical expression. “You’ve broken it,” he jokes.

    Tesla Model S85

    Tesla Model S85

    It later transpires this assessment might not be so far from the truth. Right now, however, we’re locked outside what could well be the future of motoring, stranded at our photo location just above the Milbrook Hill Route (famously the road on which 007 totalled his Aston Martin in Casino Royale). There are worse places to be marooned, admittedly, and it provides a good opportunity to reflect on what we have gleaned about the car so far.

    The Model S has been around for a couple of years now, but recent months have seen a growing number taking to our roads. It’s a discretely handsome sports saloon with a generous luggage capacity and enough room to seat five adults. There’s even the option of two additional rear-facing seats in the boot, should you need them. Outwardly, there are almost no clues to the fact that this is an all-electric vehicle, but as such it’s exempt from road tax and the Congestion Charge. Perhaps more importantly, it also falls into the lowest bracket for company car tax.

    Things are a little more radical on the inside. The massive 17-inch touch screen display is not only the largest, but also the cleverest that we’ve encountered, controlling everything from the sat nav to the sunroof. It’s like sitting inside Google.

    Tesla Model S85 Interior

    Tesla Model S85 Interior

    The dashboard itself is a strikingly simple design, clad – in the case of our test car – in Alcantara and carbon fibre. The quality of the materials is first rate and they lend the cabin a bespoke feel that distinguishes the Tesla from its more mainstream competitors.

    But enough of the pleasantries, what’s it like to drive? Really rather good, in short. You can feel the mass when pressing on – it weighs a not-inconsiderably 2.1 tons – but the combination of prodigious thrust and near-total silence from the electric powertrain is quite surreal.

    Right now the internet is awash with videos of this car’s twin-engined evil twin, the P85D, demolishing supercars from a standing start. Our test car is ‘only’ the single-engined rear-wheel drive S85 model, but even this comparatively mild example of the breed feels good for its claimed 5.4 second nought-to-sixty time.

    Where the Model S really scores, though, is response. With 440 Nm of torque available instantly, right from a standing start, overtaking urge is never more than a twitch of the toe away. There’s no shortage of grip either, with decent chassis balance and chunky, if somewhat lifeless, steering.

    A small confession here: in the brief time we had with the car, I didn’t think to check which of the two braking modes had been selected. As sampled, lifting off the accelerator resulted in something not unlike conventional engine braking, while the middle pedal had a pleasingly natural feel. It certainly wasn’t the alien experience you might expect from a regenerative braking system.

    Tesla Model S85

    All of this, of course, means little if you can’t get in to drive it. Having soaked up the Bedfordshire sunshine for 20 minutes a support car is dispatched to recover us and the stricken Tesla. The central locking issue is eventually traced to a slightly unlikely culprit, in the form of the dictaphone I’d brought along to record my notes. Apparently this had interfered with the keyless entry fob lying next to it in the centre cupholder. We’ll let you decide whether that constitutes a teething issue or (as one of Tesla’s European representatives insisted) user error.

    But the fact is, the fundamentals of this car are superb. The Model S is reassuringly conventional when you want it to be and yet a genuine game-changer in other respects. It’s more than capable of competing with its internal combustion powered competitors in terms of comfort and performance, with anecdotal evidence suggesting there’s enough real-world range to get you from, say, London to Birmingham.

    Throw in ultra-low running costs, plus more pioneering technology than you can shake a stick at, and it also starts to look like good value, starting at £59,380 on the road. This not a car reserved for hair shirt environmentalists, nor is it a low-volume concept like Volkswagen’s plug-in hybrid XL1. The electric car, it seems, is very much a reality.

    2015 Model S 85

    Performance & Economy 2015 Tesla Model S 85
    Engine 85 kWh Battery
    Transmission Automatic gearbox, rear electric-powered motor, all-wheel drive
    Power (PS / bhp) 366 / 362
    Torque (Nm / lb.ft) 440 / 324
    0 – 60 mph (seconds) 5.4
    Top Speed (mph) 140
    CO2 Emissions (g/km) 0
    VED Band A
    Combined Economy (mpg) n/a (310 mile range)
    Price (OTR) £54,000


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  • 3 Cool Cars From Bentley, Porsche & Audi

    Always wanted to drive away in a cool luxury car, but didn’t think you could afford one? Well with car leasing you can drive away in a luxury car that you might not have been able to afford if you bought it outright.

    We’ve picked three of our favourite luxury cars that would make great lease car choices if you want to travel in some serious style and can afford the monthly payments.

    Audi R8 Spyder

    If you’re looking for a supercar which has everything you could want from a luxury motor, then the R8 is for you. It has some all-round incredible performance but is still surprisingly practical. There are two engines available with the R8, both of which are astonishingly fast; the V8 and V10. These engines give the R8 power to get from 0-62 in under 5 seconds, along with super slick gear shifting.


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  • Johnson: Harvick is still the one to watch for Sprint Cup

    Following his recent third win of 2015, NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson remains as humble as ever despite his success on the tracks of late. The 39-year-old had fewer than 10 laps to go when he drove through Turn 3 of the Kansas Speedway at the recent SpongeBob SquarePants event and it became apparent that victory was his. Describing how he was looking in rear-view mirror in the race’s final leg, he said: “Sometimes you can tell what the masses are going to do, if they’re looking at pit road or not.

    “Usually [voice crew chief] Chad Knaus gives me some indication early in Turn 3 what he’s going to do, and he didn’t really say much, so I knew he was thinking hard, and I could see most guys were favoring down and trying to find their way onto the apron. It just dawned on me.”

    Hence, a split-second decision led Johnson to the 73rd win of his career and more adoration from loyal fans. But that doesn’t stop him from being modest however, and now, he has advised NASCAR fans that Kevin Harvick may be the one to watch.

    Johnson said: “I still think he’s the car to beat right now. I mean, he qualifies better than we do. We’re finding ways to win races, but I just think that they have a bit more control of their own destiny right now.”

    Indeed, Harvick may in fact be the man to place a wager on, and with sites like Bettingsports offering so many bonuses, it is no wonder that NASCAR fans may be turning their attentions towards Harvick. He has two more top 10 wins that Johnson and a marked statistical edge in qualifying, with an average of 8.4 compared to Johnson’s 16.4.

    However, what the two do have in common are their engines – they both drive the Chevrolet SS, with Johnson racing for Hendrick Motorsports and Harvick for Stewart-Hass Racing. Both have fared extremely well with this engine, and it could be thanks to the innovative new technologies as introduced by the model in January this year.

    The Generation 6, it has been claimed, will “change the face of racing,” largely thanks to its improved safety considerations, reduced weight and a small block V-8 engine. The cars are now two years in the making and today’s models are largely considered to be the best for racing.

    Whoever we have our eye on for NASCAR, it seems the real key to success is the innovative technology that continues to evolve in the world of motorsports.

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  • Oliver Korittke dreht durch (DE)

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    Oliver Korittke dreht durch – Oliver Korittke rastet aus

  • Flatmobile – Lowest Car in the World

    Here is the lowest car in the world! This cool car is officially recognised by the Guinness World Records for lowest street legal car, the Flatmobile stands at just 19 inch or 48 cm tall.

    The car is rear mounted with a 875cc engine for propulsion. Obviously inspired from Batmobile, Perry Watkins from England is the proud owner of the FlatMobile.

    Technical Specifications

    • Donor car -1963 Hillman Imp
    • 30″ height sectioned out from body
    • Ground clearance -2″
    • Height-19″
    • Length-12′2″
    • Width-5′ 5″
    • Combustion Engine-Hillman Imp 875 Sport
    • Jet engine-DIY gas turbine
    • Suspension rear-Standard springs and shocks on rear but cut down
    • Suspension front-Avro shocks with adjustable height 4″ springs
    • Wheels-Cosmic alloys 10×6J
    • Tyres-Goodyear Eagles 205 x 50 x 10

    Here is a video of the Flatcar in action:

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