Was I?! I tried to sound cool and professional, and said, “Hmmm. Yes, I believe I have some time on Tuesday.” And booked the appointment, hung up, jumped out of my chair and did a little Polish jig around the apartment. At last – my chance behind the wheel of a Tesla Model S!
A couple of weeks before, I had signed up for a test drive online, but couldn’t believe I’d ever hear back. As if a schmuck like me had any right to even aspire to such delights. I felt like Katie Morowski getting to dance with Hubble Gardner in The Way We Were. Now, the date was set, and I was on!
Driving to Yorkdale, I apologized to my humble Acura. I felt like I was cheating a little bit on my trusted daily driver. After all, it’s not like I was going to dump the Acura for the Tesla. I was just going to sort of have a nooner.
My product specialist, Clyde, was ready to go. Down we went to the underground, where a layer of road grit only made the Tesla look sexier. Clyde used a fob to unhook the charger from its covert connection under the tail-light. Unlike other electric vehicles, the Tesla cannot be unhooked from a charger without a fob.
Of course, that wasn’t all the fob – which was shaped like a teeny Tesla – could do. It also told the car that we were there, and the car responded by popping out the doorhandles. I mean, it knew we were there. That may have been the result of sophisticated technology, but it felt absolutely bewitching, as if I was being beckoned by a beguiling clairvoyant.
And as soon as I slid behind the driver’s seat, the Tesla was on. That is, the lights, stereo and dashboard were ready for my next command. The generous touchscreen was as big as my tv, and Clyde showed me how to set up the different modes. There was no satellite radio because, you know, internet.
To set the car into motion, I just had to press the brake. No ignition button, no switch, nothing. It was in Park, and the dashboard lit up so that I could get motoring.
And I must add here, that in addition to its other accolades and honours, the Tesla is the only car that has a special place for a purse. Yes, you read that right. A raised platform in front of the console, between the seats, can hold a good-sized handbag. For this reason alone, I want to have Elon Musk’s child. Of course, any child of his would have four wheels and go from zero to 100 in four seconds.
Back to business. Clyde warned me that the pickup would be exceptional, and he was dead on. Just driving around the side streets, I found myself seeking out stop signs, just so I’d have an excuse to accelerate. Braking was smooth, not as grabby as some EVs, which can feel like a CRA collection agent. Clyde showed me different braking modes, for standard or low regenerative power. There was even a special “creep” setting, so it would come to a stop with a slight forward motion, which would be handy for rolling into tight parking spaces.
And all this, in complete silence. I couldn’t hear a thing. Just my own heart singing.
Clyde was chatty but not pushy, almost as excited about the car as I was. It’s one of the perks of his job, he told me, to spend all day driving around in this magnificent vehicle. I asked if test drives could get hairy, given the Tesla’s power and performance. But apparently all his customers were well-behaved, although Clyde had a chance or two to take the Tesla around a track himself, and push it. He referred to it as a “Porsche eater,” although to my mind, there’s really no comparison.
All the time we were driving, the top acre of the enormous touchscreen was on navi, so we could keep an eye on the traffic. The bottom acre was a rear view camera, so I could see the traffic behind me at a glance
As we went onto the Allen Expressway, I put the pedal to the metal. The Tesla charged ahead, pushing me back into my seat with breathtaking, multiple g-forces. Changing lanes was ridiculously easy with the high torque. The speedometer not only showed how fast I was going, but how much power I was using as I accelerated and decelerated.
We turned on the stereo and the Moonlight Sonata rang out sweetly and clearly – I could hear the pianist breathing.
Finally, we headed back to Yorkdale, and I pulled into the Tesla parking spot. As I went into reverse, the mirrors adjusted down, so I could see where I was going. And to put the lovely creature into park, I only needed to push a small button at the end of the stalk.
Clyde showed me a few financing options, and I walked through the choices. I had built a $102,000 vehicle. Not to be overlooked, the government would reimburse me $8,500. Sure I could get me a Tesla Model S – but I’d have to live in it, and develop a taste for Kraft dinner. Just how badly did I want this car?
Insurance, I found out, would be cheap. The Tesla has received the best safety ratings of any car on the planet, and is virtually impossible to steal. The technology is completely proprietary and can’t be hacked. The only way to steal a Tesla is to steal the fob.
I told Clyde I would take the suggestions under consideration. Really, there was so much to think about.
And I bought a lottery ticket on my way out.