The Tesla Model S is a supercar without equal. Recently, the P85D trim broke the Consumer Reports rating system, earning a score of 103 out of 100. They rounded down to just 100, calling it “closest to perfect we’ve ever seen.” The Model S accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in under 3.5 seconds, via an electric motor that produces zero emissions.
If that’s not quick enough for you, there are faster cars available. The 2016 Lamborghini Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce, for example, takes you there in 2.7 seconds—but it’ll cost you over half a million dollars, versus the Tesla’s comparatively modest $127,820. And you won’t feel safe parking it anywhere.
By contrast, the Tesla is startlingly practical. If you live in a major city, you’ve probably already noticed that Tesla Model S’s are quickly replacing the BMW 7’s, the Mercedes S’s, and the Porsche Panameras in all the chi-chi hotel valet docks and stately home portes-cochère. It’s still expensive, but for those who can afford a luxury car, it’s a great value.
When we talk about Tesla, we usually spin stories about the marketplace victory of a rogue engineer upending the automotive industry. Sure, Tesla’s not for everyone yet, but it might be soon. Tesla’s new Gigafactory could cut battery costs by 50 percent.
This is the company that promises finally to make clean electric vehicles a widespread reality. Car brands sell us the dream of domesticating feral brawn. Ferrari’s logo tames the stallion and Lamborghini’s the bull, but Tesla’s cultivates the impassible electric wilds (didn’t you know, that’s a T-shaped induction motor segment in the logo, maybe).
But Tesla serves another purpose, too. It is acclimating us to the end of the automobile as an object of desire.
The Model S might be a supercar under the hood (actually nothing’s under the hood; the motor is attached directly to a gearbox above the axle), but it’s hardly one elsewhere. Take a look at this video of a P85D street racing against a 670 horsepower V12 Lamborghini Murcielago (don’t street race, kids!):