Posted on April 12, 2015 by Roger Pressman
Way back in mid-2012, after almost a year of waiting, those of us who were early Model S adopters were invited to a Tesla Motors “Get Amped” event, where we got to the test drive the earliest versions of the Model S for the very first time. I can still remember driving the circuit that day. The car and its driving characteristics were awesome, and every one of us who participated walked away with a smile.
This morning, almost three years later, I attended the Tesla Motors “Double Black” test drive event for the P85D, S85D, and S70D. This time instead of an event held at a Tesla Service Center in an industrial park in Dania Beach, FL, the “Double Black” event was held at the posh Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach, FL. Tesla has come a long way.
Because I’ve already had the opportunity to drive the P85D over a two-day period—everything that everyone has written about the car is true, it is “insane,”—I focused on the S70D. In every respect, the car provides a Model S experience at a price point that is impressive. Handling, acceleration, responsiveness are all what we’ve learned to expect from a Model S. Many features (once options) are now appropriately provided as standard equipment. The earliest elements of the autopilot system (not yet fully operational) are quite impressive and for just a second, made me regret being an early adopter. My Signature series Model S (one of the first 1,000 ever produced) can’t be retrofitted. And, the new colors offer good alternatives for those prospective owners who want a different look.
The phrase “double black” was derived from the double black diamond ski runs that only expert skiers have the courage to attempt. Tesla wanted northern buyers to appreciate the “D” (dual motor) all-wheel-drive capabilities in bad weather, with particular emphasis on snow and ice. Here in Florida, we don’t encounter much snow, but driving the S70D, it was obvious that the ‘pull’ feel of the front motor allows you to grip the road more completely and would certainly be an added benefit in slick, heavy rain conditions (something we do experience down here).
To be honest, “Double Black” wasn’t as exciting as “Get Amped” but it did allow me to try out the S70D, meet some old Tesla friends and reconnect with some Tesla employees, now considerably more senior in the company, who were around as junior staff for “Get Amped” back in the day. Nonetheless, I would recommend checking out the "Double Black" event when it arrives in your city. For more information, simply visit: http://teslamotors.com/events.