The Tesla Model S is the most important car Top Gear has tested. Let’s just throw that out there. A handsome if generic-looking exec hatch, it threatens to do to the traditional car industry what Amazon did for retailing and Apple’s iTunes infrastructure did to the music business - utterly rewire it.
The mainstream media loves Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, a man who is two-parts real-life Tony Stark to one-part Steve Jobs. The guy made a billion from Paypal, has his own space exploration company, and recently proposed the Hyperloop high-speed transportation system. He also used to own a McLaren F1, so rest easy - he ‘gets’ cars the way we do. But, rather than build a ridiculous vanity supercar, he decided to apply 21st-century Silicon Valley thinking to a technology model and industry that epitomises the 20th century. Following the slightly tentative Tesla Roadster, the results are game-changing.
Pictures: Mark Bramley
This feature first appeared in Top Gear magazine