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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

The ‘Ludicrous’ logic of Tesla’s supercar-beater

We get a headache behind the wheel of a staggeringly fast Tesla in Austria.

Tesla Model S P90D ‘Ludicrous’ edition pictured near Vienna, Austria. Adam Workman / The National
Tesla Model S P90D ‘Ludicrous’ edition pictured near Vienna, Austria. Adam Workman / The National

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to drive one of the most remarkable production cars in the world, certainly in terms of outward appearance to actual performance, when I took the electric Tesla Model S P90D “Ludicrous” edition into the mountains near the Austrian capital Vienna. It may outwardly resemble a mid-2000s Japanese saloon given a lick of aerodynamic nous and an all-black, space-age interior, but that “ludicrous” tag is no exaggeration. There are only two driving modes in this edition: Sport and Ludicrous. Slide it into the latter on an infotainment screen approximately the size of two iPads and things get silly. The Tesla engages full battery power to hit 100kph from standstill in 2.8 seconds. It’s hard to describe how fast that feels without cursing gratuitously. It’s tantamount to engaging warp speed in a spaceship; after a couple of hours of testing it out, the hyperactive acceleration had literally given me a headache.

Unfortunately, despite one member of staff at Tesla’s Vienna office telling me that there’s already one of the company’s superchargers installed in a private residence in the UAE, the Californian company currently doesn’t have a presence in the UAE and was unwilling to play ball about the future likelihood of its cars being on sale here on anything other than an import-only basis. A Tesla spokeswoman told The National: “Unfortunately we are not able to say anything in regards to our plans in the UAE.”

aworkman@thenational.ae

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