Overnight Test Drive Of Tesla P100D Ends Badly

Last summer, Tesla began offering customers an overnight test drive of a Model S sedan as a way to let people experience the joys of its Autopilot semi-autonomous driving software for themselves. The test drive is available only at the discretion of the manager of the local Tesla store. Before being approved, the customer has to fill out a form found on the Tesla website. It reads:

Tesla P100D test drive crash

“As we prepare to head into the summer drive season, Tesla would like to offer you an exclusive overnight test drive with Model S where you can experience our Autopilot features for yourself. More than your average test drive, this extended experience will allow you to take your time exploring the car’s ground-breaking performance and features. Take Model S home, commute to work and see how seamlessly this award-winning car could fit into your lifestyle.

Model S also now comes with the option to activate Tesla’s latest version of Autopilot software. This new self-driving technology makes it even easier than ever to arrive at your destination relaxed.”

Recently, a man borrowed a Tesla Model S P100D for an overnight test drive. This is the car that Motor Trend says goes 0 – 60 in less than 2.3 seconds. It also has more than 920 pounds feet of torque and 589 horsepower. Those numbers put the P100D in supercar territory. They also mean the car is faster than anything a typical driver has ever experienced before. Talk about your recipe for disaster!

Sure enough, the driver managed to stuff the loaner car into a barrier on the highway, rearranging the front end in ways the designers never intended. The car was flat bedded to the nearest authorized Tesla repair facility, Contemporary Coachworks. The repair shop declined to comment about the extent of damage or speed of the car at the time of the collision. But putting the $160,000 car back together won’t be cheap.

While it might be fun to speculate on the intelligence of clueless clods who don’t know how to drive, the truth of the matter is that top of the line Teslas accelerate faster than most drivers have ever experienced before. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if Tesla decided to offer buyers — especially those opting for the mighty P100D — a day of high performance driving instruction at a qualified racing school. Are you listening, Elon?

Source: Teslarati   Photo credit: Ed Tanas via Facebook

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.