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But looking around — yep, there are damp patches under my armpits and the sun overhead is like in an old Western where the lost cowboy drops to the desert sand in delirium. And that big sedan quietly teleporting itself to the far end of the dragstrip is actually happening.

Measured by our classical methods, the Model S P85 is now the fastest American sedan, and close to the fastest anywhere.Eeek — all of our testing, including a few dragstrip runs just for photography, had consumed 13 miles. After a full, extended range charge at the track, navigator and data collector Benson Kong and I left the Speedway and aimed south towards San Diego over the inland hills via Interstate 15, hoping to touch that major metropolitan base before swinging north again on the I-5 and peeling off on the Pacific Coast Highway for a slow, stoplight-punctuated march back to our El Segundo office. kostenlose bekanntschaften Köln And the car’s computer was predicting that at the abusive rate we were going, our Model S was only good for another…40 miles. Start to endpoint, it looked to be about 240 miles.Building up speed around the infinity-symbol course, the car’s minimal roll isn’t surprising, what with its low-slung battery.But its 0.92 g of grip is great for a 4766-pound sedan.

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As I mentioned, this is a top-drawer Signature Performance version, meaning it carries the big 85-k W-hour battery (the upcoming entry 40-k W-hr car will be $57,400; the 60 k W-hr version, $67,400; and the 85-k W-hr basis for our test car is $77,400 — all before the $7500 federal tax credit).The SP model we’re testing adds extra power (416 hp and 443 lb-ft versus 362 hp and 325 lb-ft), sport-tuned traction control, nicer interior materials, and carbon-fiber aero trim.They don’t have the solid heft of those German sedans’ baroquely detailed, old-world cabins, but on the other hand, you might picture the design as an ascetic, Apple-esque absence of unnecessary adornment, too.After Carlos finished his brake stops (great grip with no oddball shuttering or fade), the Model S was handed over to me and our 1/3-mile figure-eight handling test.Even with the A/C off (but with ventilation on), cruise control set at 65 mph, and the body lowered on its air suspension, the car’s range prediction quickly went sour.

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Out came the i Pad and i Phone maps to nervously ponder shortcuts to the I-5 prior to San Diego. The passing tree tops were noticeably stirring and the occasional flag was pointing at us at three-quarter headwind angles.Take a second to think about that spider graph and the performance chart above.The Model S is either dominant — or at least thoroughly competitive — in two diametrically opposite automotive worlds.Its lithium-ion battery pack, which resides like a great slab beneath the car’s floor, is enormously heavy.The car’s maximal use of aluminum partly mitigates this, but one senses that Model S’ interior materials (door panels, in particular) are deliberately lightweight.

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