Thursday 29 May 2014

Auto: Tesla Model S Hong Kong Version Demo Car Test Drive @ Crown Cellar

Tesla Model S P85+
Image from Locky's English Playground
This is the first time Tesla Motors Hong Kong has organised test drive for the newly arrived right-hand drive (RHD) Model S. There were two periods offered with two test tracks, the earlier one was between 17th and 18th May at Disneyland Hotel, the latter was between 24th and 25th May at Crown Wine Cellar.

There was online reservation available but due to technical issues of the website, I had to email a staff to get the test drive arranged together with my sister and her boyfriend.

My sister drove me, my wife and baby Muse to 18 Deep Water Bay Drive and arrived before the appointment time at 5pm. After a quick fill of an online form, Trista the staff immediately gave us a tour of the car.

Image from Locky's English Playground
To be honest, her introduction of the car was really unnecessary for enthusiasts like us, but just to be polite we listened to her ultra-quick tour anyway. It was ultra-quick as the mosquitoes were embracing us, literally.

Image from Locky's English Playground

The first round I chose to be the passenger with my sister's boyfriend as my sister took us for the ride. Half way downhill,  Trista told her to switch driver and her boyfriend took over, and the real ride begins!

He stomped all the way down on the accelerator and that was the first time I have ever experienced the immense torque of the Model S! At the back seat, I could feel my whole body thrust backwards, the air pressing hard onto my face and the instant ear pressure pushing in against my eardrums! The car speeded uphill like it was on skis!!! Everything outside the windows disappeared so quickly that the car 50 metres ahead was right at the tip of the Model S in 1 second! This car is a rocket on wheels!!! Except that this is a silent rocket, and all I could hear was the "wheeeeee" sound during the acceleration.

An unbelievable experience I will never forget!!!

Image from Locky's English Playground

When it was my turn back at the wine cellar, I did it safe and slow because my wife was the passenger (and that is my character), testing the regenerative braking, rear camera, parking sensors, multiwindow reverse parking display and suspension.

21" Wheel
Image from Locky's English Playground

Overall, I am satisfied as I managed to test everything that I intended to except putting the pram into the boot to see how much space is left.

That being said,  I was / We were a little disappointed as all 3 of us registered for the test drive but were only allowed 2 rounds of test drive. Felt a bit cheated. But I guess the route was not really ideal for showing off all aspects of the Model S anyway. Supposed the Disneyland route is a much more flatter one, the Wine Cellar route is all uphill, downhill and corners. Not sure about the Festival Walk one. Maybe one needs to try out all 3 routes in order to experience all.

Don't think I will go to the Festival Walk test drive because I don't think I can get any new information from the staff. The only useful piece is that being the 378th order means I will be getting my car in September.

I do have one complaint about the test drive though, and that is the mosquitoes issue. Leave the wine cellar for 5 seconds and you will be surrounded by mosquitoes. It was almost impossible to take a good look at the car and take some decent videos. My plan to make a nice detail  test-drive video for my blog was ruined, only managed with the above.

Thus, I can only borrow another enthusiast DITB's test drive video taken at Disneyland:

For those of you who wants to go and take a look at the car or even try it out, here's the information:

Image from Tesla
Here are some photos at Festival Walk,

Photo by DITB
Photo by DITB
Photo by markwj

And here's someone test driving at Festival Walk:

enthusiast -- (n)[C] a person who is very interested in and involved with a particular subject or activity
stomp on sb /sth -- mainly US — phrasal verb to step down hard on someone or something
torque -- (n)[U] a force which causes something to rotate (= turn in a circle)
pram -- (n)[C] a vehicle for moving a baby around which consists of a small bed supported by a frame on four wheels


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Tesla Hong Kong RHD @ Crown Wine Cellar @ YouTube