In the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, our favorite TV personality and auto enthusiast takes an in-depth look at Tesla’s Model S, which he introduces as “the car they said would never be produced” and “the electric car that doesn’t look like an electric car.”
Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen gives Jay the grand tour, explaining the advantages of designing Model S as an EV from the ground up – for example, its flat battery pack, which forms the floor of the car, gives it a low center of gravity, as well as an unprecedented amount of interior space. Unlike most cars, Model S has no “tunnel” to accommodate a drive shaft, and there’s room for additional storage in the “frunk” under the hood.
Getting behind the wheel, Jay checks out the high-tech toys. The touchscreen, which is bigger than the screen on most laptops, provides a satellite view as you cruise along, and even allows the driver to adjust the car’s suspension and brakes to suit personal driving styles.
Taking it for a spin on the streets of LA, it’s obvious Jay loves the American-made luxury sedan – he praises the pep (0-60 in four seconds), the quiet and the overall quality (nary a squeak or rattle). Part of the fun seems to be using the regenerative braking to see how little electricity you can use. Referring to the 300-mile range enabled by the optional high-capacity battery pack, Jay declares, “the problem of the electric car has been solved.” Well, it certainly has for those who can afford the price (around 100 grand with all the goodies).