I am a reservation holder with a pretty low number, which should get me my car no later than at the end of this year. For that I gave them $5000 of my hard earned dollars, interest free back in 2010, I think. If any other car manufacturer had asked me to do this I would have declared them nuts, but this is clearly different. I drove the Tesla Roadster for a week back in 2010. You can read about that experience in my article “Cars will never be the same again - Test driving the Tesla Roadster”.
So after emails and announcements about the arrival of Model S, I had yet to see one. I few months ago I was offered to go to CA to have an exclusive preview of the Model S with other reservation holders. I could even be in the car and drive it - NOOOO. Just be driven for a round on the circuit. Driven? Like in someone else driving. Yes. And I have to pay for the flight, accommodation, etc. I don’t think so. If I order a $70K car, I’d like to test drive it, thank you very much. Especially if you’ve never built one before.
Anyway, now I am here, its September in Miami. I get a “reservation time slot”. When I arrive there is a full blown circus in session. I get the form to register. First thing I see is that I am being filmed and that i have no rights to the footage, namely I give up ALL my rights and Tesla can use me and everyone else for advertising purposes of whatever they chose to. Huh? Don’t think so. I strike that part out. Admission lady confused by my question. Why I would not want to sign my rights aways for life. After all I am test driving a car, that should be worth it. Supervisor, then supervisor of the supervisor. I am cleared, they don’t want my footage. Maybe I’m too ugly, so the decision was easy. One step closer.
Driver pre-briefing. An enthusiastic young man instructs me and five other eager wanna be Tesla owners on the test ride. Its mapped out. I’m not kidding. They actually show you a circuit on the public road that you have to drive. Max of 10 mins I think. two canned jokes. Everybody claps. I last saw this kind of animation at Club Med. Only they served Mai Tai’s.
One step closer.
Lets go to the car and drive. Haha think again. There's a rope. Another enthusiastic young man. Sort of the door man. We are used to ropes at clubs in South Beach, the enthusiastic young man from California is trying hard to look the part and to make me feel good. “Its almost your turn”, “How do you feel? ” Not sure how I feel since I am not about to board the Space Shuttle, I just want to drive a car.
Almost. The rope lifts. I am cleared.
A vehicle pulls up. Its one of the Model S