MTAI trainer Paul Tugwell tests the new Tesla S P90D

A car that can go from 0-100km/h in three seconds, use no petrol whatsoever, park itself, drive itself, receive upgrades via wireless connectivity, be luxurious inside, look smart from the outside . . . the Tesla S P90D is all that and more. And MTA Institute trainer Paul Tugwell got the chance to experience the Tesla first hand when he took the car for a test drive through Brisbane.

As a trainer on hybrid and electric vehicles, the test drive was more than just a bit of fun for Paul – it was a chance to see just how far the top-end of electrical vehicles have come. And they have come a long way.

The all-electric, all-wheel drive P90D has all manner of technology – including sensors, radar and cameras – to allow near-autonomous driving and parking, while dual electric motors, one in the front and one in the rear, allow for superb traction control and, when the control system is set to ‘Ludicrous’ mode, astonishing speed and power.

“The car is absolutely fantastic,” said Paul. “The handling was tremendous and when we put it into autopilot it drove itself. Though the rules currently say we have to have our hands on the steering wheel, it was driving itself – going round corners, picking up the correct speed and spotting obstacles. I only touched the brake pedal maybe three times on the whole drive!

The Tesla is seriously quick too, able to go from 0-100km/h in less than 3 seconds.

“We were stopped at traffic lights, I put it in Ludicrous mode and the guy from Tesla said ‘Gun it!’,” said Paul. “By the time I got to the other side of the lights I was doing 100km/h. My wife was in the back and her glasses went flying. Even drag car racers aren’t going to be used to this!”

With a range of more than 500km when fully charged, and charging stations growing in number and free to use, Tesla vehicles, even given their hefty price tag, are going to become more numerous on our roads.

Paul, for one, is a fan.

“It is absolutely fantastic. If I could afford one, I would get one! This is the future.”