P85D -German reception

At the Tesla Motors forum, there is tremendous curiosity about the reception of the P85D is in Germany. We have always been concerned about your satisfaction regarding Autobahn capabilities.

I really enjoyed the unveiling of the „D“ in California. The videos do not do it justice. The launch of the car from the starting line was amazing!
Feel free to share your thoughts about the P85D here or come to visit at Tesla Motors forums. Any insight would be appreciated.

I am not German, but I enjoy driving the German Autobahn. MS was already more than sufficient, even though it didnt feel completely superior due to the „low“ top speed. Since that limitation has been vaporized with the D, I don’t see any reason to buy German made cars at all anymore.
(edit: except for the exterior size which is rudiculously large with the Tesla… Its really unhandy in Parking Garages!)

But especially for us Swiss the AWD is even better news because of the Snow in the mountains. AWD is really popular here in Switzerland. Thus, since that’s available as well I expect quite a boost in sales.

From a german person: It is just awesome!

I think that the top speed of 250 km/h is more or less a psychological point. Most of the time (at least from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm) we have high traffic on the German Autobahn. And we have a lot of speed limitations (130 km/h, 100 km/h). So driving faster than 160 km/h is most of the time not possible.

But for a lot of German customers especially of high end cars like Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche etc. it’s important to know that their car can go 250 km/h if they want. So the upgrade to 250 km/h top speed might convince more customers to buy a Model S.

For me the acceleration is more important. I really love my Roadster and having a sedan with 5+2 seats accelerating faster than the Roadster is mind-blowing. But I think that the upgrade of the acceleration is not so important for selling the Model S as the acceleration of the S85 and P85 is already better than almost every sedan on the road.

Cars with four wheel drive are not so popular in Germany (except SUVs). But in the premium segment it can be an argument for or against the car. I think that this point is more important in countries like Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden etc.

So the bottom line is from my point of view that the 250 km/h and 4WD upgrade might increase sales in Germany. But they will have no great impact. To sell significalty more cars in Germany Tesla needs to release the Model 3.

Commenters on the internet still point at Model S’ incapability to maintain >100mph for several hours. Sigh. :frowning:
As Thorsten wrote, you have a hard time finding an empty Autobahn with no speed limit where you can do that.

But buying a car is all about emotion. Cars enable personal mobility. Go anywhere, everywhere, anytime, at any speed you want. Take a bit away from that list and you encounter fierce resistance in discussion. :imp:

But with the P85D, Tesla is demolishing the halo of the internal combustion engine as the uncrowned king of the Autobahn. It will take years to collapse but the cracks start to spread. :mrgreen:

The very nice side effects with the launch of P85D are:
a) German car makers will be forced to take EV driving real serious. They will be encouraged to build high-end pure electric cars with the same / similar capabilities as Tesla’s top model. And either set up their own network of fast chargers or align with Tesla for access to their super chargers network.
b) Tesla will build many super chargers throughout Germany. Where else can Norwegians and Dutch Tesla drivers speed legally on public roads? :wink:
(energy consumption is very high at > 130 mph)

Just 2 my cents…

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but the density of superchargers here is very high often less then 100miles. You can speed as fast as the traffik conditions would allow, but beware most of the autobahns have speedlimit.

Thank you for taking the time to share. I posted a link to this thread at Tesla Motors.
Perhaps some of your neighbors that are new owners will discover your resource.
Enjoy your grins! :smiley:

Well, I see that differently, also being German. The Model S is limited in Autobahn performance by physics, D or not D. If with Autobahn you mean more than 85 mph. The physics are the same everywhere, increased charging time on long distances make speeds north of 85 mph loose any business case in time (and that was a slim business case to begin with anyway in travel time vs. exhaustion of the driver in traffic). I rather assume the „German Autobahn“ paradigm will disappear in the course of energy efficient travel and it just becomes obvious with EVs having more 90% than 20% efficiency how high the cost of going faster really is, air drag increasing with the square of speed. The thrill of the MS is acceleration in a straight line, this is very slightly improved with the D but also with all the other MSes at an impressive level where there are more victims than opponents on the street. With current battery weight to capacity ratios EVs will not be in any way competitive in anything but a straight line, a cheap 500kg / 200 bhp Caterham will drive circles around a 2.2t / 700 bhp P85D, as will very many light weight productions cars, as soon as a corner appears…

So the real step forward with the D is competitive assistance systems are possible (not necessarily implemented soon!) and if the few days of German winter there might be one or two where you actually can drive roads you couldn’t with the 2WD. Especially in skiing vacations (I don’t ski)… Plus a better acceleration in a straight line on wet and slippery roads. But not a theoretical 250 km/h limit that you won’t drive because it drains the battery in 100km and your long distance average speed will drop to 60 km/h because of the at least half hour you recharge at a Supercharger every 20 Minutes… And let’s not discuss battery and engine lifetime with 160 bhp constant power output. That won’t convince any driver of a high performance ICE car because its theoretical 250 km/h, not practical.

And let me add one thing, the sensors now might be there to support autonomous driving, but outside of a very controlled environment (I would call what Tesla demonstrated assistance systems, not autonomous driving, adaptive cruise control plus lane assist is NOT autonomous driving evading a child jumping from behind a parked car) also the new MS has not even remotely the computing power required to safely steer a car through a city ever. So that will not come via OTA update.

Being from Austria (Vorarlberg, more precisely) I have to say that the 400-something bhp on the rear axle the Model S had to offer so far, were kind of a deal breaker for me.

You see, in cold and often snowy weather, rear-wheel drive cars don’t behave so well… I’ve seen my fair share of high-end BMWs (5s, 6s, 7s) and others skidding or getting stuck on even modestly elevated slopes.

So I think that at least for the bigger part of Austria (not so sure about Vienna and Lower Austria) the AWD option was long overdue.

I also drive on the German autobahn frequently (to Vienna via Munich) and personally am almost never flooring it. Under many circumstances it’s just not possible and gas consumption also skyrockets. I agree with many statements above that the Model S being able to drive 250km/h is not so much about increasing avg travel speed (which will decrease if you floor it because you have to recharge more often) but about situational capability of the car. Meaning there might be a situation in which you want to go really fast and it’s good to know that the car is able to do so for a short period, if necessary.

With assist systems like adaptive cruise control and the top speed 250km/h (thus…pure psycologically - as already mentioned!) two dealbreakers less for the german market. But still - the brand TESLA is not visible in Germany. No advertising, no political push by noteworthy monetary tax or other benefits, bad press. So, still some roadblocks ahead for TESLA and other EVs.
Just my observation as a german, working for the german car industry.

I am a business traveller and I have to drive to customers around germany - I do this most of the times at VMAX of my Ampera at 105mph/170kmh because the Ampera is not faster. I used to drive a BMW before and I still switch to a company BMW fleet car for some distances over 400km because I then drive 125mph/220kmh with cruise control and reach customers more quickly.

I am in spain right now, and I will be on prague in a few days - it’s always interesting how slow everyone outside germany is driving.

I used to commute 500km single distance between Frankfurt and Dresden for 1 year in 2011 and that was a 3 hour drive, that means a ~165kmh average speed - including the limited sections with 100/120 - so it was mainly max speed and some sections with constructions or limits.

So there are indeed drivers in Germany actually using VMAX on Autobahns regularly - I am not alone, and by far not the fastest guy on the road. With the Ampera I feel actually really slow most of the time at 170.

I still hope to get a Model S in 2015 as new company car - even though this means more flying or taking the train, because with the Model S I can’t even replace my Ampera driving style, let alone any „normal“ fast german car. As an EV enthusiast I am willing to take that compromise, but I could not find another colleague in my company who is willing to drive slow enough to use superchargers and then wait at each charger to charge - that’s a big compromise.

So Germany is special and I don’t see much of a chance for Model S to take the upper Segment here - not with unlimited Autobahn driving the way it is done in Germany. For a special market yes, but not as a general thread to the upper class segment.

Your comparison doesn’t fit. I don’t know what „Autobahn“ you are driving on, but the Autobahn in germany is NOT a race track. The Nürburgring, for example, is.

Same here, still some WOT-guys using the autobahn for speeding and this is the real dangerous part with increasing traffic. Tesla should invest some cars&money in good PR @ television and sponsoring cars to IT-people.

My Business is relared to the German car manufacturing .
Currently I am driving Mercedes e-class.
As you can see I am going to switch to the MS. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

My current car can go far over 200 km/h but I am not doing this anymore.
Since I once got cheaper winter tyres I had to Limit the car to 190 km/h.
In the meantime I could have released the Limit. But I didn’t. I found out I am not missing a lot.
Going fast means to burn the Money for fuel down like a rocket does.

I decided for the MS when the D came out. I think it is a superior way of driving made for EVs. In winter our mountain roads get a bit icy.

As the MS will not burn down my money on high speed that intenisvely (electricity bill is a quarter) I will not limit the speed and eventually enjoy driving 200+ in some occasions.
SuC do not apply for most of my short distances. The 85kWh battery saves the day for me.

The 85D and the P85D do not differ in terms of day-to-day use. Both are not behind other sedan performances
The P85D is more the icon, the beacon, the light tower of what EV really can do.

Yes, I’m glad that more and more people in germany actually drive 120 km/h even when it’s unlimited.

Those fast people like Baumisch really are a danger for all the other people not confusing Autobahn with racetrack…


I only partially agree. I do most of my long-distance driving at nights, where the Autobahn is usually quite empty. While I rarely exceed 140 kph and rarely go 160 kph, being overtaken by someone going way faster isn’t feeling that dangerous at nights. On days you cannot go that fast in the traffic anyways. Usually 160 kph is the top speed possible, with lots of breaking. It mainly depends on the day-of-week, time-of-day and traffic conditions.

More interestingly, I found out that high speeds at days only increase the energy consumption and don’t speed up travel much (but wears me down). Higher speeds at night speed up travel noticeably with actually less fuel cost due to constant speeds as opposed to repeated acceleration-deceleration phases.

It’s not the process of passing that makes them dangerous - it’s tje speed difference zo the people that, for instance, are passing a truck at 120 km/h while they approach from behind at insane speeds. And they usually seem to think that they are the only ones that have the right to pass. Or why else would they not break until they almost hit your bumper?

I think they want to teach you a lesson for your rudeness of blocking their way. :imp:

Moderator Note: Please stop the discussion on educational measures on German Autobahn. This will go nowhere. Violators will be moved to our toxic dump.