2022 Tesla Model S
The 2022 Tesla Model S is a stunner when it comes to performance and practicality. Image Credit: Supplied

Take a guess; what’s the biggest reason a majority of car buyers do not give electric vehicle a serious consideration? Unlike a petrol vehicle, which you can top up nearly anywhere, an electric vehicle needs time to re-juice its batteries. An inconvenience if you’re stuck in a place with no charging infrastructure.

It is therefore curious that Elon Musk, CEO of what is arguably the biggest name in EVs, Tesla, does not want to dive into the range race with his competitors. That said the driving range of the newly launched 2022 Tesla Model S sits at a substantial 652 kilometres once brimmed with electrons, which Musk reckons is adequate for a majority of daily duties. He also claims he could’ve made the new Model S drive much further, but he chose not to, purely because the burden of additional batteries would blunt acceleration and impede handling — wise call, we say.

While a lot might not have changed visually at a fleeting glance, the alterations are subtle yet meaningful. The body is wider than before, giving the vehicle a more planted stance, however, it’s no less svelte. The bigger changes lie inside. The interior has been substantially revamped and mordernised further. The most obvious change is the new yoke-style steering wheel, which brings a sense of childish excitement to the proceedings as you get in the driver’s seat. Overall, the cabin is minimalistic, apart from the humungous 17-inch infotainment screen that controls all the major functions of the vehicle. However, the screen, although brimming with features, might be ergonomically flawed for some drivers.

The other big news is the introduction of the monstrous 1020 bhp Plaid performance variant. It results in the driving range being truncated over the base trim, but the gains in performance are stellar and well worth the compromise. Let these figures swirl in your head for a few moments. The claimed zero to 100km/h time is a face-altering two seconds. To put that into perspective, in the time it took you to read the last sentence you’d hit 100km/h from standstill — it’s that quick! However, that’s not to say that the standard model, which is aimed at regular use is ponderous.

Far from it. It despatches the benchmark zero to 100km/h sprint in just over three seconds. That’s Lamborghini and Ferrari territory. And, you get this performance in an eco-friendly, four-seat limousine, with all the creature comforts you could desire.

So, how does the 2022 Tesla Model S strike this superb balance between performance and practicality? For starters, it forges a path of least resistance through the air, with a drag coefficient of merely .208 Cd, the lowest of any production car. The benefits of these superb aerodynamics are reaped not only in sheer speed but also refinement, with reduced wind-noise and thus a quieter cabin. Furthermore, it helps improve the driving range, while a wider chassis keeps it securely planted on the road.

Now, we come to the second thorny subject of charging times. While most users will charge their 2022 Tesla Model S overnight, those on the move and who have access to the 30,000-plus superchargers in the United States, can get up to 300-plus kilometres worth of range in mere 15 minutes.

The Model S also has other tricks up its sleeve. Autonomous driving has been a big push for the brand and despite the some initial setbacks, Tesla has doggedly pursued its Autopilot feature, refining and honing it further. The cameras cover up to 250m range of visual processing, which, combined with 12 ultrasonic sensors can detect nearby vehicles and help prevent potential collisions.

Thanks to this technology, the Model S can navigate on autopilot, change lanes autonomously, park itself and can even be summoned by the driver to where they are. It’s a cornucopia of features that are not available in pretty much any mainstream vehicle.

So, that brings us to the big question: Is the 2022 Tesla Model S worth its fairly substantial price? Considering that it addresses the big range anxiety question and delivers in spades when it comes to sheer performance, the answer is a resounding yes. Granted, it is more fiddly than a conventional petrol car, which you just fill up and drive, however, what you receive in exchange for what you sacrifice, it’s definitely worth the while.