Never driven one? Here’s five reasons you can’t ignore Tesla

By Roobkirat Kaur & Alvin R. Cabral

Tesla opened its first retail store and service centre at Sheikh Zayed Road. We got a peek at the interiors and learnt what makes this car — with all that room and the, er, vroom — just so cool

Once upon a time, Elon Musk and Co teased us with a kiosk at The Dubai Mall. The space showcased technological marvels for the petrol-less road. Sure, the Teslas on display commanded attention, and the heightening interest in the cars was evident. But Wednesday night changed that.

Tesla officially opened its first retail store and service centre at Sheikh Zayed Road, opposite the Burj Khalifa (and The Dubai Mall) Metro Station.

We were curious to see what the Model X — touted as the safest, fastest and most capable SUV on the road — looks like. So we headed there.

Model X rewrites the rules for an SUV: who could have imagined an electric vehicle could be so luxurious and futuristic? It has a long driving range, capable of travelling up to 565km on a single charge. It has cutting-edge technology and doesn’t compromise on safety or comfort.

Welcome to the UAE, Tesla. And don’t worry about your hefty price tags — Dh332,500 for the Model X and a ‘cheaper’ Dh281,350 for the Model S. You’re in the perfect place. Here, people want the latest. They want to be ahead in the race for bragging rights.

Based on our thrilling first-hand experience, we give you our impressions of the top reasons why you can’t ignore the Tesla Model X.

Magnificent falcon wings

These doors can open even in the tightest of parking spaces. Think Bur Dubai or Deira. The doors have sensors to monitor the proximity of their surroundings and smoothly glide up and out of the way.

Fits everyone and their aunt

This baby’s got plenty of interior storage. The Model X fits an active lifestyle and includes ample seating for seven adults and all of their gear. So you can fit in the extended family, maybe a neighbour or two, with their bikes, strollers, groceries and teepees. It also has a front trunk (yes, that’s the bonnet) to make sure you never, ever run out of space.

Interface out of a sci-fi movie

A tablet-style touchscreen controls most of the car’s functions. Stream music, do an auto lane change, detect blind spots, forward-facing radar… there’s also cabin heat protection for child safety. Phew!

Free supercharger sites in the UAE

These cars will need to be tanked up on juice. Head to Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City. Three more charging stations are planned by the end of the year. Recharge for free in minutes (!!) and get right back on the road. Tesla also has 32 destination charging locations available, with at least 18 more said to go on the floor in the next six months.

It’s clean, mean and totally green

It’s great for the environment; has the largest all-glass panoramic windshield, provides an unparalleled view of the stars and the sky; is incredibly fast, accelerates from 0 to 100 kmph in — get this — 3.1 seconds! You don’t even have to visit the service centre that often; over-the-air software updates help in saving energy… yours.

letters@khaleejtimes.com

Alvin is our tech guy. And Roob, our news presenter, was at the Tesla showroom the other day

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