The Tesla march has reached the UK properly at long last. While they have long had a service centre for roadster owners in particular, and headquarters based in Maidenhead, Tesla Motors conducted their first UK ‘Get Amped’ test drive tour to an invited audience at a beautifully leafy setting in Surrey, at Savill Court.
Aside from the test drive of the fabulous Model S, on show was a complete chassis showing the anti-complex design of the drivetrain. At least five Model S were available for test drive, each with your own navigator in the shape of a well informed and knowledgeable Tesla co-pilot. A brief presentation was given about the company, for the benefit of invited guests who did not know too much already about the company but really, the test drive and ensuing questions and deposits on orders was the aim of the game.
According to the Tesla representative we spoke to, some customers were allegedly selling their vastly more expensive Italian exotica for the much more affordable Model S, giving the reason that it was “more fun”. We can see why! The Model S is a great car to drive whether it’s just a trip to the shops or a long journey, or even a track day – the Model S is a very well behaved car that seemingly doesn’t set out to be the greatest at any one of those things, but yet somehow just delights in all areas with ease.
The Get Amped tour is the first to take place in the UK and confirmed orders for right hand drive Model S will begin sometime toward the middle of 2014. Pricing should be announced for UK purchasers before the end of 2013.
Tesla are powering their way to the top of the electric car infrastructure with their Supercharger stations too, the UK getting at least three within the next couple of years. Although that doesn’t sound like much, utilising the Model S 200 mile range means that for most journeys, home charging is more than adequate, but if travelling across the UK, for example to visit relatives or similar, the hope is that a Supercharger station will be conveniently located en-route.
The Get Amped Tour came just days ahead of the Tesla London Store grand opening where we will be joining Elon Musk in the Shepard’s Bush Westfield Shopping Centre. Although an invite only event, the store resides in the popular shopping centre and breaks away from the traditional approach to can sales.
Rubbing shoulders with a Calvin Klein shop, the new Tesla store will represent the first of a new genre in automotive sales. The traditional approach of having to journey to a dealership is not one which Tesla wishes to follow and instead their aim is more to resemble the fresh and clean approach made so successful by a certain popular Californian fruit company.
The Tesla London Store will officially be opened on Thursday 24th October between 7pm to 10pm at store location G45 (on the ground floor). The main presentation will take place in the atrium just beside it.
We’ll be bringing you an update after the official London Store opening which we’ll be attending on Thursday.