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James May’s New Tesla Model S 100D Joins His BMW i3, Alpine A110

James May loves his i3 as a daily driver over short distances, but when he’s feeling like driving sporty, the A110 is much obliged to deliver the thrills. The latest car to enter the garage is a Tesla, namely a blue Model S with the 100D drivetrain-battery option.
James May’s New Tesla Model S 100D Joins His BMW i3, Alpine A110 17 photos
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Hiding under a Rosso Corsa cover with the Prancing Horse logo, the electric sedan from Fremont promises up to 379 miles of range on a full charge of the 100-kWh battery. The dual-motor setup also happens to be a serious upgrade over the rear-driven i3, let alone the 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine of the French berlinette from Dieppe.

“I’m not that interested in the green thing,” said James about the Model S. “I’m interested in the future of the car.” It remains to be seen if lithium-ion batteries will be replaced by supercapacitors or fuel cells, but then again, we wouldn’t be talking about the future of the electric car if Tesla wasn’t such a trailblazing company in the first place.

May also highlights that electric vehicles such as Teslas have a role in the greater good of the automotive industry, especially for the internal combustion engine. With ever-stringent regulations such as the Corporate Average Fuel Economy in the United States and WLTP in Europe, it’s no wonder that mainstream automakers offer more hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electrics than ever before. Even FCA made a case for the eTorque mild-hybrid system in the Ram 1500 pickup truck, and that’s saying something.

If there’s a niggle that James doesn’t particularly like about his Model S 100D, the interior “could be a little more flamboyant.” The Grand Tour presenter doesn’t talk pricing, but a similar specification (Deep Blue Metallic paintwork and 19-inch Sonic Carbon Slipstream wheels) costs £81,590. Full self-driving capability for the Autopilot system adds £5,800 to the tally.

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