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New Tesla Video "Monster Meets Model S"

Quote"After achieving a record nine career wins at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, renowned racer Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima gets behind the wheel of Model S for a test drive through the hills of Fremont, CA. Speaking briefly of his history in motor sports and why he is such a proponent of EV technology, Monster gives his impression of Model S and his desire to see Tesla succeed."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo-DiEIoeUM&feature=em-uploademail

I love the grin on his face when he's driving. Something that puts a grin on a Pike's Peak winner is something special.

sadly there are no shots from outside while he's drifting (

Like it!

I love the grin on his face when he's driving. Something that puts a grin on a Pike's Peak winner is something special.

Yeah. And did you notice that he's the only person in that car who smiles? Obviously he's having quite a bit more fun than his passengers would like him to have... :-)

And did you also notice how he grabs the steering wheel? Katie Fehrenbacher (and many others that can be seen on video driving the Model S or Model X with incredible hand grips -- "hand gripes" would be the more appropriate term) should definitely take a page from his book!

@Volker.Berlin
He seemed to alternate between 9-3 and 8-2. Did
you see the same thing?

Looks like his grip is "loose" not rigid and he keeps at least one hand at upper part of the steering wheel at all times. Very relaxed, yet ready to act.

Very interesting how everybody sees different things! I see him mostly in 9-3, but my main points are: Both hands are always on the wheel, always at more or less opposite positions, always grab the wheel from the outside and move with the wheel such that at any moment he can be sure what his steering angle is and where the straight position is, and he never lets the wheel slip. And I agree, he looks *very* relaxed while driving. It's a joy to watch him "at work"!

One more thing: The size and the thickness of the Model S steering wheel seem to be perfectly appropriate. It seems to offer great control and it is very hard, at least for me, to imagine a larger or smaller or thinner steering wheel in this video.

@Volker.Berlin - Concur will all your observations. I see the same.

@Volker.Berlin - I've had the opportunity to speak to a few professional racing drivers over the years and the 'loose grip' approach seems consistent. Apparently being relaxed in the car is a hallmark of drivers who can take cars to the limit (and beyond).

Interesting to see the in-car video of Lewis Hamilton's crash at Spa a couple of weeks ago. As soon as he realizes he's no longer in control of the car he calmly takes his hands off the wheel (at >100 mph) and puts them in his lap. Then all hell lets loose.

Normally you keep your hands at 3 and 9 and use your top hand to steer and your lower hand relaxed but still on the wheel.
So for left turns your right hand and for right turns you left hand is your "power" hand.
This way your hands don't fight each other, so there's no "chicken wings" effect when your elbows go up and eyes open way wider than normal ;)
You also don't change your hands positions on the wheel so you could go from sharp left to sharp right without losing contact with the front wheels (you lose contact when your hands are off the steering wheel).
Tesla's steering wheel is great (provided by Daimler, btw), and the body is rigid, so there's very good feedback.
It ain't a Porsche or a Ferrari though, so don't count on that.
Steering is light, but the car is heavy and front and back of the car move with a slight delay, i.e. front of the car goes where you point it, then the back of the car follows, and then you have to correct it. I really hope that suspension on the Performance version is firmer.
Acceleration is great and constant though - very easy to keep it smooth and glide in long turns.

I noticed that he didn't speak English in the film. I assume this is done for a reason. I think it is a good commercial for the Asian market.
Perhaps they should let a European racer drive the S as well ? :-)

@steven.maes
Last time this ended up with a lawsuit ;)

Fifth gear did drive Roadster as well, and what I have heard Stig liked Roadster, but he can't talk in TG. BTW the former Stig is now driver in fifth gear. Too conflicting views to TG management I suppose (a driver that likes BEV:s, god forbid).

Fifth gear review about Roadster wasn't that good either BTW. They liked the acceleration (who doesn't) but apparently Roadster is just plain too heavy to be agile enough around the corners for their liking. They didn't lie about the car, and they can actually drive the cars they are testing (Tiff, Vicki and Jason are all pretty d*mn good racing drivers) so I think that was pretty reliable review.

I think Model S would get better review (it is better car in pretty much all respects, even for road handling).

Monster mentioned one thing: "concentration of mass" that I haven't seen anybody else mentioning. Not just low center of gravity, but also that almost all the mass is at the center of the car. This makes turning easier.


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