About 10 years ago, when Jeremy Clarkson was hosting Top Gear, he wasn’t too complimentary about Tesla. He took the original Roadster out on the track and he gave the impression that it wasn’t such a great car. Tesla even went so far as to try sue the show for its bad marketing but the case was eventually dismissed. However, both his co-hosts, James May and Richard Hammond have had a love for both Teslas and EVs, which didn’t seem to sway Clarkson’s opinion.
Fast forward 10 years and Jeremy Clarkson has finally come to see the light. He recently reviewed the Tesla Model X on The Grand Tour show and he did a sterling job showing his love for the all-electric vehicle.
An impressed Clarkson had this to say about the Tesla EV with his usual humorous twist on it:
ABOUT THE CAR
This doesn't look like a normal family SUV. It looks better. Especially on the inside, and it's more practical, too, because you have seating for seven. About the back, that's big enough for an owl sanctuary. And then another boot at the front, because, of course, it's electric, so there's no engine.
Most of all, though, I'm intrigued by this car because it represents a whole new way of thinking about what a car actually is. Take this enormous command and control screen as an example, it does all the usual stuff navigation, music, connectivity and so on, and so much more.
Legally, cars aren't really allowed to drive around by themselves, but this is getting awfully close because it's reading the white lines in the road and then simply sticking between them. They never want to change lanes. They don't have to bother with any of that mirror signal, maneuver nonsense. You just put the indicator on. And if it's safe to pull out, it does. Put the indicator on to pull back into the central line and it’s just astonishing. All of this means that I can drive along writing important messages on my sketchpad because I know that if the car in front slows down, I'll slow down. If it speeds up, I'll speed up. If the traffic stops, I'll stop. Honestly, this is the most relaxing thing I've ever driven because all I have to do is sit here.
But what's it like if you do actually drive it? Well, because it's electric, it's quite obviously eerily quiet. Stupidly quiet, too quiet, as they say in the movies. It's also heavy because of its massive battery pack, however, because it's mounted under the floor, the center of gravity is very low down. And because you've got one electric motor, the front running in the front wheels and one at the back driving the back wheels. Feels good.
Well, I'm going to do now is drag race this family SUV against a mid-range Audi. Right before I do this, I'm going to engage what's called Ludicrous mode. Then we get a choice. Do I really want to do this? No, I want my mommy OR Yes, bring it on. And we are. And then because I have the mental age of a nine year old, I'm going to use the warp speed graphic. And there it is. Small wonder this thing is fitted with my favorite mode of them all, celebration mode and we all have to do now is put it in park again and lock the doors. It'll do 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds and has a top speed of 155, so it really does seem to be all things to all men. It's serious and lighthearted and sensible and dull. It doesn't feel like anything else. It doesn't go like anything else.