There are many things that make Teslas special, but what is the secret ingredient?
When Tesla released its first ever model, the Roadster, we wouldn't have been surprised if the company was just another hopeful startup that went bankrupt faster than its car hit 60 mph. The Roadster was an OK entry into the market, but it was little more than an electric version of a Lotus Elise. It wasn't until the Model S was introduced for the 2012 model year that we really started to get the impression that Tesla was ready to change the future of automobiles. What was the secret ingredient Tesla CEO Elon Musk found to sell his cars: innovation.
Most new cars are innovative in some way, but Tesla strives to make sure that it is innovative in every possible way. The company doesn't just like to marginally change the game; it likes to throw the board away and start fresh. Even the way you buy a Tesla isn't conventional. There aren't any formal Tesla dealerships, rather you order the car direct from the factory. Even before you even take delivery you get the impression that this is a company that likes to go its own way. The secret ingredient that makes Tesla so special is a combination of innovative features that makes us rethink why other manufacturers never thought of them in the first place.
Even the way you get into a Tesla is different. Many cars have keyless entry, but few do it like Tesla. For starters, the door handles on the Model S and Model X retract when you don't need them, and pop out when you are close to the vehicle. This is cool, but a Jaguar F-Type does this as well. It gets even cooler when you go to get in. The Model X comes with impressive gullwing rear doors, but the normal front doors are pretty special as well. When the car senses that you are about to approach, it will open the door to usher you inside. Then, once you are in the driver's seat, it will close the door. Don't go looking for a start button either because Tesla did away with that seemingly obsolete feature.
Doors like this have typically been reserved for extremely expensive luxury cars like Rolls-Royce, but Tesla has made it much more accessible. What is more luxurious than having the doors automatically open for you?
One thing that might be considered more luxurious than having the door opened for you is being chauffeured around. Luckily, a Tesla can do that as well. Although the Autopilot system is not fully autonomous (yet), it can take over driving in certain situations. We can't think of anything more relaxing that not having to take control of a car while sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. If you do have to sit in traffic, a Tesla's interior is an excellent place to be. It may not be covered in leather like more expensive cars, but Tesla has completely changed the way we think about car infotainment. Why can't the entire dashboard be one big screen on every car? It is easy to use and looks great. How did no other company think of that before?
You can use the center screen in the Telsa as a tablet or to browse the internet. Other car infotainment systems pale in comparison to Tesla's system, and some really seem like they are a decade behind. We haven't even talked about the most obvious way that Tesla's are special: the EV drivetrains. Before Tesla, we never thought that electric vehicles could possibly catch on. Tesla cars aren't exactly cheap, so we were even a bit surprised that they have sold so well. What made Teslas different from any other EV is that they didn't sacrifice performance in exchange for never having to fill up with gas. In fact, the P100D can beat almost anything that doesn't say Ferrari or McLaren on it.
All of these features add up to create the special ingredient that makes Teslas so special. Tesla has changed the automotive industry forever and it is amazing to think that the plucky company that once only had a single low-production model has now turned into the world's premier EV car manufacturer. Tesla is not afraid to be different. That is why it uses unique names like "Insane Mode" and "Ludicrous Mode" for its launch control. Other companies would be afraid to be sued for using names like that, but we love that Tesla loves being different, and we hope that it continues forever.