We’ve seen a number of different Tesla vehicles take the One Lap challenge recently, but this is the first Model S to take to the Carolina Center For Automotive Research track. And this isn’t just any Model S either: it’s a 2015 example with the 70D – 70 kWh battery, Dual Motor – configuration with 157,031 miles already on the clock.
While it may seem odd to take such a well-loved car around the course, it could be a useful exercise for those looking to buy a higher-mileage and more-affordable electric vehicle. Does it shake and rattle while it rolls? Can it even do the two-mile distance without breaking down?
To answer these and other questions, let’s talk reliability for a moment. Sure, the Tesla Model S has its maintenance issues. Replacing door handles, for example, is something that a lot of owners have reported they’ve had to do. Still, the owner of this particular car – Branden Flasch of the eponymous YouTube channel – didn’t hesitate to jump in and drive from Arizona to North Carolina to get some unique track time. He reports that all the years and miles have only taken an eight-percent toll on its battery’s energy-holding capability and its on-road performance is undiminished.
At the starting line, our driver Kyle Conner goes to the car’s driving profile and selects maximum acceleration, full regen, and steering on comfort. He also reminds us that this iteration of the car has the 2nd-gen seats, which were designed and produced by Recaro. It’s his opinion that these are the best seats ever offered in the Model S.
Off the line, its acceleration isn’t Ludicrous. According to Conner, full power is only offered at 50 miles per hour. This makes sense as it’s not a performance variant. This is a machine made to melt miles like M&Ms. And, judging by the odometer, it’s been pretty good at that.
Going through some turns, we’re informed that this particular car has coil suspension as opposed to the air option. This, Conner confides, means it lacks the slight marshmallow feel during transitions found in the (pre-Raven) more cushy version. It probably also means less maintenance costs.
Arriving at the final stretch to the finish line, power is cut back to keep the car from overheating. The 2015 Model S 70D was not meant to put down laps on the track and its lap time confirms this. At 1:58.65, it is the slowest Tesla Conner has put through the One Lap paces, though we should note it was still faster than the Chevy Bolt EV or Hyundai Kona Electric.
To sum up, Conner feels like the Model S 70D has aged quite well. This gives hope to those of us eyeing the used market, waiting for these iconic cars to reach a more budget-friendly altitude. If you do land one, just know that you can’t take it to a track and expect miracles.