"Do you want to drive a Tesla on Thursday?"
Usually our date nights involve dinner or drinks at some neighborhood spot (we're lucky that both Burch and Heyday are blocks away!), so when Josh presented this opportunity to drive a super-fancy car, I responded with an enthusiastic "DUH!"
My husband, Josh, is a mechanical engineer, who's currently a product manager for a new electric motorcycle. Bikes (the vroom-vroom kind), cars and motorized toys a la four wheelers/snowmobiles/dirt bikes are a constant topic of conversation around these parts. He's always test driving vehicles, and it's usually a work-sanctioned thing for research purposes. I figured that's what this Tesla stuff was all about: Some company-sponsored event that I was lucky enough to get invited to.
Thursday rolled around and Josh told me he didn't have time to get home and pick me up. He shot me the address to the dealership. Hmmm... I didn't even know Tesla had a Twin Cities dealership! I figured I was heading to some Polaris event, where we drove the car around a parking lot or something. I called Josh for clarification.
"So this is for work, right?" I asked, clearly confused.
"No, I called and set up an appointment to test drive a Tesla," he said.
"You mean as if we're actually considering buying a Tesla?"
"Yeah, so when you get here, just act like we're at least considering it."
Right. A $100,000-plus car. Of course we are.
I looked at my clothes: a four-year-old blue tank from Old Gravy; skinny jeans; TOMS. Clearly, this outfit reeked of money! Then, I thought about Mark Zuckerberg. He'd totally wear the male version of this. And I am sure he has a Tesla. Or like the sweatshirt version of a Tesla.
I plugged in the dealership address into my GPS, which directed me to a very non-car dealership-y area of town. I turned off the highway and onto a series of roads that wound through a nondescript, very unsexy business park. You know, like boring cinderblock buildings with no windows that would feel really depressing to work in every day. Josh said to look for a small sign that said TESLA.
I rounded a corner and saw it: Dance Xchange / Helmet Plaques / One Way Building Services / Tesla.
I parked my car, strategically leaving a full space between mine and one of the Teslas. I didn't want risk someone scratching my Jetta.
Josh was already talking to the sales guy. Young, charming, nice watch, initials monogramed on the cuffs of his shirt. The perfect dude to be selling Teslas!
He ushered Josh and I into their entry-level car, which he said costs about $65k. I was expecting a higher price tag (and mini-spoiler alert: the actual cost was about $85k... more on that to come!)-- that's only like four of my cars! The interior smelled of fancy leather and new car; the entire dash and center console was a computer, with an enormous screen in the middle that functioned as a map, music player or regular ol' computer screen. Sale guy did a quick internet search on the console screen and pulled up Rich Dogs of Instagram, which is a hilarious Insta-account, and totally what you should be looking at as you're barreling down I-94.
I really, really wished I had my dog with at that moment, just so I could send a photo of her in a Tesla, looking at Rich Dogs of Instagram.
"Of course, you shouldn't be looking at Instagram when you're driving," sales guy said. Lawsuit averted!
Next, he asked if Josh wanted to take her out for a spin. Josh asked, "Can I drive the P85D instead?" which is the faster, sportier, more expensive big brother of the car we were currently sitting in.
I never would've had the balls to ask. God bless Josh.
The sales guy obliged, pointing us toward a sleek, black car a few stalls down. Josh hopped in the front, I sat in the back. Sales guy rode shotgun.
I'm pretty sure all you have to do to start the car is put your foot on the break, then press this doohickey that's attached to the steering wheel up. The car remained silent, but was in drive. We started moving forward. Silently.
Sales guy had Josh turn right out of the parking lot, then made a few more turns until we found ourselves at a light, waiting to turn left onto the freeway. I've test driven cars with Josh a few times and he has zero shame flying down an entrance ramp. As if you can't get a speeding ticket in a car you're just test driving.
The light turned green and we ripped onto the freeway, Josh laughing, sales guy smugly enjoying the ride, and me in the backseat, rolling my eyes. But smiling.
We tooled around for about 10 minutes, finally pulling on to an empty road in the business park.
"Do you want to launch it?" asked sales guy.
Do I even need to tell you Josh's answer to that question?
Pedal, meet metal. Apparently this thing does zero-to-60 in four seconds. I can't say if that's exactly the case, only because I don't want to get anyone in trouble.
We pulled back into the showroom's parking lot.
Sales guy asked if I wanted to drive.
Josh moved to the back, I hopped in the front. It's so weird starting a car that's completely silent. All of the normal cues are gone!
"I think it's running, right?" I asked.
"Yep, you just gotta push that lever up and put it in drive."
And off we went, quietly through the business park, then on to the freeway.
My ride wasn't as speedy as Josh's, or at least it didn't feel that way. This is one of those cars you could easily hit 90 mph in and wouldn't even notice. Smooth, quiet and really fun to drive.
Of course it was hard to fully enjoy it when all I could think about is the fact that I could buy Prince's Purple Rain house for the same price as this car.
Don't scratch it. Don't ding it. Don't even breathe on it.
At the end of my drive, sales guy brought us to that same empty bit of road.
"Do you want to launch it?" he asked.
But I was already there. And the road was wide open. And when will I ever get a chance to do this again? Maybe never.
So I came to a full stop, took a deep breath and hit it.
Here's the 42-second video:
I completely lost my stomach. And it was so fun!
We headed back to the showroom, where sales guy walked us through pricing. The one we drove was about $85,000... after a $7,500 tax rebate and what they calculate you'd save on gas over the next few years. So the actual price was around $105,000.
We said we'd think about it. I wonder how many times those guys here that a day!
Then I hopped into my Jetta, heard the familiar vroom of the ignition, and slowly and responsibly drove off into the sunset.
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What's the fanciest car you've ever driven? OR... have you ever gotten in an accident or totally screwed up a car you were test driving? That's what the comments are for!
PS Not my first car post: Here's one of my all-time favorite Hey Eleanor challenges-- the time a bought a car all by myself. There's also the time I jump started my car all by myself. Plus, what my friend Morgan learned when she & her husband quit owning a car (& they live in snowy Minneapolis!).