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Tesla Model S | by wikichen
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Tesla Model S

I was never particularly into cars, but the moment I saw a Model S I knew I wanted one. It's much more than the looks or the environmental factor, though Tesla's first stab at the sedan is certainly nothing short of stunning and its eco-friendly stature as car of the year certainly doesn't hurt my conscience or otherwise. Sitting in the driver's seat, you start to realize the subtle yet thoughtful refinements to everything: the dashboard, the transmission, the touchscreen interface, the oddly versatile trunk—it felt new, refreshing, like a piece of the future. There's an attention to detail unrivaled by competing carmakers and, in this fanboy's eyes, can really only be compared to the caliber at which Apple designs its products.

 

What ultimately blew me away was something much simpler: the door handles. When the door is locked/closed, the handle lies flush against the door. Unlocked and touched, and the metal bar slides out to you. While not a fantastically new concept (the Aston Martin V8 Vantage has a similar feature inspired by luxury jets), its execution is flawless (even cooler is that the handle pops out when the driver approaches the car). Anyone who's tried opening a locked car door can appreciate this small but thoughtful improvement to the user experience. And while I don't have enough kidneys to sell to afford the Model S, there was nonetheless an important takeaway—that a car in this day and age can still possess so much wow factor is a testament to the power of creative thinking and disruptive innovation no matter what industry you're in (and thank Elon Musk for that, the guy's my fucking hero).

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Taken on January 18, 2013