By Angus Frazer
This story originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.
From the timeless to the technologically fantastic, we have selected the very best in automobile innovation. Highlighting the classic cars that created a legend, alongside the latest offerings on the road that will turn heads, our rundown of top cars is sure to inspire those in the market for a new ride.
Serbian-American Nikola Tesla was an inventor, engineer and futurologist who passed away in New York in 1943. Sixty-five years after his death, a group of engineers in Silicon Valley named their new company Tesla as they set out to prove that electric cars could provide superior performance to petrol cars. The Tesla Roadster debuted in 2008, followed in 2012 by the Model S, the world’s first premium electric sedan. If anyone in the mainstream automotive industry didn’t take the Californian start-up car company seriously at first, they certainly do now. Capable of producing 2,000 cars a week, Tesla has truly reinvented the industry with its innovative approach. tesla.com
Although not without its teething problems, Tesla’s first car, the Roadster, had the ability to blast, albeit silently, from rest to 62mph in a very rapid 3.7 seconds, a pace that left many traditional-fueled sports cars lagging a long way behind it. But it wasn’t just the Roadster’s rapid performance that made the industry sit up and take notice; it was also its real-world usability. It was capable of achieving a driving range of up to 245 miles before its lithiumion batteries needed replenishing. More than 2,400 Roadsters were sold before production ceased in 2012, and it is now on the road in 30 countries around the world.
With its distinctive Falcon Wing doors, Tesla’s Model X SUV proves that you don’t have to give up driving a performance car just because you now have a large family. Offered with the option of seating for seven and full self-driving hardware, the Model X can accelerate to 62mph in a supercar-rivaling 2.9 seconds. Prices start at $85,500 for the five-seat version. All models offer excellent safety, and Tesla also claims that the car’s medical grade HEPA filter strips outside air of pollen, bacteria, viruses and pollution before circulating in into the cabin to help you and your family breathe easy.