this is not a toy

tesla two-seater

It might look like the ultimate in overprivileged Orange County go-karts, but this is not a toy. It’s the car of the future: the electric Tesla. I’ve read about it – fantasized about it even – but until now I’ve yet to see one up close. Lucky me then that the outdoor shopping mall in Newport Beach happened to have a Tesla Motors showroom nestled in between the Native Food Cafe and Neiman Marcus. With a trunk in both the front and the back it’s as mind-boggling as you’d expect. And despite a display of the bare chassis and battery, I kept wondering well, where is the big carbon-belching, environment-destroying combustion engine? Oh, that’s right, there isn’t one. As sexy as the two-seater Roadster looks it’s a bit difficult to get into. (You want to feel fat? Try getting out.) Much more practical is the Model S, a four door family sedan. Anyone who knows me is likely laughing at this point. I don’t even have a license, let alone a car. Yet there’s something about this automobile that excites my imagination: it’s revolutionary – and it works. (Having conquered the the electric car, Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk has his sights on interplanetary travel next.) They all laughed at Christopher Columbus, to quote Ira Gershwin. But ha, ha, ha, I really do hope it’s Musk who gets the last laugh now.

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