I was at BarCamp on Saturday morning and mentioned to several people that I was going to an event that featured a test drive of the Tesla all-electric sports car. Peoples’ responses ranged from “the Tesla is in Hong Kong?” to “how come I wasn’t invited?” As for me, just lucky I guess! It turns out that the Tesla car has been available in Hong Kong since 2010.
So they had two of the Tesla Roadster there, one in green and one in blue. Again, no sales pitch. They only told me the price because I asked (HK$1.3 million and up depending on options) and very quickly told me that they’re completely sold out in Hong Kong. Here’s what you’re waiting for – a few photos of the car.
So how was the test drive? I’ve never driven a true “sports car” – or any car that costs HK$1 million or more. The only basis of comparison I’d have would be that I’ve watched a few episodes of Top Gear. So here’s the deal.
I’m just under 6 feet tall and getting into and out of the car was an ordeal. But once I got inside, it was extremely comfortable. The steering and the suspension were both very tight; you could really feel the road, but my understanding is that’s how this kind of car is supposed to drive. Acceleration was killer! Probably it’s not fair to compare with my car (a 5 year old VW Golf Turbo) – and also, we were driving on the back streets around Science Park, no highway driving, so I don’t think I hit more than 80 or 100 kph, but I do know that when I floored the – oops, almost wrote “gas,” guess I should write “accelerator” – the car would take off like the fabled bat out of hell. And why not? The web site advertises this car goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and I believe it.
Aside from getting in and getting out, one possible drawback is you don’t get gears to shift through, no equivalent of techtronic, no paddles on the steering wheel. You press a “D” button on the center console, push the pedal to the metal and go. The other drawback is how quiet the car is. You know kids all over the world buy cheap shit cars and then spend hundreds or thousands tinkering with them to make them sound as loud as possible. The Tesla just has a quiet whirrrrrr to it.
I really enjoyed the test drive, only wishing I could have driven further and longer, but the route and time were strictly controlled because they already had more people wanting test drives than time allowed. My take on it overall, aside from the fact that I can’t afford it, is that I’d be interested to try out some of Tesla’s other models (they have a Model S 4 door sedan and a Model X SUV). But damn, this was one nice looking freaking fast machine.
The event took place at HK Science Park on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at the Meraviglia Bar e Ristorante. Free food, free drink, free entertainment (three piece band, someone doing face painting, a magician, someone doing balloon stuff, someone taking goofy photos).
Someone posing with the balloon animal gal:
Someone trying on funny hats for a funny photo booth thingie:
The magician (and the face painting girl standing behind him)
We found out after we arrived that the event was a shared event between Tesla and Providence Bay - “unique luxurious oceanfront low density residences” from the folks at Sino Land. (I think describing Tolo Harbour as “oceanfront” is a tad ambitious, but it is a lovely location.) Fortunately, the event was surprisingly low-key. If there were sales people there, they left me alone for the entire two hours I was there. I had one slice of cold pizza and then dived into the cupcakes and macarons while my gf enjoyed at least one glass of wine.
I’ve driven past Science Park many times but never had any reason to go there till now. It’s quite lovely and the weather was wonderful too.
Last, and probably least, a couple of shots of some girls dressed up for some sort of cosplay photo shoot someone was doing nearby. They were a bit away from us, I had no time to run over to them or to change from the wide angle lens that was on my camera, so some extreme crops of the shots I got – fuzzy but still kind of worth sharing I think.