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Video: With Tesla Model S testing complete, its time to drift

Consumer Reports News: May 08, 2013 03:08 PM

As the buzz builds around our countdown to the release of our Tesla Model S road test, we couldn't resist having some fun in the luxury electric sedan. In the process, we answered the seminal question: Will it drift?

Driving a Tesla Model S is like having your own private amusement park. Not that we advocate tire-smoking, tail-sliding turns on any public road—ever! But such drifting can be a measure of a car's great-handling chops, as well as its available power. And boy, can the Tesla drift!

Our Auto Test Director Jake Fisher put this to the test on our closed track and found you don't need a bellowing V8 engine—or a flyweight sports car—to have some fun. The Tesla's neutral handling, abundant power, low center of gravity, and controlled-but-absorbent suspension are the perfect complement for entertaining cornering maneuvers.

To learn more about electric cars, visit our alternative-fuel car guide.

To be clear, the standard electronic stability control can't be shut off completely. But you can turn the traction control off, and to our test engineers' delight, this allows the tail to slide some. With abundant electric torque, the slide can be sustained in a drift. The stability control eventually brings the car back inline, but not before giving up a fair amount of entertaining counter-steer, tire-smoke, and drifting.

Watch the video to see the Tesla in action, and check out our full road test, Ratings, and more video.

Eric Evarts

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