We drove dozens of cars to get ready for 2019—we know, a big chore. From our choice for car of the
Have you just stepped into a Tesla Model 3 or are you in some Scandinavia–meets–Silicon Valley mobile kiosk? Can I order an algorithm-perfected latte from this screen?
Welcome to the future of the everyman automobile, human.
But how is it as, you know, a vehicle that moves? A hoot. The sporty, quiet car proves that if this is indeed the paradigm for the next chapter in automobiles, even ordinary ones will be extraordinary in the gasless future. As a torque-heavy electric car, it never feels slow. Need more adrenaline? The Performance version, which has an additional motor, can accelerate to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. That’s zippier than a Porsche Boxster.
The problem with a Tesla? After a few hundred miles, I became so accustomed to the smooth acceleration and elegantly minimal interior that when I jumped into my Lyft after dropping off the 3, it felt like I had stepped into the past, where we might as well have been burning coal for heat. If you’ve always believed Tesla owners have a superiority complex, then you’ve probably never driven one.
People often ask me: Which car would you buy if money weren’t an object? Then I’ll ask for clarification: Is this the only car I could own? Would I take it on the track? Does it need a backseat? Convertible? How comfortable? And then, usually: Wait, where are you going?
It’s not my favorite question. Still, I understand why someone asks it. I think they’re waiting to hear about a car that they’ve never really encountered. They want to hear about something singular, special, out of this world. They want to hear about what it’s like to experience mind-bendingly fast acceleration with the roof down—alas, people want it to be a convertible—and how awesome it is to throttle through tunnels and have your eardrums practically explode.
Ask me this today and I will tell you it is the McLaren 570S Spider that I lust after. I like that the British company designs only two-seater sports cars with no intention of making crossovers. I like that, as Silicon Valley’s Russ Hanneman puts it, the car has the doors of a billionaire—they flip up. Really, this should be a prerequisite for all truly special cars. I like that it has stuck with analog, electro-hydraulic steering, as opposed to the numb, electronically assisted steering of nearly every other car out there. I like how that steering talks to you, tells you about little dips and imperfections in the road that you would have never known were there otherwise. It’s a car that makes you feel truly one with the asphalt, despite the fact that it looks like it was designed by aliens. I like that when people see the car, they say, “It looks like it was designed by aliens.” I like that it makes me feel like I’m driving technology pillaged from Area 51. I like that it’s not the mystique of McLaren I’m attracted to—as a relatively new company, it has virtually none—but rather the visceral, spirited thrills that the 570S Spider delivers. I like that it’s weird. Original. Out-there. Take me to your leader.