The Grand Tour‘s James May Claims Tesla Model S Is America’s Best-Ever Muscle Car
It’s not often we see Captain Slow go flat-out, but he appears to really enjoy a Tesla.
If you've ever experienced a Tesla on Ludicrous mode, you'll understand the neck-snapping acceleration that an electric motor's instant torque can provide under the right conditions. But if you haven't, you'll just have to take James May's word for it. The former Top Gear presenter and current co-host of The Grand Tour recently got his hands on a Model S P100D and filmed a short video of himself accelerating from a dig. The short? May called the Model S the "greatest muscle car that America has ever produced."
May, looking like a well-off hobo, sits in the driver's seat of the Tesla and begins to describe the experience of driving an electric car. A short but sweet concerto from the TV host's mouth to praise the eventual overtaking of electric cars on public streets.
But this isn't Captain Slow's natural habitat. He's piloting a car that still tops the charts of being one of the quickest automobiles on the streets, sprinting from zero to 60 in under 2.5 seconds. So, naturally, May eventually the pedal to the metal.
"The thing that makes cars exciting for most of us is acceleration. Handling is great, yes. That's an academic exercise. But performance - acceleration. That's what gives us a cheap thrill," uttered James May behind the wheel of the Tesla while barreling down the road. "And, frankly, the Tesla Model S P100D is the greatest muscle car that America has ever produced, which means it's the greatest car the world has ever produced."
It's odd to hear the Model S referred to as a "muscle car," because one typically pictures a coupe from the early '70s with a large-displacement V8, solid axle, and the aerodynamics of a brick wall. Meanwhile, the sleek Model S whirs along using two quiet high-output electric motors.
May dispels those who find EVs to have no soul, calling them exciting and rattles off how they are quiet, clean, and easy to maintain. But, May does concede to the fact that EVs are currently expensive, especially ones geared towards performance. He compares the price of present-day EVs to video cameras, noting that they will eventually come down in price.
May also asks Elon Musk to "smoke a bit of [his] special stuff" to paint the Model S a more sporty color, suggesting metallic purple or yellow.
It's not a surprise that May is a fan of electric cars, even though his counterpart Richard Hammond is typically pictured as a purveyor of both American muscle and EVs, May often expresses his interest in practicality. EVs seem to fit his agenda properly.