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Drifting the Tesla Model S and the BMW i3 on the beach

We did it for our readers

07/10/2013 10:03 | Comments: 

Contributing editor

Sipi is a fairy who hangs above us like a huge, ever-smiling, men’s fragrance-smelling umbrella. He can be called anytime, anywhere to lend a helping hand, and he’ll be there in an hour with one of his Transits for sure. A dangerously maniac car collector (the street in front of his house is full of his vehicles), a radio-control and model car freak, Sipos is a Swiss knife made of human flesh. Totalcar is just one job amongst his zillion occupations, but he endears it the most. Lives with a girlfriend and two dogs.

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vehicles

  • Mitsubishi Sigma 3.0 24V (1992)
  • Mazda 323 TXL 4WD (1990)
  • 4 long-nose Transits (a 4x4 fire engine, a fire department staff car, an ex-Irish ambulance and an extremely oversized panel van, 1980-1984)
  • Dacia 1300 (1975, being restored)
  • Ford Capri 2.9i (1982)
  • Mercedes-Benz 280 SEL 4.5 (1972)
  • Ford Sierra Tournier 2.9i drift-car (1992)
  • Mazda 121 4dr (1993)
  • Suzuki VS1400 Intruder (1989)
  • Suzuki GSX 750 New Katana (1984)
  • Kawasaki Z1000 Police (1993)
  • Aprilia Habana (2000)
  • Volga M24 wagon (1984)
  • Ural M62 (1968, in pieces)
Tannisby, where all the European Car of the Year contestants lined up for a test, has a long, wide and flat sandy beach. We had some RWD cars plus a 4WD. Guess what happened.

Once you are in a hotel crammed with some of the top motoring journalists of Europe, you try to behave. You know, mind your table manners, try not to pick your nose and so on. And drive the cars participating in the test properly. Keeping the rules of dining etiquette is no challenge for us. If we try hard we can even stop picking our nose. As for driving properly…

You know, we were not meant to have fun while pushing the pedal to the metal. We only did it for you, dear readers. To be able to tell you what it feels like to broadside the most interesting electric cars of our day. To test how the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (made in Hungary) handles. To tell you what the Jaguar F-Type feels like when it loses grip in tight corners. To take nice pictures for you.

But unfortunately we failed. We had FUN! Please forgive us. Especially as we are not allowed to tell you a single word about the BMW i3 - there’s an embargo on it. But I can tell you, drifting the Tesla was a very strange experience. It has a lot of power, but there’s no engine noise and it takes time to get used to the fact that you can’t rely on the engine sound to indicate when the tires lose grip.

It's hard to believe but we might have been the first European journalists to drift these electric cars. Consumer Reports of America have drifted the Tesla Model S before, but that happened on another continent.

Even the BMW i3 has been seen doing powerslides, but it happened in Sweden, during BMW's testing sessions.

The truth is, though we hooned with four cars, we were quite restrained as there were many drives we did not take for a spin. We didn’t have time for the following RWD and 4WD cars: the BMW X5 and 4-series, the Lexus IS, the Maserati Ghibli, the Mercedes-Benz S-class, the Porsche Cayman, the Range Rover Sport, the Skoda Octavia 4x4, and the Toyota RAV4. But I am sure if we had drifted all of them, we would have been banned from Tannisby.

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