Let’s talk about inspiration. Webster’s dictionary describes it as “a force or influence that inspires someone”… What an uninspired description.
I’ve been sitting here on my desk for the best part of three hours with one paragraph written down, lost somewhere between an endless stream of YouTube cats, video games and badly recorded old school indie music. Truth is, I have a deadline to submit this article; a deadline inscribed in the pages of history by a couple of hours. While everybody is talking about Mo-vember and Halloween, all that comes to my mind are cars, electric guitars… and sushi, too.
So that is what inspiration is… the ability to combine the three things that first come to your mind into something remotely understandable to a sane person. So please bear with me. Here I go.
Electricity. Is there something that it has not improved? Life would be so much harder without it. Throughout the years, mankind tamed and refined this unpredictable and quite dangerous beast of nature, to the point where you can now wirelessly charge your smartwatch.
Electricity gave birth to the electric guitar, probably the single most influential musical instrument in the world from the 1960s onwards. I mean, just listen to “Eruption” by Van Halen. Then there’s sushi. One of those foods you can seemingly eat forever without gaining weight. Apart from Sumo wrestlers, I have never seen an overweight Japanese person. In fact, all Japanese between the ages of 45 and 74 MUST have their waistlines measured every single year. If Sushi is good enough for them, so be it. It’s exotic, it’s good for you and we love it.
For years we’ve had electric cars, but they were never really any good. Their batteries would go flat faster that warm soda, and take an eternity to charge. We’ve had exotic cars too, but they are pretty rubbish as well, what with their touchy maintenance, harsh ride and boots the size of a back pocket. So what if you could combine electricity’s sheer brutality with the delicate exotic nature of sushi? One man did, and his name is Elon Musk.
Being one of those geniuses unable to outgrow their childhood, Elon Musk set about creating something capable of leaving a Lamborghini Aventador to cry in the corner, but at the same time fit seven people, their luggage and all gadgets from Minority Report inside one car. Press the ’Ludicrous’ button on the Tesla Model S P90d and you will be pulverized in a hurricane of silent madness until you reach 100 km/h in just under 2.8 seconds. I can’t begin to describe the feeling after the initial shock of having to put your organs back where they belong. It’s supremely quiet, supple and upmarket. So quiet in fact, that you can hear every rustle, every bated breath followed by a quiet, nervous sigh as the car cruises past 200 km/h.
The Model S is such a conflict of emotions that you start eagerly anticipating the battery to go flat so you can go back to non-blurred reality. But no, it will go for at least 400 km before it needs juicing up, and even then, it takes around 30 minutes at a supercharger station to have it ready for some more neck snapping action. Plus, because the electric motors are the size of a moulinex, and the flat battery pack is under the floor, you get two trunks, with the front aptly named the ’Frunk’ ( Front + Trunk). Inside you get seven seats, with two of them facing backwards, so your children can look at all the cars that can’t keep up. Facing forward though, you are bombarded with a screen the size of a small moon, slap bang in the middle like a humongous iPad. With its Apple-esque user interface, the Model S’s control center is the best in-car entertainment system you can get at the moment.
But let’s get back to inspiration. You are looking at this car right now and thinking: ‘’It’s not so special’’. Truth is, the simplest ideas are the hardest to materialise. Before Elon Musk, nobody dared to even imagine the Model S, and that begs the question: Is this the greatest car ever made? Is it one that will go down in history as a pioneer of the future? I can’t tell. What I can tell you though, is that if the Model S was sushi, it would be Salmon Nigiri. If it was a song, it would be ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ by Pink Floyd. If it was not real, it would be in a sci-fi movie. And that is pretty much the highest praise I can give it.
And if there is nothing to inspire you, just keep telling yourself that you are living the future. Enjoy it now!