The Tesla is perhaps the first supercar actively to eschew the lust once inseparable from the segment. It’s not unattractive, but it sure is humdrum, its ordinary lines rehearsing ordinary deeds. Car & Driver called the new Aventador Superveloce “the very definition of a bedroom-poster car.” Everyone may want a Tesla, but nobody wants one adorning their wall. This is a practical dream, stripped of carnal passion. A supercar with love handles instead of haunches.
Undermining the supercar identity fantasy isn’t just an accident; it’s part of Tesla’s future legacy. The Tesla is not just any old car, after all. It’s the electric car that sounds the death knell for ordinary automotive life. If Elon Musk has his way, soon many more of us will be able to buy one. And if you live in a city such that the 200-mile range isn’t a hindrance, why wouldn’t you? They’re clean, energy-efficient, and fun to drive.
The Ford Model T was famous for being available in any “color that he wants so long as it is black.” Mass production required standardization, and in exchange, the automobile became affordable for the middle classes. In the ensuing century, automobiles became status and identity symbols. Now they are descending back into the realm of commodities. And Musk, the ultimate dispassionate futurist, is helping us discard our foolish emotional attachments to automobiles, partly by stripping them of anything worthy of attachment.