Tesla Model S 17-inch screen pictures and hands-on

It isn't often you think of a car having a Quad-core smartphone processor in it, let alone two. Nor do you typically think of a car with a 17-inch touchscreen as a centre console. But the dual Tegra 3-packing Tesla Model S has done both.

This is a car more rammed with technology than the inside of a Dalek. From the outside, it looks like a conventional saloon, albeit a big one, but with some clever tricks up its sleeve, including an all-glass sliding panoramic roof or retracting door handles.

Inside though and the Model S really goes to town. That big 17-inch touchscreen is certainly distracting, but we will come to that later: first, the driver cockpit itself.

On either side of the steering wheel is a scroll wheel. These correspond to the left and right parts of the dashboard. They can be used to control volume, temperature and opening and closing the massive sunroof above the car.

Google Maps is heavily integrated into the Model S and when navigation is up and running, will sit on the left-hand screen of the dash. In the middle is a speedometer. 

The screens are bright and vibrant and will adapt and change depending on what you are doing on the larger 17-inch screen to the right. Mobile phone connection, for example, appears in the right.

Now to that massive 17-inch display and the Tesla Model S's real party piece. It's incredibly bright and vibrant, as well as being crisp. The capacitive control is reactive and snappy thanks to the quad-core chip running it.

That screen acts as the hub for everything you might want to do in a car, from controlling air conditioning to adjusting the ride or even raising or lowering the sunroof. You can use split windows and have multiple operations running at once, like maps and the music player, for example.

The car has its own 3G connection which you can use to browse the web on that large 17-inch screen. Looking at websites on a touchscreen that big is exciting enough, but in a car, its incredible. It is also distracting and something we imagine could be a bit of a safety issue.

The amount of customisation the screen enables in the car's handling, power management and functionality is quite frankly stunning. The music player alone puts everything else on the market to shame. Throw in voice control, a gorgeous interior and that incredible 0-60 in 4.4 seconds in an electric car and the Model S becomes a very persuasive luxury purchase.

Pricing in the UK for the Model S starts at $57,500 and will be sold in the UK later in the year, although prices aren't confirmed. You can get your name on Tesla's list for the UK with a £4,000 deposit for a car.