Tesla Model S
A car from the future, the Tesla Model S feels like it's playing in a different technological leagueReuters

The Tesla Model S feels like a car sent from the future to show us what motoring will one day be like. From before you even leave the house the car is playing in a different technological league to anything else on the road.

Here are five things the Model S can do which your car - and almost every other vehicle on the road today - cannot.

1.You can turn the heating on over the internet with a smartphone app

A free app for iOS and Android lets you log into the Model S from anywhere in the world using the car's 3G connection. Once connected, you can check the battery level, switch on the heating or air conditioning to a specific temperature, flash the lights, sound the horn, open the sunroof and unlock the doors.

The app also shows where the car is on a map, so you can find it in a car park or keep tabs on anyone you've let borrow it.

2. The brake pedal is almost never needed

A by-product of the car's regenerative braking system is that you very rarely need to use the footbrake, unless coming to a complete stop. Each time you lift off the accelerator the car's wheels turn the motor (instead of the other way around), which turns it into a generator, creating electricity which is fed back into the battery.

This process slows the car down considerably more than lifting off the accelerator of a regular petrol or diesel car and the force is applied until you slow to walking pace. If judged carefully, you can exit a motorway at 70mph and almost stop before the first set of traffic lights. This makes driving easier (once you've got the hang of it) and massively reduces wear on the brakes.

3. The dashboard is a giant touch screen with apps and a web browser

Tesla Model S
A 17in touch screen dominates the Model S's dashboard, controlling everything from the sat-nav to the heated seatsReuters

The Model S has a 17in touch screen on its dashboard, controlling everything from the sunroof and heated seats, to the climate control, lights, traction control, ride height and music.

You can also use the screen to browse the web over a 3G connection (although it won't play videos, for risk of distracting the driver), and there's Google Maps to work alongside the car's sat-nav system.

4. It accelerates faster than a Porsche 911 - in silence, with no gear changes

This point could also be called 'make your passengers swear on demand' because the acceleration of the Model S is extreme. Zero to 60mph takes 4.2 seconds, which is faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera S. But it isn't just the raw speed which impresses - it's the unrelenting surge of the single-gear electric motor.

There's no build up to full power, no torque curve to climb then fall off at each gear change. It's just one constant shove which pins you into your seat and holds you there into license-losing territory. The lack of sound only adds to the surreal feeling of a two-tonne car accelerating so quickly.

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5. There's space for five adults, two children and luggage

By tucking the batteries neatly into the floor and slotting the motor between the rear wheels, the Model S has a huge amount of storage and cabin space. There's space for five adults and the massive boot can be equipped (for £2,100) with a pair of collapsible rear-facing seats, which are ideal for children aged five to 10 and fold away into the floor when not needed.

And because there's no engine under the large bonnet, here you'll find another boot space which - you'll just have to believe me on this one - a grown adult can climb into. More practically, there's space for a week's food shop or a medium-sized suitcase.