• Shaq and the Tesla Model S - Not a Match Made in Heaven

In Tesla’s defense, the Model S isn’t the first car that the 7’1" NBA star couldn’t slide into

LISTEN 02:39

Shaquille O’Neal needs no introduction. The four-time NBA champion is one of the most renowned and celebrated basketball players of all time. As a sports fan, you will surely be amazed by his career stats. But, as an automotive nut – whether you care to admit or not – you’d have wondered how can this man get into cars.

His tall stature means he can’t enjoy the low seating and the not-so-big dimensions of any hot hatch or sedan. And, the Tesla Model S, despite its spacious interior, is no exception. A TikTok video posted by Anthony C.Hall proves exactly that. After finally making his way inside, Shaq had a piece of advice for Tesla’s CEO - “Elon, you wanna make a big boy Tesla?”

That’s A Tight Fit

2017 Tesla Model S Exterior
- image 890963

In the video, Shaq has pushed the passenger’s side seat as far back as possible and still struggled to get in. He got into an awkward position and finally got inside the car, which seemed nothing less than a torture for the former basketball star.

Surprisingly, Shaq has owned a Tesla Model S in the past.

At the time when he owned the Model S P85, he even got it modified by Unplugged Performance in Hawthorne, California. The mods included a front fascia refresh kit, side skirts, rear diffuser, and rear diffuser fins.


Watch Shaq try to squeeze into my ##teslamodels ##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage ##comedy

♬ original sound - tony_bluechips44

Tesla Model S interior dimensions
Front Head Room (inches) 38.8
Front Leg Room (inches) 42.7
Front Shoulder Room (inches) 57.7
Front Hip Room (inches) 55
Second Row Head Room (inches) 35.3
Second Row Leg Room (inches) 35.4
Second Row Shoulder Room (inches) 55
Second Row Hip Room (inches) 54.7
If Shaquille had to pick an EV from Tesla, perhaps the Model X would be a better choice; or something even better, the upcoming Cybertruck.

He had attended the re:MARS event that took place last year and got to experience the Rivian R1T pickup truck first hand. Rivian’s CEO, RJ Scaringe, tweeted a photo of the basketball star seated in the driver’s seat with the caption “Shaq Fits”. If this means anything, Rivian has secured a celebrity customer for when the production version of the truck is launched.


2017 Tesla Model S Exterior
- image 890953

That said, do you think Tesla would build a custom Model S for the basketball star after he struggled to fit in it? Automakers practice such PR activities from time to time, so do you think Tesla would do it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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