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New specs available for the Model S

See the website....Model S

Does anyone know yet whether the panoramic roof option will add or subtract from the headroom? The standard 39.8" front headroom seems quite ample but the 36.6" rear headroom might be tight for those with taller torsos. How the panoramic roof affects headroom may be an important consideration for taller people in deciding whether to purchase that option.

Pano roof increases headroom with the sunshade open and decreases it with the sunshade closed. No o e knows yet by how much since no one has seen the sunshade and TM hasn't said.

No one has seen the non-panoramic roof, either. There are still a few uncertainties left.

@Kroneal and Volker.Berlin: Thank you

I just came back from the Boston Tesla display event. This is my first viewing of the vehicle. And here is my take on it.

- The car does have a blind-spot indicator. However, it comes with the Tech package.
- The mirrors can be folded-in manually. And, they can be folded-out as well (just in case you would like to experiment).
- There are two cup holders between the two front seats. There is a slide-in cover that can be used to cover these cup holders and serve as an elbow rest.
- There aren't any cup holders for the rear seats (at least I couldn't find any).
- As known, there is no storage area between the two front seats.
- The 10% pending (from the 90% beta) includes (mostly) interior design changes. And some of these changes "could" be a center storage.
- GPS is standard and uses Google maps. The tech package is for high-definition maps.
- Tesla has plans to provide the SDK to third party developers so that they can create apps for the center instrumentation screen.

Personally,
- I felt the rear legroom a little less (even for someone who is 5'8"). Then again, I drive a '94 Lincoln Towncar which is like a boat and has ample legroom.
- The driver's seat is a little lower than I expected and felt more like that of a sportscar seat than a sedan. It could, however, be raised.
- I am not sure how a 3 hour drive would be as I felt a bit tight and cramped.
- I was able to see where the hood (or the bonnet) ended, which will help during tight corners or pulling in/out of parking spots.
- Backing up is a small concern as I couldn't see where the car ended; the rear windshield blocked my view. I suppose I could use the backup camera.

For those in the Boston and New England area:
- A store in Boston will open late 2012. Tesla signed a lease already and will get the store ready soon. The representatives were reluctant to provide the exact location but it will be within 30 miles of Boston downtown.
- The store (almost assured) will offer service and repairs as well.
- The next Boston event will (most probably) be for only reservation holders. This could include test drives and will be in the late Spring.

Hope this helps,
Prash.

Thanks for the trip report, Prash!

"The car does have a blind-spot indicator. However, it comes with the Tech package."
Was this an official quote from a Tesla rep? If so, this is (excellent) news I think.

"Tesla has plans to provide the SDK to third party developers so that they can create apps for the center instrumentation screen."
Do you recall anything regarding whether that will be freely available (like on the web site) or whether there would be a fee to purchase the SDK?

Brian,

The tech package includes blind-spot monitor, and this is according to official Tesla representative. So yaay!

I assumed the SDK will be free, and hence didn't bother to ask. I wanted to ask if it is iOS based. But, there were quite a few folks behind me and didn't want to hold up the rep. She said that this information will be available soon.

A few more things:
- The rep confirmed that the "bricking" blog is incorrect. Even if we left a 50% charged car unplugged for about 12 months, the battery should still be rechargeable. (On a side note, the term "bricking" is a no-no with the reps).
- Tesla will deliver the car to our homes. We don't have to go to any store to pick it up. Well, this is true for those in the Greater Boston area.
- Test drives are by invitation only, at least for the near future.
- We can extend our reservation once for 6 months without having to go back to the end of the line. This option is intended for those who have existing leases on other cars and would want to wait till the lease expires before getting their Model S.
- There are a few controls behind the steering. These include drive-parking-neutral control, wipers, and lights.
- There are two steering mounted controls. The one on the right is for volume. I can't remember for what the one on the left is.
- I couldn't find behind the steering controls for cruise control. The one on the left could be for this. (I will check it out again).
- There is some plastic in the car. And some of it was coming apart. Right in the middle of the panoramic roof, just behind the driver's seat, there is a plastic separator on the roof. I am not sure what the purpose of this is. And it was almost hanging off the roof.
- The charge port cover (which is also part of the rear lights) is a bit too delicate. I noticed a crack on the display model's. I am not sure how much use it can take, especially if it will be opened and closed almost everyday.
- The frunk has an additional pocket about the size of two laptop bags. This pocket goes into the car (towards the driver). This is a nice find.
- Other than a holder, door-opening handle, and a speaker, there is nothing else on the door. I like to keep toll tickets and change for parking on the door pockets. But there are none in the model S beta.

~ Prash.

PS: I might go back there tomorrow (Sunday) to ask any questions that might be asked here.

@Prash, the apps won't be iOS based since the chipset was already announced as the NVIDIA Tegra 3:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/09/nvidias-tegra-chips-coming-to-cars-st...

As far as I know, they haven't announced the platform, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was an automotive grade embedded Linux variant similar to what Toyota went with. Ideally the SDK would come with a Model S emulator for testing our apps, but I suspect there will be a rather stringent process for getting them installed (i.e. they don't want people 'crashing' the system or doing nefarious things to the car). I would expect more of a curated Apple App Store approach than Android app store model for third-party app distribution. And similar to how Apple rolled out the store (e.g. there was no App store at iPhone release), I'm guessing Tesla will focus on getting the car out the door first and apps second.

Awesome news about the blindspot indicator.

Back in January, the a rep in Bellevue also mentioned to me that the 3rd party apps would be supported, but did not know (or could not share) any details beyond that.

Also, if you see the car, you'll notice that there's an 'Apps' placeholder tab in the UI.

prash.saka, thanks for sharing your detailed observations! It's worth noting that the car you saw is still a Beta model -- and one that has been shown around a lot. I think it is neither surprising nor any hint to actual production quality, that some plastic covers in these hand-built exhibits do not fit perfectly or even come loose.

Similarly with the steering wheel and stalks -- in the Beta models I've seen pictures of, Tesla used an off-the-shelf steering column from Mercedes (in this case, the small third stalk on the lower left is indeed the cruise control). I guess it might have been the same in the Beta model you checked out. That's only a place holder, the production car will have a steering column exclusively designed for/by Tesla. As a consequence, the Beta model doesn't actually tell us anything about the layout of steering wheel controls and stalks that we will see in "our" production models.

The Model X steering wheel is original Tesla design, and it contains touch screens as steering wheel controls. We don't know anything for sure, but it doesn't seem too unlikely that the Model S may end up with the same or a very similar steering wheel. You can see it displayed on the Model X page ...
http://www.teslamotors.com/modelx

... and there is a discussion about these touch screen controls going on here:
http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/i-want-x-steering-wheel

@stephen.pace,

I've read comments from Tesla that the apps will support both iOS and Android platforms (at least). Both Tegra and the Apple mobile platforms are based on ARM processor architectures.

Thanks, Prash! Fascinating.

This part intrigued me the most:

- GPS is standard and uses Google maps. The tech package is for high-definition maps.

Does "GPS" mean turn-by-turn? Or does it just mean that you can bring up Google Maps, and it will show you where you are? I'm curious because turn-by-turn navigation is currently listed as part of the tech package.

The Beta is coming to DC next weekend! I'll definitely be going there. I just went today to see the Model S powertrain on display. Very cool. I've seen pictures, of course, but it's just so cool..."elegant" really.

One question I will be asking is if Google Maps can be displayed on the "instrument cluster". According to the features page of the Model S, the turn-by-turn navigation shows up on both the 17" display and on the instrument cluster screen, so that you don't have to look over at the 17" while driving.

@Schlermie, yes, but if iOS was supported, it would be the first platform outside of Apple, and I just don't see it happening. Android would be more likely given investment and early Tesla ownership by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Android support could be through a virtual machine or app repackager similar to how Blackberry is doing it.

VB: According to the spec page, I'm sure that the Model S won't start out with the Model X prototype's steering wheel:

"Three spoke, multi-function steering wheel with tactile controls."

It is possible, though, that the steering wheel on the Model X could show up as an option, either right away, or maybe later.

I'd be willing to bet money that the Google maps implementation will just be the normal Internet maps with a gps indication of where the car is. I really doubt it will include a turn-by-turn application.

Thanks prash.saka for sharing all your observations. To me t

accidentally hit the submit early so will start over.

Thanks prash.saka for sharing all your observations. To me the most concerning of your observations:
"- I am not sure how a 3 hour drive would be as I felt a bit tight and cramped."

Let's hope they nail the driving comfort in the production model. To reach Elon's lofty goal of being not just the best electric vehicle, but the best car period, long distance driving comfort will be a must.

Not being a car expert as many in these forums are but from the limited standpoint of a general reservation holder and shareholder I respectfully support mvbf's statement:

"Let's hope they nail the driving comfort in the production model. To reach Elon's lofty goal of being not just the best electric vehicle, but the best car period, long distance driving comfort will be a must."

From the perspective of an average person buying the car driving comfort and interior human ergonomics would seem to be extremely important when comparison shopping versus other luxury sedans.

To follow that up, what are people's thoughts about the rear seat headroom spec of just 36.6"?

The 36.6" rear headroom is about same as my current car (my current car lists 37" rear, 39" front), so I wasn't concerned at all. I popped up the specs for my current drive and the Model S then compared; the S is about 6" wider and a foot longer than my current car but my passengers don't seem to mind my current one (my current car seats 4 comfortably, 5 is uncomfortable imho).

Shoulder room is better in both cases by at least 2" so the S should be ok comfort for 3 full sized folks in the rear seat. Legroom is better on the S specs as well.

For comparison I looked up BMW 5-series specs. Headroom on the 5 is 1.5" more for rear (slightly less in front) while legroom is slightly less in the BMW vs the S. The shoulder room is 2" greater in the rear for the BMW as well. Overall the BMW 5-series is just a bit larger in the rear head and shoulder space.

All seems like pretty normal numbers to me though. The one I sat in seemed like it could use a bit more padding in the front seat but overall everything seemed really nice.

Schlermie, stephen.pace,

I've read comments from Tesla that the apps will support both iOS and Android platforms (at least). Both Tegra and the Apple mobile platforms are based on ARM processor architectures. (Schlermie)

You need to specify if you are talking about an app for your smartphone, or an app for the Model S' center dash. There is no doubt that Tesla will provide an app along with the car for iOS, Android and also Windows Phone. And it is conceivable that there will be an API that allows developers to write their own apps that interact with the car, but run on the smart phone.

Which platform the Model S' center dash is based on, is an entirely different question. We can safely assume that it is based on an NVIDIA Tegra series chip (and as far as I can tell there is no official information which exact chip will be used). There has been some mentioning that it's a custom platform developed by Tesla. That would only make sense to me if Tesla aims at licensing the platform and making it the de-facto standard for all kinds of next-generation automobiles. Only in that case, it would make economic sense for developers to write apps for that specific platform. We'll see.

For comparison I looked up BMW 5-series specs. (Jason S)

Very interesting comparison, thanks for sharing! I was actually assuming that the Model S would provide more room than the 5-series, more like a 7-series... But that was just guessing from outside dimensions multiplied by Elon's bold statements.

I'd be willing to bet money that the Google maps implementation will just be the normal Internet maps with a gps indication of where the car is. I really doubt it will include a turn-by-turn application. (Mycroft)

I'll take that bet! :-) It is just guesswork on my part as well as on yours, but I am strongly convinced that Google Maps will come with turn-by-turn (arrows on display as well as voice), standard without the Tech Package.

Google Maps will be offboard (requiring an online connection for preparation of the route, may not need to be online while driving) and it may be available exclusively on the center dash, without displaying in the instrument cluster. Thus there would still be some advantage to the onboard satnav that comes with the Tech Package.

Furthermore I'd be very interested which onboard satnav they will use. I've been very happy with the Navigon app for Android, which I think still has an edge over the Google Maps Navigation app (mostly b/c it's offline/onboard, but there are also some nice features that Google is lacking).

The rear headroom in the Santana Row beta was limited by a bulge in the headliner, running along the inner edge of the liftgate. I couldn't tell, and the rep wasn't sure, whether this bulge is related to the liftgate or the pano roof. The pano roof doesn't go back far enough to open up the rear headroom for some sitting with his head against the headrest.

The pano roof definitely increases front headroom, but at the expense of creating two bulges that run laterally along the outer edges of the headliner. These bulges are irrelevant expect on entry and exit.

@Jason S and Robert.Boston: Thank you for your replies. They motivated me to do some checking on rear headroom specs for 2012 model cars with respect to our 36.6" Model S (source Edmunds).

Audi A8 = 38.1"
BMW 5 Series = 38.3"
Porsche Panamera = 38.2"
(Nissan Leaf = 37.3")
(Toyota Prius = 37.6")

I was surprised that the Model S rear headroom is comparatively low. Of consolation is that Model S front headroom is relatively high. But it's too bad they elected not to ace the competition for rear headroom also with all the space in that car.

I am guessing to get the drag coefficient optimized, that the roof HAD to slope in such a way that a smidge of rear headroom was lost.

The Audi A7 is a more accurate comparison and it has identical rear headroom to the S. It's the sloping of the back for the "coupe" design that reduces the rear headroom.

If rear headroom is critical, i.e. you're frequently going to be making long trips with tall people in the back seats, then a 4-door coupe is not the car for you.

I sat in the back of 2 betas and was fine with the head and leg room. I'm 6'4".

Much if this depends on how much is leg length and torso length.

I'm only 5'11", but have 6" space above my head in my little 2004 Chevy Classic. I also have a friend that about 6'6" that had enough head room in my Prius. However, I'm not at all pleased with the leg room in the Chevy, and only somewhat happy with the legroom in the Prius.

@David70, I guess this would be the one and only time that I'm happy with being 5'7" :D

I keep going over the options for my Model S and the bottom line is, without test driving and seeing the options and talking with a rep. over all the possibilities, I can't say for certain what I would want and not want just yet!


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