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October 1 - New Feature Information

Reading through the new site content released today, it looks like Tesla has provided us with some details on features that either provide more clarity or are complete new (at least to me):

  • Panoramic roof details: "An extra large sunroof made of a front and rear glass panel. The front panel can tilt up for ventilation or slide open over the rear panel." Sounds like we'll have touchscreen controls to swipe to the position we want for the roof.
  • The Key: Interesting design. Car turns on when you buckle up if you have the key.
  • Air suspension option
  • Addition of traction & stability control
  • Charge port in the driver's side tail light
  • Standard, thinner universal connector for charging via 240 volt, 120 volt and public stations
  • Interior: At least three levels (Standard, Select, Signature)
  • Dashboard design: Much more refined than the Alphas.
  • Two upholders in front console
  • More details on the touchscreen layout and features. Looks like important information is replicated in the instrument cluster
  • Four USB Ports, WiFi & mobile connectivity (with hotspot capability)

Must read before posting (or reading) here: The new Model S Features page!

Hm. The interior shot shows second seat (bench) with headrests for 2, not 3. So seating for 5 seems awkward.

Brian H, look again. Only two head rests are visible on the back seat, but there are three seats. The third head rest just "did not fit into the image". It's off to the left. I don't think it's an actual photograph. I think it's a rendering that has been slightly distorted to fit more info into it.

Right you are. I guess the bench seat is so large my imagination couldn't take it all in! ;)

same happened to me. "Can't be, only two seats? No, wait..."

320 Mile Range and Sport option (0-60 in 4.5 Seconds) available in 2012:

Even thought I'm not there, I'll forward others tweets:

@Michiganmodels Interesting news. If I'm not getting my car until mid to late 2012 anyway, why wouldn't I wait for the Sport option (unless it's ridiculously priced)?

@Michiganmodels Thanks for posting the pics/vids. Although I'm still jealous of those that were there today, I feel better that I didn't spend the money to travel from Chicago to have a sub-two minute ride. I have a feeling the betas will be here soon too.

You won't have to wait for the sport version. They're available starting with the first Model S.

The sport version is only available for 300 packs. It may be ridiculously price. I speculate that the Signature Series will be sport versions. We'll see....

@Michiganmodels Figured that out after I posted. Went over to Tesla Motors Club and read some of the details. Trying to figure out how to put away a little more cash...

@tnawara - That makes two of us. I have a Signature reserved, but I have no idea how much the final price point will be. It makes sense if it's sub $100K (I'm guessing $90K). It's speculation (and wishful thinking).

Hi guys,
Did my ride from the back seat in the middle, lots of space and nice headrest ;-)
Talked to engineer who designed the touchpanel, they will definitely install LTE for the release and will also keep om monitoring the market and possibly upgrade the grafix card as well. The handling of the features as opening roof and lights on etc is done via a image of the models s on the touch panel with a slider for the sunroof, superb!
Signature will not be sports, it will hold all options 21inc, leather, ... except for rear facing seats and panoramic roof. Addition options are also battery and sports package, they told me it would be 10k.
Also they told the option package would be finalized and communicated by end of this month for US version.
Tesla is also testing rear view cameras to replace the mirror but that could not make it.
A adaptive cruise control will most probably make it as it is off the shelf from manufacturers.
Rear view camera is standard.
Navigation via google maps is in the base package with some sort of buffeting near the current location, the extended touch panel has additional build in memory with a own navigation locally available. This is an option on GP, standard on S.
The handling with the pneumatic suspention is superb! It feels like a panamera! Not moving an inch. Combined with the open differential it's a real sports machine, they showed footage of a drift and burn out.

Oh, forgot, current panel has abillity to accept 4 finger, final production will work with 10 fingers touches at the same time. So full gesture movement for both driver and passenger are possible.

Bgu, thank you for sharing! There's really a lot of new information in your post. Great outlook. :-)

Thx, @Bgu, excellent review.

Questions: Did the test drive cars have the sunroof? If so, does light coming in via the sunroof create visibility problems for the dashboard display? How much light attenuation is achieved by the sunroof (I live on SoFla and I'm wondering if it might be a bit much)?

@Bgu - Great feedback. Thank you!

More Questions: What was your impressions of the touchscreen display and interior?

Specifically, the touchscreen and interior images on the website under features looks looks CGI. It is also a departure from the prototype (the center console is divided from the touch screen display and the cup holders). Did it have the "wow" factor when you got in the car? Any details and impressions from what we saw initially and what you experienced would be greatly appreciated.

Also, could you clarify your initial post. Is the Additional package for Signatures: Sports (aerodynamic wheels, 0-60 in 4.5), AND panoramic roof for $10,000?

The touchscreen and dashboard 'Wow!' factor were about a 9.5 out of 10 for me! When Elon swiped the Sunroof closed during his talk it drew quite an applause. I thought the graphics on the actual touchscreen matched the website rendering quite well. The interior was very nice, I got up close and personal during the slalom demo ;) The sunroof on the beta test ride vehicle did not produce a bad glare. It was a beautiful sunny No Cal day and I could see quite well while sitting in the back seat. What an experience! This is going to be quite a car.

A couple things I learned:

-They are planning on mostly selling the 300 mile battery packs (I guess now 320 mile packs) and they expect maybe as low as 5% of the Model-S's will have the 160 mile packs.
I heard that the car tends to perform better with that battery size for various reasons.

-The Model-S can technically fit 8 people if you stuff a teenager under the hood ;) (This was a stunt where Elon Musk drove on stage and proceeded to unload 7 people with bags from the car and then the hood popped open and someone else jumped out - Made a good point re:storage space)

-The touchscreen and dashboard software are linked quite well and are designed to take over each other's functions if one stops working or the software crashes on one of them. The software that runs them is also designed to reboot automatically in case of lockup and is designed to be back up and running in a matter of seconds. A software crash on the touchscreen and/or the dashboard will never affect and driving functions as those are run by a separate computer & software.

- The charge port will feature an interesting lighting design that my wife would refer to as 'sexy lights'

- My impression of the delivery order for the production models was that they will take orders in order of your reservation number but then deliver in order of battery pack size. The example given to me was that if I order a 320 mile pack I would hope to expect it q3 of 2012 and if I chose a 160 mile pack it would be more like late late 2012 or early 2013.

- Every single Tesla employee was really interesting to talk to, super friendly, amazingly informed, very passionate and excited about the company, the factory and the cars. And everyone from the top down was available and willing to talk openly about the Model-S. I was so impressed by the fact that the designer, the engineers, the software designers, the supply chain guy, everyone was available to talk and answer questions.

@GJamrok - Great insight. Thank you!!!

Agree with Gjamrok, touch panel has the wow effect, we played with the zoom of the google maps during the drive, it worked instantly. I had no bad glare.
Also the designer told me you can dim the lights on the touch separately for 3 areas, bottom buttons, map an audio part and top buttons to make sure it doesn't enoy you at night.
We would also get all features tha tesla has through the panel, like deciding how fast you want to go to 60
The 10k is for sports package only, sunroof is additional option :-(
In addition to the really nice engineers, a lot of them are coming from other manufacturers and some are German native, I mean they bought a lot of experience from all over. ( touchpanel engineer came from Siemens)
Cool feature, the car will also try to keep temperature comfortable when it's in your garage.
Sorry for the formatting, I'm typing of an iPhone.

When I saw the interior, I was really disappointed with the design. The LCD screen looks extremely awkward and don't flow with the overall dashboard design. There should be some creativity with the design to make it less obvious by blending in. The boxy shaped screen clashes with the smooth curvy lines of the dashboard and don't flow with the shape of the car.

Also the missing center console makes it look more like a cheap minivan or a truck interior. What's the point of removing the center console, so someone can sneak into the driver's seat from the passenger side? The cup holder near the armrest looks cheap and hideous. I prefer to have the cupholders hidden inside the center console hatch door, like how Mercedes, BMW and Audi have done. I thought Model S was supposed to be a luxury car, but it looks more like how GM would design and build a cheap looking interior. If this is now the interior looks like in a final production model, I may consider cancelling my order. Having come from high end European luxury cars, Model-S has lot of potential, but I am not impressed with the cheap looking interior design.

@cytek - Thanks. Disappointing to hear. You had my undivided attention when you compared it to GM. That is unfortunate.

Did anyone else have the same impression as @cytek?


I was a huge fan of the interior and didn't think it looked cheap! Nor would I come pare it to second class auto manufactures.

The screen is huge! It is substantial and I think it is more a perception of who it is and how much they will rely on it.

@cytek. I disagree. I loved the interior. The screen has huge Wow! factor. The dashboard is similarly jaw-dropping in the sense that it is a digital screen as well. I sat in the front and had no problem resting my arms on the console. I spoke with the guy who designed the interior and he said the idea was to keep it simple an uncluttered. I currently own a BMW and I can't wait to trade it in for the Tesla S.

In addition to what's been mentioned above, a couple of other features:

1. Automatic temperature control. The car will learn your habitual departure times and cool/heat the car to be perfect when you leave. It will also maintain the heat for up to 3 hours after you park it.

2. There is an iPhone App that will let you control just about every aspect of the car. The current owners of the App were asked not to play with it while the test cars were being driven because it can operate virtually every part of the car from sliding the roof back to opening doors, turning on the screen, starting, stopping the car, etc. You will also be able to track exactly where the car is and where it has been using the App and the on board GPS.

3. The onboard monitor has a browser built in as well as messaging, iPhone and Droid connection, and many many more features. It is incredibly impressive. And the crystal clarity of the screen is impressive.

4. Tesla is installing a series of rapid charging stations all over the country over the next 12-18 months. They will start in CA, especially along the SF/LA corridor, but then extend to key states across the country. I forget which states, but I recall Texas was one of them.

5. The factory looked more like a high-tech FAB or a laboratory than a traditional car factory. The floors were white tile, the lighting was enhanced, the equipment was all mostly brand new and painted Tesla Red, the workers were extremely motivated and excited about what they are creating.

Elon emphasized that his goal with the S was not just to create the best electric car but the best car overall. My impression of the Tesla S is that he may well have achieved that. Every detail is superbly thought out, designed, built and tested. Anyone who is finding fault with the design and comparing it to GM is simply wrong.

There are so many cool features and visual jaw droppers that it can't help but get incredible press. My prediction is that when the first S classes are delivered, they will rapidly become the hottest car to hit the market and the Silicon Valley millionaires who didn't get on the early delivery list will start a bidding war for fully optioned early deliveries. I would not be surprised if early deliveries will sell for double their sales price in the first 6 months. Mark my words.

Hi lucky guys that ' tripped' to Fremont! Very nice to read all the comments and informations. When i saw the interior picture, i was disapointed too, but am glad to hear the WOH factor from the guys who drove the car itself. Looks are stil very good, details i read makes me more curious. Heared there will be a european model S event and a launch at geneva auto show in march.

One more question; how was the heavy (2400kg?) car in its handling? and - Thank you for your feedback. Those that were not able to attend (like myself) greatly appreciate the feedback. Anyone else who had a positive or negative experience, please post.

@ Han-Paul

4000lb = 1814kg

That 4000lb is still just a guess. There isn't any official info about that anywhere.

The car didn't ride like a heavy car. Very nimble. When I saw a photo of the new dashboard, I was a little disappointed. Not much attempt to integrate the big rectangle into a classy dashboard. I felt a little better seeing it in person. However, the software interface is a slam dunk. WOW! Maybe it would have helped to frame the screen out a little better

I was very impressed with the interior and the software interface. The thing handled like a dream, and even with 5 fully-grown adults inside, the acceleration was like magic!

I took around 800 pics at the event. Once I've weeded through them I'll post a link somewhere around here... :)

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