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Beta Visits...

Today I was able to spend some quality time in and around the Model S today in Newport Beach, in one of the black with white interior beta's.
The first time I got to sit in the car was only for a short demo, with a long line, in the pearl white beta, at the Newport Fashion Island Tesla Showroom, back in November.
So this time I was able to sit in the drivers seat, passenger seat, and rear seats for a good hour or so.

Overall, I am still in love with it, however, I did notice a few things that gave me a bit more insight into the vehicle.

-Touch-screen: Even though it's still not complete, it is very easy to navigate around very quickly (much faster than BMW's slow menus). In fact, if you are a heavy iPad user, you will find it is almost second nature to use, as it works just as fast, and can traverse between menus at light speed.

-Seats: Overall the seats are fairly comfortable, however, not as plush as I wish they were. The perforated leather looks very nice, and the leather accents in the doors looks fairly high-quality so far.

-Rear Seats: Overall good leg room for tall adults, however, I am 6' 1", and I did notice my head was touching the headliner when sitting completely reclined back.

-Wiper/Lights/Turn Signals: Due to the drive-park-reverse controls being a stick on the right of the steering column, there are two sticks on the left of the column for the wipers, lights, and turn-signals (which will take a little getting use to).

I am still not completely in love with the overall dashboard design, however, I can live with it. if it were up to me, I would make it more 'sporty' looking, however, I guess I can understand why they designed it the way they did now. It's obvious they want the car to appeal to the Jag and Benz crowd, which is a bit too posh in my book (I like the sporty Porsche and BMW's designs better).

-21" Wheels: I really like the overall look of the big low-profile 21" fan-style wheels, and I am sure they will make for some great quick high-speed turns, however, I wish they could come up with a better design on the protrusion of the rim past the tire, as these wheels will likely get really ding'ed up quickly (as most big wheels do on other cars). I think there should be a way to design the wheels, so the outer edge is made of a removable plastic piece that can be replaced cheaply every few years, to avoid rim scrapes.

-Lights: I was able to see bother the front and rear lights on this time, and both look just as good as the new Jag's. The 'eye-liner' around the front lights.

Overall, the Black exterior and white interior look really great on this car. If I were a sig holder, I would highly consider it.

I can't wait to see a car like you've seen. The one currently on display at the Bellevue store is a bit of a mess. The staffer who demoed the display, which was AWESOME, btw, said the car wasn't even drivable. I assume she meant street-legal. No visors, glue showing where interior parts were pasted on, and a prototype console of sorts which didn't open. I think she said the lights didn't operate, either.

The display was bright, crisp, and extremely responsive.

Wiper/Lights/Turn Signals: Due to the drive-park-reverse controls being a stick on the right of the steering column, there are two sticks on the left of the column for the wipers, lights, and turn-signals (which will take a little getting use to). (TikiMan)

My guess entirely, but I assume that the steering column including the stalks will be (or is currently being) redesigned together with the rest of the interior. I would not make any bets that the final layout of the stalks is anything like what you saw on the Beta model.

In any case, thanks for the detailed and encouraging report!

I really don't want the Drive, Reverse, Park on a stalk. Obviously not a deal breaker, but I don't like the idea of this. I hope the redesign does something about this.

Leofingal,

I think this will all depend on how many want the center console area to be a open storage bin (as it current is with the beta), or a 'fixed center console' with storage capabilities, better arm-rest, cup-holders, change compartment, phone carriage, and the possibility for extra electronics (like electronic 'drive' settings, aka 'drive-reverse-park', etc).

I think most of the women would choose to leave it open, so they can stow their purse, baby- accessories, makeup, shoes, etc. however, I am really not too sure how many female reservation-holders are out there for this car? (anyone know?)

LOL! My wife uses the passenger seat in her car as a second closet, so maybe that was part of the marketing strategy, so women would be more interested in it?

As it stands currently, I get the feeling this car is trying to be something for everyone, which could be a good or bad marketing strategy. IMHO, based on the current pricing structure, most people I know who can afford it, would likely be in the market for high-end luxury sports car (aka… Porsche, Jag, BMW, MB, Audi, etc). I guess we will have to wait and see.

I've been thinking alot about my car as all of you have. Initially I was thinking green metallic but the more I think about it this car looks fantastic in black. I'll not feel bad about saving my $750 as I will put it towards the better sound system. I love black with tan leather interior.

The sig has jumped out of my price range (TMC has my 40 k still- I dropped back to P) but with leather, 300 mile battery and air suspension I think it will be a great car for the money. I was never very excited about the "special" metallic red. My Volt happens to be that color and I did not want two cars the same color.

I wonder where the carbon fiber will be on the outside of the Sport version?

Andrew, since you're getting the leather and air suspension anyway, you should price out your car with the performance package. It should be about $12k more.

Mycroft

Your posts are very helpful and I read all posts and threads everyday ( my kid says I'm obsessed!) Thank you.

Anyway, I was t-h-i-s close to sport but after I discussed it with the wife ( or rather she discussed it with me) we're not sure 1 sec of acceleration and some carbon fiber is truly worth it for us. It would be cool, but I'm trying to keep a clear head about that option. I think it maybe worth it for resale but I'm almost pushing my budget to the max. I could swing the cost if I felt it was really a huge issue for me but honestly not only would I opt out of the sport tires ( I have flattened several in my past on poholes in Chicago burbs) but I for sure want that nice sound system which is not in the sport.

Also, We have the new loaded Volt and my wife wants a Rav 4 EV next year to replace her Highlander hybrid.

The MOST important purchase issue for me is the 85 kwh battery. Thats what most people in the future will ask about first.

I wil be selling my Camry (10k) , getting my 7500 fed credit, 4000 illinois tax rebate and have my 40 k in at TMC now. Now my balance is about 26 k more and thats not bad.

What do you think of that reasoning? I know you are Sig sport and I am excited for you- that will be some car!

Very sound reasoning. You're right, you need the spousal unit to be on the same page.

I'm fortunate that the roads here in the Northwet are of reasonably good quality, maintenance-wise.

I'll still need to rotate off to 19" all-seasons for the winter months. It's too risky riding on sport summer tires here in the winter.

@Andrew: You and I are thinking along very, very similar lines. Green metallic + 200W, or black + 580W? Both paints are great looking, with a slight nod towards the green. Will the sound systems be appreciably better? On such a quiet car, the answer seems likely "yes," in which case classic black paint might be the route for me.

@Robert- I think the 580w is going to be one of the best parts of the car. Under a grand- and 12 speakers in an quiet , well upholstered electric car- no question. Given digital media these days I can't wait to crank all my classic rock while I drive home for the first time !!!

The base 200 watt system will be nice, but yes, the subwoofer in the 580 watt system will make a big difference.

And 5 more speakers.

Why are us old farts sitting on our couches on new years eve typing on the tesla forum?

@Andrew18 - Because we all have been waiting 2+ years for 2012 to get here. And now it is!!!

Happy New Year to everyone. It's 2012, and most of us will receive our Model S' sometime this year.

Well, you're a little ahead of us, but we're almost there, too! Looking forward to the "year of the model S"


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