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CENTER CONSOLE - OR LACK THEREOF...

Do anybody know if the center console design in the current beta version is going to be what is in the final production car? This is the biggest disappointment for me with regards to the interior of the car. That empty space in the center makes the car's interior look like a minivan and cheap in comparison to other luxury cars. I really hope this is not the final design for the center console.

@Timo It's a "Starbucks" thing, North Americans don't take Coffee Breaks, we take "Lunch Breaks", "Birthday Breaks", "Time Outs", "Stress Leave", "Sick leave", "Medical leave" but we drink our coffee on our way to work when we're not on holidays.

Today, we went and had our 15 minutes to "Occupy Tesla." We sat in the Beta model and oohed and aah and got the spiel. I now realize what all the fuss has been about on these Boards. The exterior is superb and the interior is .....somewhere between disappointing and unacceptable. I will go ahead and take delivery of the Signature model because I believe in the technology. (Trust me, the Tesla is like a Toyota compared to the Fisker which is more like a Jaguar interior wise, but the Fisker's technology sucks). My only warning to Tesla is that the beta version interior will be a turn off / order killer in person ( I probably would not have placed the order if I had seen the current interior). My wife's Lexus h450 has flat floor and no transmission hump, but it does have a central storage console and storage room in the doors, etc. I hope Tesla is listening!

Dennis is correct, especialy in the Pacific Northwest. First thing I do every morning is get a mocha, and enjoy on the way to work. Roadside espresso shacks are on average no more than 5 miles apart outside of town. In town where I live, we have a Starbucks that is 35 steps from another starbucks, and at the other end of town, two on opposite sides of a grocery store parking lot.

And if not that, then water. Cupholders here near Seattle, are like windshield wipers. Not optional.

@Mycroft
Considering the lighting available and the angle of my view, your photo of the cup holders is very likely what I saw.

Americans like cup holders in their cars because many of us have long commutes and drink our morning coffee while driving to work.

Volker P or B can probably weigh-in, but I don't think Germans drink coffee in their cars. That might explain the location of the Merc cup holder. (Mycroft)

When I saw the image above, my first thought was "inhouse aftermarket". I believe that thingy was slapped on there for the American market. I am not aware I've ever seen any cup holders in an SLK (I sometimes drive one for rent). The premium sedans now all have cup holders, but I think the German version of the SLK doesn't.

Side note: It is generally assumed (obviously even by German auto makers) that Germans don't drink coffee in their cars. Which I believe has been changing and will continue to change. Personally, I always use a cup holder when on a longer trip (provided it is in a convenient place where coffee won't ruin neither my garment nor any sensitive part of the rental car).

It's very clear that Germans don't understand the role of cupholders--even those Germans whose job is to design cars for the U.S. market. Both my Audi and my BMW have lamentable, lame excuses for cupholders; I can feel the resentment of the German engineer who was forced to design them every time I use them!

Even if you don't believe in drinking coffee in the car, you should be a believer in staying hydrated on long drives; some place for a pair of water bottles is needed, and they need to be deep enough and solidly built to hold them.

Robert.Boston, I agree completely, but you cannot blame us. With our Rennreiselimousinen on our Autobahns we are so blazingly fast (and Germany is so incredibly tiny) that nobody actually remembers what "long drive" means. Well, except people like me who like to travel across Europe once in a while. ;-)

@DenisVincent is correct when he writes: Having a 17" monitor that sits slightly askewed front and centre of our visual field does not make for an esthetic "form follows function" design, it neglects all objective criteria of symmetry, proportion, balance and ultimately violates, subjective as it may be, our sense of beauty. Despite the fact that it may answer to many user interface, ergonomic realities, it still needs to to be integrated in such away that is appreciated for its functionality and does not ignore our sensibilities.

@dantir provides a business warning to TM when he writes: The exterior is superb and the interior is .....somewhere between disappointing and unacceptable ... My only warning to Tesla is that the beta version interior will be a turn off / order killer in person ( I probably would not have placed the order if I had seen the current interior).

Some posters argue that women want a place to put their purse or that EVs don't need a center console because ... well ...they're EVs. Neither purse placement nor the "EVishness" of the Model S are any excuse for the fact that the beta interior "neglects all objective criteria of symmetry, proportion, balance and ultimately violates, subjective as it may be, our sense of beauty."

For all of the discussion in this and other threads, the placement of the cup holders is a symptom of a poor interior design. If a center console is available, cup holders can be hidden behind a popup cover and located so that they can actually be used.

Tesla -- I sure hope you're reading these threads. If you haven't made major mods to the interior, including adding a center console, you're increasing your business risk substantially. To be successful, you'll eventually have to sell to folks who are not EV true-believers. The interior sells a car as much as the exterior, but you already know that.

C'mon, it's not even two months since the open house event. It takes longer than that to design a center console, and that's assuming Tesla knew what people wanted in those center consoles BEFORE the event.

I firmly believe that the Beta interiors were not complete at the time of the open house, and are still being designed as part of the finishing up of the design work. Tesla used the interior mockups they had to illicite feedback in what people wanted there. Now they know, and can design & build accordingly.

We have in the CEO of Tesla a "Rocket Scientist" who know doubt understands the importance of a successful launch for the Model S. One faux pas and the critics will take the opportunity to savage the company, Elon's credibily (whom I dare say has been quit vocal in his claims) and relish in the aftermath of the rampage. The World is watching and needs to beleive that the introduction of the Model S is".....one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

LOL@Occupy Tesla

Can't we have space for a purse and a center console? The car is wide enough to allow for a bin or shelf to put a purse in/on.

Our highlander had a storage bin between the seats that closed and created a near flat surface between the seats that held a purse just fine. You could open the two top doors and put the purse inside if you wanted it out of the way. It was also far enough back to not be in the way.

I want my cup holders to be further forward and down from the ones show in the beta pictures. The best ones I have seen are deep and tiered (smaller at the bottom for cans and wider on top for larger drinks). VW actually does cup holders pretty well with little spring loaded tabs that will hold a can in place without rattling (very important in a quiet car). The low and forward position would make it much easier to reach and keep it away from electronics and out of the way of viewing/using the touch screen.
Removable inserts make them easy to clean.

Toyota uses a pocket for cell phones that has a cable feed from the bottom and a spring loaded tab to hold just about any phone. They missed the design a little bit by not allowing a side connected USB cord but it was otherwise a good idea.

I agree that having USB ports in front without a place to store whatever you connect to them makes no sense.

As to the difference in the need for cup holders in Europe and the US (I lived in both and have driven in both). The distances and speeds Americans drive allows for the use of drinks in the car much better that for instance driving in Germany where the speeds are much higher and you need to have your hands on the wheel. That said, I wish more Americans would pay more attention to driving and less to distractions from phones, food, makeup, shaving and crosswords... which I have all seen people do while driving on a freeway. I feel much saver driving in Germany. People are generally much more predictable drivers.

gjunky, re: USB ports here are some thoughts:
http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/interior-usb-ports

@gjunky
I think the two things "speed" and "distractions" fit together.

The speed limits (+ distances) mean you're on the road longer. To compensate for the time expenditure (and monotony), driving distractions kick in. Attention is distracted and speed limits must be kept low. Cycle reinforces it self.

@brianman;
Also, not all roads in Germany are autobahns. The total distance of all 'bahns is probably less than 15% of the major freeway distances in the US (?). So maintaining and policing them is far easier. And if there is a spectacular pile-up, rescue and road-clearing crews and equipment are always nearby.

As a sig reservation holder, count me among those disappointed with what I've seen of the interior with no console/cupholder placement/etc. I know German engineers think that no car should have a cupholder, but a well placed cupholder (or two) is perfect not only for a drink, but a sunglasses case, cell phone, or other item at hand that you don't want to sit on. From my point of view, interior could still use a bit of work....

FYI
In the beta there are 2 cupholders in the center armrests. The armrests each retract to expose the cupholders ( each more like simple holes in the armrests)
The armrests slowly closed by a spring to cover the cupholders. You could not put a cup in and hold the armrest pad open with the same hand.
I pinched my fingers when it closed and also it was very simple and unusable. That is why I believe the beta interior is not complete at all. We need to wait until december or january.

It certainly doesn't look like ready judging from the pictures. I hope Tesla shows us something to confirm that assumption.

I agree! I saw the Beta S at the exclusive opening in Fashion Island (Newport Beach, CA), and was disappointed that there wasn't anything in the center???

I completely understand that (unlike most cars), the Model S doesn't need anything in this are (transmission, etc), and it is completely open for anything (or nothing as they are showing it currently), however, I feel like it's needs something there, like they showed on the original concept car.

A few ideas...
-Hide-Away Arm Rest: (From what I have seen at some of the showings, the majority of the people buying this vehicle are more ‘mature’ (45 + years of age). I’m sure, like myself, I lot of you deposit holders sit in fancy office chairs at work (like a Herman Miller chair), with big cushioned arm rest. The center-console could be designed to retract or hide-away a nice long armrest like this! This would also really set this car apart from the average uncomfortable sadan.
-Electric Hot/Cold Duel Beverage Holder: (The Model S is primarily a commuter car, and it would be nice to keep my coffee warm, or a cool drink cold).
-Special Hide-Away Compartment: (Maybe a really unique hide-away compartment that can hold your iPod, phone, change, etc hidden away from the average (unknowing) valet, car-wash attendant, thief, etc. It could be designed with a special hard to find release button, but otherwise would appear as nothing that looks like a compartment (very James Bond!)

Either way, leaving the area empty seems like a waste of use.

I just sat in a beta for the first time. The cup holders were in an impossible location. If they are in use, you cannot rest your arm on the center console. It would also be difficult to reach your drink without turning halfway around.

I agree that the center armrest is a bad place for cupholders. However, it seems to be all too common to put them there. My '04 Audi S4 has them in the same place, and I hate it.

It's clear that Tesla has an interior redesign underway; please, let's not restart this thrashing of the Beta-1's console until we see what Beta-2 does.

Did anyone else pick up one of those pamphlets/posters at a Tesla store? It's a poster approximately folded into a square (eight sections). One side features a full poster of the Model S when completely unfolded, the other side has "pages" is like a booklet as you unfold the poster. On one page, there is a section called "ULTIMATE CONTROL". The picture features a leather-wrapped center console with an armerest/stroage compartmnet, a cupholder, and most interesting to me, buttons that look like they could be for ignition and possible shifting. This is what I really want. I really want to get rid of the ugle lever shifter. I would love button or touchscreen shifting.

At any rate, the picture shows a full console,like the one many of you guys want, rather than an empty space.

olanmills......Can you scan the pamphlet/poster and put it on this site for all to see?

I got one when the prototype visited Raleigh, NC. The picture described is of the alpha's interior.

This isn't from the brochure that was mentioned, but it is the same interior:

This is from the Alpha, which was from my point of view very nice, and much better than the beta one.

There's hope though that the Beta interior really does not mean much:
http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/reply-customer-advocate

Yeah that picture msw posted is what I'm talking about. The brochure shows the same interior, but from a different angle (still no clear view of what those buttons are).

I guess it looks more like suede than leather in that picture.

I believe that picture is actually from a pre-alpha prototype. The one they used for the dog & pony show for investors.


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