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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.

From the Tesla Motors Club forum, a reservation holder interviewed George Blankenship and the Model S Product Manager.

George told me "we listened, and are definitely going to offer a console as a Tesla accessory down the road" -- or words to that effect on the video.

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/7778-It-s-Model-S-Weekend-...

Larry

Since it has been confirmed by Ted Merendino (in the great video posted by ENGLE on the TMC site--thanks!) that there will be no console in the standard car and that the open console is to be a Tesla trademark, that leaves only the glove box for in-car covered storage. IMHO this is a significant mistake, but of course time will tell and admittedly I'm just a person who drives a car, not a knowledgeable car guy.

What about pockets in the doors? Do we know for certain they will also be non existent?

It now becomes important, to me at least, to know whether there will be pockets on the back of one or both front seats. Does anyone know? They could pick up some much appreciated storage. A pocket on the passenger's seat is easily reachable by the driver too. I use it all the time in my current car.

Thanks in advance to anyone who might know the answers to these storage questions.

I agree with @ddruz—no center console (at least as an option) is IMO "a significant mistake." I'm one of many Sig owners who want a center console (for storage, for aesthetics, for convenience). I was hoping to have it installed as part of my configured Model S at the factory before delivery. If that cannot be done (and it appears it cannot), I'm disappointed.

There's a problem with "negative space" (as Product Manager Ted Merendino put it). You can't put sunglasses, a wallet, a mobile phone, TicTacs, whatever, in it without a visually sloppy interior. Reaching across the passenger seat to retrieve items from a small glove box is inconvenient and ergonomically questionable. I'd argue that the "negative space" is a negative for the interior, but I realize that others disagree. That's why the CC should be optional, but available from day 1.

I think it's incumbent upon TM to tell us what "down the road" means with respect to the center console. If a CC will be available a few months, I'll wait and buy the TM version. But if it's going to be a year or more or "indefinite," I'm going to have a CC designed to my spec, fabricated, and installed locally.

I am the same. I am a sig holder (371) and to quite honest am very disappointed by this lack of center console issue. What the problem for me is if I have issues with it to the point that it dampens my enthusiasm of taking delivery, then that spells trouble for future car sales after the 8-10k of us fanatics buy our cars. Great example - my buddy ordered a Fisker, but declined delivery after it showed up. Why? He had doubts about the company's viability and didn't want to get stuck with a car with no future. And he LOVED the car. Tesla is needing to sell 20k of these a year. Things that make the car less attractive i.e. lack of storage make people who aren't fanatics move on to the next choice. Another great example - my wife declined me buying her a Model X for that reason. She thinks electric cars are "neat" but is much more level headed than I about this. She sees lack of storage and our two kids and realizes it isn't "functional" enough. She likes the idea of Tesla, wishes them the best, but is going with the BMW 550 GT b/c it "will work better for our family.". So Tesla, if lack of a center console and storage is keeping the wife of fanatic, who can counter most of the EV arguments easily, away from your product, how is that going to bode well for the general public who is trying to decide on a car/SUV?

Sorry for the rant, this subject and Teslas stubborn, short sighted stance on this has me bewildered....

http://youtu.be/YBD3elgMA_0?hd=1

At the end of the movie is George Blankenship talking about the center console.

He told me the same thing on the event on 9 feb.

Dr. J;
So the console has cost TM one X sale, at least -- and this from the "purse-carrying" market segment!

I think TM is too damn proud of the lack of a driveshaft tunnel. Instead of trying to hype nonsense like "negative space", they should have touted their Deep Center Console Storage!

I am also very disappointed about the lack of a center console in the final interior design. I am now leaning toward exercising my option to postpone my purchase hoping Tesla will listen to the majority of the reservation holders and re-design the interior to include one.

Blankenship interview: http://youtu.be/YBD3elgMA_0?hd=1 Just at the tail end, confirmation they're working on an accessory for those obsessed with the center console.

I normally just lurk in the forums but after hearing there is no center console or side storage on the door I had to chime in. I'm also a reservation holder and would VERY much want a center console to hold my things. Reaching over to the glove while driving is unsafe and it is very important to have a center console with the final version of the car. Paying 80k for a car without simple things like this is ridiculous.

I complained to the Customer Service on this topic and below is his response along with mine.

"Model S was designed to provide the best driving experience without compromise, with unprecedented storage and interior space. Although we do not have a traditional center console, there is plenty of room to place personal items. I believe that our layout leaves our customer with the ability to store items that would be impossible in comparable luxury sedans, and gives customers options in how they want to store their items, rather than having a limited amount of space in predetermined tiny compartments.
The interior layout is almost complete; I do not want to leave you with an indication that we will be adding storage underneath the armrest. I believe most of our customers, even the ones that currently want a center console, will be extremely happy with the design of Model S. I think that only after driving Model S for a week or so, then getting into any other car, will they realize how important our layout is to the driving experience."

My response, Sean, convenience is what I am talking about. I know Model S has a lot of space but am I supposed to put my cell phone, nepkins, cables, wallet and others in the trunk or frunk before I enter my car? Think about it. The glove compartment is too far to reach and has limited space and that is why car companies design the center console for that purpose. I also found out there is no pocket by the doors either. I am not sure what Tesla is trying to prove. This is a 4-door sedan with family members sitting inside, not a 2 door sports car.
The center console design as is right now looks like my father's car in the 60's and in no way Elon claims it is the best car compared to other premium sedans. This is not acceptable. Please forward this note to your designer and top execs. Very discouraging.

@jhw1009: I received a word for word response myself on Monday March 19 from a different rep starting with the second sentence "Although..." verbatim through the end of your quote.

Sounds like that's the company line: the standard interior design [that we have seen] is fairly well set in stone and they expect everyone will be extremely happy with it once they've driven the car a week or so, even those who currently want a center console.

Any closed storage they offer later per George's comment on engle's video therefore looks like it would be an add-on option. I sincerely appreciate that the option may be made available down the road. But options always cost extra. As a shareholder it concerns me that customers, not just myself, will need to pay for a protected storage option to get a modicum of storage that is standard on virtually all other cars, console or no console. That would seem to decrease car buying, not increase it.

I remain bewildered by this entire thing. It seems such an easy fix to rework the armrest/cup holder module to offer some standard closed storage beneath the armrests while retaining the negative space open console to boot. I just don't get it. Can some of the senior forum members explain this to me?

@ddruz;
Not to put too fine a point on it, TM is intending hoping to set a new and different standard, appealing to a different "slice" of the marketplace, rather than trying to fit in to an existing class/stereotype/standard. That's a trade-off; they're expecting long-term to gain more adherents/admirers from being different than they lose by not resembling everyone else.

To a point. Elon is more conservative than some of his designers, and didn't go for a futuristic whiz-bang Star Trek look-and-feel. Like, e.g., the BMW i8.

I don't completely understand the comotion around this topic.
I can follow that TM wants to build a car that "feels" spacious.
As I can see from the pictures, the open console has plenty of room to store my phone, wallet, house keys, little cup with change, etc. All other junk that you use once in a while, can be left in the other compartments. I kind of like the clean-desk-approach TM is forcing here.

I can understand that people want more compartments to store things. Perhaps we need to be an early adaptor on not keeping to much junk in the car. Maybe it is called resistence to change ?

If I buy Model S I would probably end up using those cupholders to store my stuff. That and passenger seat. That "open console" is practically floor of the car with tiny wall-like structures. You can't really store anything bigger than your cell there because it can get very easily under the pedals.

From my list I absolutely must have some place to put ice scraper / snow brush. Snow brush can go to floor behind driver seat, but ice scraper is a bit too small for that. And because car is probably warm enough that I don't need gloves some place to put those too once I'm inside the car. Anything else is optional, but nice to have.

So: cupholders as storage compartment works for me.

I have lots of storage in my 1999 BMW 328i. I never use the storage space. The open console works for me. My wife can put her purse there instead of my having to hold it for the entire trip.

Timo, just warm up the car from your phone. No need for an ice scraper. Besides, it's better in the trunk anyway. Cleaner.

Totally agree with Kroneal.

There's a limit to what warming up the car can do for external ice. If the outside temp is near or above freezing, it would take a while, but it would work. Much below that and the snow/ice cover isn't going anywhere without external help.

Timo: if you have a snow brush, why does it not have a scraper on the other end, like mine does?

I don't mind the center console as it is other than the fact that it seems low. It will be difficult to reach items without getting a little distracted while driving. I hope the safety of this low center console has been fully considered.

Hmmmm. I'm in the camp that says let's wait to see what the real driver/user experience is (at least through our upcoming test drives) and go from there. I think TM is a lot smarter than I, so until proven wrong, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

In the meantime, there are all kinds of little after market gadgets like http://www.cargogear.com/OneItemInfo.aspx?partnum=BLDASHC that could serve some purpose to little things rolling around at our feet. I acknowledge one shouldn't need such knick knacks for an uber expensive car, but there are lots of options like this.

S: P3422
X: P524

Oh, sorry, the aforementioned was meant in my mind to go on the floor in front of the "console", not on the dash!

I wonder if what we are seeing here is typical 80/20 rule often applied by software engineers especially when they are in jeapordy of missing a deadline.

If you look at it from that view point it would make sense. They are delivering the most important (80%) of functionality you expect from a car with the first release. The outside looks great because that was the first thing they worked on thank goodness, before they hit some other snag that consumed resources and resulted in delays that then forced them to make compromises and resulted in the implementation of the old 80/20 rule.

Now this is shear guessing on part. But after seeing the car I person and comparing the car the design of the exterior to the interior, that's what it feels like to me.

Hopefully, unlike so many other software projects I'm on, Tesla will deliver most if not all of that remaining 20% in future releases of the car. But I think right now they are just trying to get it on the market by this summer as promised. And to do that they are having to minimalize the interior design.

This of course leads me back to my previous post, hoping that leasing is an option. And I think it will as there will be people out there that will want a Tesla but can't afford new so they will happily by an older version at a reduced price even with the lack of storage.

Interesting thought. You could actually draw slightly different consequences from the same idea. Personally, I hope and expect that the car will be 100% when delivery to regular customers starts (don't care about the founders' series). But as we all know, getting the last 20% right takes 80% of the total effort, which would explain why Tesla *seems* to have made so little progress since the October 1 event.

If a Center Console Accessory (CCA) is available upon delivery (even if it costs extra), I'll be pleasantly surprised. It would allow each of us to configure the interior to our needs and wants.

But realistically, I suspect that the interior will look pretty much like the betas at Santana Row. I'll still buy the car, because EVs are the future.

Once I've had a month or two to evaluate the entire vehicle (that includes the interior) I'll decide whether or not to modify the interior. @Volker.Berlin mentioned that buyers don't always know what they want. There's some truth in that, but I'd be surprised if my opinion of the interior will change during my evaluation period. For me, there seem to be many more reasons to recommend a CC than to opt for open space.

My best guess is that an additional $5K at a competent custom shop will enable me to configure the interior as I want it -- saddle leather with custom highlighted stitching, a custom center console (tastefully executed with appropriate storage space) and maybe a few other tweaks. For me, it's a 5 percent cost bump to get the car I want. I'm not happy about having to spend the money, but I intend to own the Model S for many years, and I really don't want to "live" in an interior that I'm not happy with.

I have to say that there needs to be a way to hide things inside the car that is closer to the driver then the glove compartment. If for no other reason other then to deter a would be criminal from braking my window on my Model S to get what I have sitting in the open space. Sure, bottle of water, gloves and chargers may not be something they would take the trouble for. But other things that I might have in my car would that I need access too. I live in a great neighborhood but drive and park in some less desirable area's. If you live in the Bay Area, you may have been a victim of a break in to your car at some point. I don't need much, just a little bit to hide some of what I have that needs to stay hidden, otherwise I love the open space as well for the other, essential stuff.

braking = breaking, add edit please for the love of God... :-D

Here is a thought. Perhaps TM should ship the first 5000 EV's outside the US(Europe first please). This way they buy time for the design of cupholders and a center console for the US market...

@steven, NOOOOOOO! OK, forget the center console, I don't want to delay my Model S, there, I said it! :-D

I'll come up with my own solution to my (in the scheme of things) is a minor issue, but again, I want TM to put out the best damn car out there to beat down any other car, ICE, EV or Hybrid! I don't want to sacrifice waiting too much longer for it however. Being P1,837, I've already waited a long while.

See, it's all perception. Suddenly it becomes a minor issue and model S is the best damn car out there :-)


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