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Ideas for *that* center space

We're back to arguing over whether or not a center console is a good idea or required or whatever. Let's try to take all this energy in a positive direction -- describe the perfect center space for your needs. If you like, defend why your design overview is the best.

I've been looking at all the things I won't need to haul around anymore and it turns out my in-car storage desires are pretty minimal: place for wallet (I don't like sitting on it), place for phone/accessory charging, place for change purse, place for drink (like to have something at hand for longer trips). And maybe a place for backpack but I'm fine with it in passenger seat or in trunk or behind driver seat if I have a passenger.

So here's my design:
Appears about 5" across at bottom, could be a little wider at top, I'd prefer something about same height as the seats at the top, so 8" to the top. 8" depth is a very deep compared to other cars.

Towards front, space for misc accessories that plug into the USB ports I presume are under the screen. A cubby tray at top for that stuff, maybe 3" depth. Under it is another 4" of space you can tuck away under it because the next section is full depth for most of the length to the armrest.

That long center section is where I'd have removable trays/options. One example is a removable drink tray that snaps into place -- removable so can easily clean out the crud that tends to accumulate. Another includes change rows for parking meters plus generic cubby trays would be fine too. Or a hybrid that does both. I envision having a tray for everyday use and one for longer trips, since the items needed can change for different trips.

Can have a rolltop with the storage for it in the empty space under the accessory tray for near the armrest. Under these tray things you could put the rarely used items; umbrella, maps, w/e. Or could bypass the tray option and simply put a purse or w/e there. I carry a backpack routinely so maybe I'd squeeze it into that large middle space rather than put on the passenger side seat like I do now.

As you can tell, I'd like accessory trays for things I'd plug into USB. This is something I'd make an item for, and it would likely be functional but not beautiful, if the car doesn't come with or quickly get a console.

What do you all think should be there, if anything? If you'd rather have nothing there, why do you think that's the optimal solution? If you'd like something there, please describe it (drawings not required) and how it would be an improvement over the relatively empty space.

Just got back from Santana Row. Only 1 S was there, but that's ok, i got to see the center area, cup holders and check out the green color -- my goals.

I was starting to have second thoughts if they were ready from reading all the belly aching going on in the forum. But I am back in love with the car. Can't wait.

The space in the center is good for my sunglasses and phone. Yes, and a kleenex box. I've heard that some like it too as it will hold a purse without worry of it thrashing around.

The cup holder will hold my coffee. I don't drive while resting my arms -- I use my arms. So those are good also.

Common. If you want 15 cup holders, space for kleenex, 10 candy bars, a flash light, batteries, some food bars, your Haynes manuals, couple of old banana peels, pictures you tried to forget (, keys to the cottage, oh, and 3 bottles of water -- get an Escalade (BTW, I like GM). If you really must carry stuff around that you will forget about in 3 weeks, put a bin in the frunk or back. This car is about changing our behaviors to what is really important.

I think tt is VERY close. I will still get it now. You could wait 3 years and get the 99% right version. I got the first iPhone the second day it was on sale. I don't use iPhone anymore, but the iPhone4 is better than the first one. You make up your mind how ready you are.

Jason S, I'm personally no longer tanking anything for granted about closed storage on Model S. Looking at the photos that have been posted of the betas I didn't see any back-of-front-seat pockets so I brought it up when you asked for other ideas. I sincerely hope I missed them in the photos and they were there or at least will be by July.

If you have real leather, there is something really ugly about back of seat pouches that have been stretched because people put laptops, newspapers, and their favorite hardcover in there. Airlines don't allow you to put your laptop in the seat for this reason. Now, they want you to put everything away for takeoff. Sounds good to me. This is the captain speaking. Your Tesla is about to take off, please leave you unessentials at home and buckle up for the ride of now.

Now that the design studio is up and the interior design is finalized, I thought I'd tweak my concept design for the Center Console Accessory (CCA).

At this point, I'm reasonably optimistic that TM will have a CCA designed and ready relatively close to delivery of the first Sig or within a few months thereafter. But if the CCA is late, I'll have this concept fabricated at a local custom shop. My only worry is color matching for leather and accents.

My CCA concept has two compartments -- one for sunglasses and other small objects on the tilted portion under the display, and a larger "storage box," with a cover that can store other items as required. For those who'd like better placement of the cup holder, the storage box will allow a cupholder attachment that can be used for that purpose. The curved leather-covered barriers bound the top of the CCA and provide a holding space for a purse or other large object.

Here's a drawing (apologies for the rtough drawing and the grid overlay, but I don't have time today to clean it up):

Soflauthor, That is fantastic! I hope whatever Tesla comes up with is as well thought out and functional. Perhaps they will borrow from your ideas. Thank you for your efforts.

Don't forget the USB connectors *inside* the storage box! :-)

I guess my point in doing this is to demonstrate that an CC "accessory" with no heavy wiring requirement, gear shift build-through, or other real internal complexities should not be that hard to design and fabricate.

@ddruz: thx, but hardly fantastic. It will, however, serve my purposes if I'm forced to have it fabricated and installed on my own. I hope that won't be necessary.

@V.B.: shouldn't be too hard to extend the USBs from the bottom of the display area, where I assume they'll be, into the storage box (where they should be :)

Sign me up for your new design, soflauthor! This looks great and adds the modest amount of storage I'd like.

Wow Soflauthor, that's excellent! Hats off, hope Tesla is monitoring this blog entry! Question for all - who do you go to to fabricate something like that? A woodworker/cabinet maker?

Great job, Soflauthor! Now I wonder how hard it'll be to get the materials for some of the accent pieces for the center console to match the dash, i.e. banana leaf, lacewood. CF and piano black should be fairly easy I would think.

Lacewood could be tricky. It is actually quite beautiful with a natural (clear) finish. It also has a wide variation, much more than a lot of woods. For reasons unknown, they've apparently used some very dark stain on it. I suspect it will be a b*tch to find a good match in grain pattern and color match the stain, especially since the various grain patterns take up stain differently.

I'm hoping we'll be able to get stock or offcuts from Tesla for a reasonable price. Dumpster diving, anyone?

Thx all for the kind comments.

As I mentioned, I'm cautiously optimistic that TM will have a CCA design to show us before deliveries begin in July and a hard date for the availability of the design. Obviously, that would make any need to fabricate my design unnecessary (assuming TM has listened to our comments here and at TMC).

If I hear nothing from TM before delivery, I'm going to ask my rep whether I can get my hands on 3 - 4 SF of lacewood veneer (that's the accent I've chosen subject to personal inspection) at whatever cost. If that's not possible (it should be!), I'll improvise. Matching leather color should be much easier, but still not a gimme.

@Dr. J: I think the best place to have the fabrication done is at a competent custom shop in your area. There are a number I can choose from because I live in range of a major metro area (Miami). I'm guessing cost will be in the $750 to $1,500 price range, but that's not based on a quote, and I may be off considerably (I hope not).

Soflauthor, this is highly impressive. I'm sure that a lot of Tesla owners would want something like this should TM not be ready with it by summer deliveries. Do you think you can start gearing up to get this produced as a third party accessory? I'm sure a mass produced rate would bring the cost down.
Count me in as your first customer.

@Soflauthor, well done. +1. Yea, I too am very interested in one these accessories. My reservation is P 6406, which means I have a long wait.

~ Prash.

@bfadewole: I suppose I could pitch it to a fabricator, but here's the thing:

1) We should wait a bit to see what TM has to offer. I think they will come up with a CCA of their own. If they listened to all of our collective comments about the CCA, it will certainly be better than my design concept. After all, it's what they do for a living.
2) We can't really gear up for fab until we have exact dimensions, curves, angles, locations of USB ports, etc. That will require a car (as I'm pretty certain TM wouldn't share design drawings at this point).

If anyone has solid contacts with a fabricator who has production capacity and who might have interest, let me know and we'll take this conversation private for further discussion.

But first, patience. Let's hope TM provides the solution we need before the first car is delivered.

Nice concept, I would however prefer a mini fridge to the storage box. Cold water at any time would be awesome, it should have space for 4 0.5l bottles or so.

It takes a liter of water just to wet my pallet. I will definitely have water rolling around in my open console area... :) I like the open area by the way, I just need to hide some stuff closer to me, not much. 5 inch wide by 4 inch deep by 7 inch high area that isn't the glove compartment would suffice me nicely for all my stuff that I would need tucked away.

I like the open area by the way, I just need to hide some stuff closer to me, not much. 5 inch wide by 4 inch deep by 7 inch high area that isn't the glove compartment would suffice me nicely for all my stuff that I would need tucked away. (BYT)

+1, I'm getting used to it, mentally. :-) The open storage does have its advantages, particularly when the passenger seat is occupied.

+1 BYT, I too like the open area but accompanied by, as standard equipment, a modicum of closed storage nearer than the glove box. I also favor a more extensive console along the lines of Soflauthor's fabulous diagrams as an optional accessory.

The lacewood is almost certainly dyed with an aniline dye - not that hard to match if you ave a sample.

Well-done, Soflauthor!
I would much, much rather pay $250 for a center console here than $250 for a parcel shelf.

+1 AndyM, I agree.

@AndyM: I'd be surprised (very pleasantly, I might add) if the price for a CCA is $250. My guess is that it will cost between $500 and $1,000, but I hope I'm wrong.

My more immediate concern is that TM (1) gives us their design before deliveries begin, (2) provides an indication of what it will cost (Sigs who want a CCA might get it gratis as part of the 'Sig tax,' hint, hint :)) and (3) tells us when the CCA will be available.

Do you think they might offer two options, a small closed storage compartment closer to $250 for folks who don't need much and a more extensive CCA at a higher price for folks with greater needs? That would cover all buyers' preferences.

Personally I don't think people should have to pay anything at all for a small amount of concealed storage in addition to the glove box because it's taken for granted by car buyers. But realistically I realize they are probably going to charge us for it. I'm just hoping it's not too much.

Comments so far indicate 3 real preferences; 1) it is fine the way it is, 2) a small something under the screen for stuff, usually stuff you'd plug into a USB, 3) full center storage similar to what Soflauthor has sketched/designed.

I'd like something but it doesn't need to be much. #2 would probably suit my needs but delivered as a full version (#3) I certainly wouldn't complain.

For the field retrofit, I think that Tesla should consider a redesign of the current console to a)correct the armrest/cupholder conflict, b) add two rear cupholders, c)provide UBS ports for the rear, d)add slide out trays.

This new design should be compatible with a second optional console that extends to under the display.

Perhaps Tesla should abandon the idea of using the center console as an armrest and simply add optional folding armrests that attach to the seats.


Maybe for the S 2.0, but I'm guessing it is much too late for seat redesign of existing components. Addons, however, seem reasonable so that's what we've been talking about so far.

A complete redesign is worth considering, however. For folks who really use the car to hold more than 2 people additional cupholders in the rear area are useful. Given that a middle armrest is out of the question, the cupholders must be attached to the center console.

Tech pkg provides USB for rear, so I think that's already covered. Trays and whatnot are details but count as some small item storage is desired, so that sounds good.

My existing car allows the armrest to position just above a storage spot that has an electronic connector. So that should work.

All basically for a Model S 2.0 design, if it turns out this kind of thing is a huge factor for folks.

@Larry, that center armrest is also the climate delivery system for the passengers in the back seat.

There is one advantage of having the cup holders next to your elbow, that did not occur to me earlier, but that may have at least in part driven Tesla's decision for the design as is: It's almost impossible for beverages in those cup holders to spill on the touch screen. Just to name one positive aspect of that setup.

@Larry, that center armrest is also the climate delivery system for the passengers in the back seat. - BYT

Yes, I am aware of that, but it still should be possible to accommodate the rear ventilation. For example, they don't have to resort to permanent cupholders embedded in the console, they could use the pop-out kind, or the duct work could wrap around permanent cupholders. Likewise, adding trays that pop out shouldn't neccessarily obstruct the duct work.


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