One of the helpful Tesla folks shared the list of cars that are in Palo Alto this weekend:
You can see all the pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickjhowe/sets/72157631023465302/
Sweet! I'll be there tomorrow for 2 drives. Do you get to pick the car?
I didn't ride today - I was just checking out the colours (I drove there a few weeks ago)
Yes, if you are interested in a specific car just make sure you tell them. There seem to be more cars than people, so it shouldn't been too difficult to get the exact one you want.
The drive goes by VERY quickly (at least subjectively), and you will find you can either enjoy the drive, OR focus on the displays, controls, etc. I found it impossible to do both. I meant to try and focus on the different regen, steering settings, what the displays are showing, etc. but I was enjoying the drive too much.
This is just a video of a Sig Red driving in the Tesla HQ parking lot - but I still can't get over how silent these cars are when they drive past... http://youtu.be/Y0y-_brcsao
Yeah it's scary quiet!
BTW - Thanks for the pics @NickJHowe! Jealous that there are so many Model S on the left coast that you get a full dozen for Get Amped events while we're lucky to get five out East :-p
Sorry, maybe getting a little off topic here, but it just struck me looking at those 4-digit VIN numbers. Is the first non-signature, production Model S VIN#00001001? That is, A) assuming there are 1000 Signature Model S, and B) there are no breaks in VIN #s produced, then it looks like there are 200 Model S?? I would love to think that is true, but it doesn't sound right. Does anyone know if there is any significance to the 1100 & 1200 series?
@jcadman22 I might be going back tomorrow so I'll ask about the VINs. I'll also check the full VIN strings.
Yes, those are serial numbers, or at least the last 4 digits, not VINs.
I'd heard that the 01xx series was reserved for marketing demonstrators. Seems these numbers go all the way up to xx1208!
Aside from the discrepancy, that's amazing in its implications. Starting from Johann's(?) and Elon's xxxxx01 and xxxxx02, that indicates over 1,200 road-worthy cars manufactured to date! All 85kwh, apparently, but not all Sigs (?).
Confusingly exciting, and vice versa.
I'll try to drive the black performance with tan cf interior. Hopefully it has premium sound for my USB stick
You might like to pre-clear using the stick. Seems to me I read of someone not being permitted to use his own stick/source.
I drove the car I wanted and listened to my stick just fine. Thanks for the heads up on the cars! Very helpful. I
Here's my impressions:
I'm 6’8 and today my wife drove the black performance with tan/cf interior first and then I took my own test drive after. It was obviously a blast to drive.
I have sat in the back before and hit my head, but this time there was a panoramic roof and I had no issues whatsoever. It makes a big difference for headroom. I can post a pic if anyone wants it. There is plenty of leg room as well. I was really impressed at the difference since last time.
As the driver, I noticed a couple of issues. First, when I move the steering wheel down to go with my lowered seat it blocks the screens on both sides so it's hard to see the nav and media, etc. through the wheel. I tried fiddling with the seat and wheel, but never got it where I wanted exactly. the wheel also doesn't go down very far so I have to grip the wheel below the buttons. I could raise my seat, but then I'd hit my head. My infinity moves the screen down with the steering wheel which is nice and will be missed. The second issue is that the wheel does not raise when the car is turned off. It's hard to get out with my legs smacking into the wheel, but I am told this can be fixed via software.
Power folding side mirrors sound like a no go. They told me they are trying to kill the mirrors and replace with cameras in the future anyway in new models so I doubt they would add motors for folding. Luckily it was easy to reach out and fold the mirror in.
The panoramic roof bar is ugly, but I guess I won't see it while driving. Actually I won't see the panoramic roof hardly at all given you have to look up and back while driving to see it. My two cars have the moonroof in front of you so it's more noticeable and feels much more open. I'm kinda sad that I have this huge open roof for the non existent passengers behind me when I drive, but will appreciate the air coming through.
Regen is partially overrated IMO. Our mini s and Past bmws already slow down nearly as much. It didn't slow down enough to a avoid breaking when coming up on a car or at a stop sign. I was expecting a lot more. It's still nice, but often exaggerated a bit.
I'm pretty torn on the stereo. I brought a USB stick with flac and lossless which it played fine, but I'll need more time to judge the stereo. I heard 5 tracks and my initial impression was that it is lacking bass. I listened to hip hop And electronic for a bit where I know the bass should be hard and sharp, but I didn't feel much. I made sure eq was flat. I noticed with the bass up high it has some powers but the flat eq is just too low in bass. Also, I thought Dolby made it all sound worse and had to turn that off. It's nice that you can move the center position to be on the driver. Also, it turns up plenty loud and doesn't get distorted at all which is nice. I saw slak3r on the car for those who like it.
I thought the fit and finish of the interior was excellent. I loved the shelf, pouch, bag holding area, cf, etc. it was all really high quality.
For nav, if you don't have tech package then it is purely google maps with directions. No nav whatsoever. The arrow won't move when you drive.
I love the new exterior nose and fit of the trim. It is much improved. Mike had a pic of the red s with new nose that will be standard.
Lastly, I was told creep and hill hold are coming in an update for sure.
Hope this is helpful!
@Brian H. OK, some VINS (sorry I didn't get them all):
If someone can be bothered to match the VINs against the specs in the original post there might be a connection...
Thanks for the review Michael23.
I was also at the Palo Alto event yesterday and drove the Black Performance model.
Background: 6'6", current car is a BMW 7-series, brought wife and two kids (7 and 10)
Before Event: Planned to buy non-performance, 60kWh battery, pano roof
After Event: May switch to performance model
I only test drove the performance model because the non-performance models did not have the panoramic roof, which I've decided is important because of my height.
Based on the web pictures, I had not been interested in the 21" performance wheels -- they look like dirty 21" silver wheels in the pictures. In person they look fantastic! The wheels alone were almost enough to push my wife over to the performance version.
I had no problem fitting in the car. I found myself bumping into things a little getting in and out of the car, but as a tall guy I'm guessing it's just a matter of adjusting how I get in/out.
This was the one area I was worried about going into this. Namely worried about the lack of adjustments available with the Model S seats vs. my 7. While the drive was short, I found the seats more than acceptable. I did find that I was putting the seat very low and with the Pano roof I believe I can probably take it up a little and be more comfortable. Overall wasn't as disappointed as I was expecting to be based on specs.
Lots of space in general, even vs. a large car like the BMW 7. Wife loves the center console open, but I prefer having a compartment that I can put things inside. We both would really like a better solution for cupholders in the back seat. We looked at the rear center console (in the green car) and weren't very impressed with that as a solution. It'd be fine if it was pull down rather than something that you had to store somewhere. Front cup holders are also too far back.
Touch Panel Stuff
I'm a gadget guy, so this is a big part of the reason I like this car. That said, I spent more time driving and not much time playing. Some things worked a little different than I expected, but everything that we tried was pretty responsive. We used the navigation on the second half of the drive and it was really well implemented vs. the BMW, my wife's Acura, etc...
I'm probably going to regret having driven the performance version. It's really just incredible. I've never had such a great driving experience in my life and it's going to be hard to step back to the non-performance version. Reaction from my son was "buy this car -- it's like being on a roller coaster". Reaction from my daughter was "don't buy this car -- it's like being on a roller coaster". Needless to say, the acceleration has to be felt to be appreciated. I say this even with the roads available on this test drive having relatively low speed limits.
Also can't say enough about the handling and suspension, so I won't even try to put words to this. If you've not driven it yet, do yourself a favor and do it -- or better yet, don't...you'll just end up doubling your time on this forum impatiently waiting for your car to arrive!
As I said above, I'm now leaning toward the performance version. Given that I wasn't planning to buy the 85kWh battery, this is a bigger jump than otherwise. Will need a few more test drives to compare the two and feel better about giving this up now, though.
That said, as someone who stood in line for one of the original iPhones, buying the Model S has the same feel. It may not have everything, but what it does have is so incredible and compelling that there's nothing to compare. Prior to seeing the Model S, I had planned to buy an Audi A7. This now feels as unthinkable as buying a Palm Treo or feature phone back in 2007.
@Michael23 and @cdonley, thanks for the reviews.
@Michael23, Were you and your wife, both, able to test drive? That is great. I was under the impression that only one person can test drive the car, and that too for just 10 minutes.
@cdonley, I have to say first, thanks for the review and Michael23 as well. To cdonley, I am buying the performance but test drove the Standard and although I have never been in the Performance, I was still impressed with what the Standard can do! Maybe you should get into the Standard first before making a final decision, but please, don't take my word for it alone. As I said, I am also buying the Performance version and am waiting to be pleasantly surprised!
Oh, just get the freakin' performance. You only live once.
You noted your kids' ages: 7 & 10. Did they use the jump seats? Were they available?
@BrianH: Jump seats not available. My daughter tried at Santana Row and they seemed a little small for her, but she's tall. Son didn't fit at all (5'1"). Was actually surprised they were able to ride at all, as I heard that kids weren't allowed to ride in previous events.
@Andrew18: I have said some variant of this to my wife for two months. Was funny that it turned out to be wheels that have nearly closed the deal. :-)
@BYT: Will definitely be trying standard as well. I'm guessing that they will both be more than adequate on my slow commute along 101 in the bay area! Have a feeling that perf will be difficult to un-experience, though. Hopefully the stores start getting demos soon!
I put a deposit down so my wife could drive. The drive was only like 5 turns and 5 minutes long. Way too short. Very fun though!
@Michael and cdonley-
I probably won't be able to test drive before my expected November? delivery so I greatly appreciate your perspectives. I'm 6'8" and had a few concerns after sitting in a beta a few months ago. You touched on the issue of the partially blocked displays when the seat was in it's lowest position. it sounds like this could be rectified by increasing the travel on the column an inch or two. Did your Tesla rep have any comment? Ducking my head constantly to see my screens could become an annoyance.
My only other ergonomic concern was where the touchscreen clipped my leg right below the knee. Long trips banging against the edge could be a problem. The reps told me the seat would go back a bit further in final production straightening the leg and correcting the issue. Did either of you notice this or have any concerns?
In fact, I didn't reserve for a while because I was concerned about interior space. Now I'm stuck with reservation #P9964, so no risk of a November delivery here! :-)
That said, I sat in one of the betas a few months ago and the seat does go back a bit further (or so it seems) in the final production car. I didn't have an issue with my legs rubbing against the center console edge in the production version. I have that problem with lots of other cars, including my wife's MDX, which makes for a lot of leg pain after a few hours of driving.
The specific issues I noted are (as Michael mentions) the steering column doesn't auto-raise when parked, which means I either manually move it up or do some extra effort to move my leg under the steering wheel to get out.
The other issue that you may notice when getting in/out is that if you put the seat all the way back, I believe that you sometimes bump into the B-Pillar when getting in/out. I have a similar problem when getting in/out of a 3 or 5 series BMW when I get them as service loaners. I'm usually able to adjust the way I get in and out after a few tries to minimize bumping this, but it was noticeable and I'm going to experiment some more when the stores start getting demos.
I'll be honest that I didn't pay much attention to whether I can see the dash, but do remember seeing 60mph at one point on a 45 mph zone (oops!) and was able to see the navigation readout on the left side of the display. The diameter of the steering wheel itself is a little small vs. my current car, so I could imagine that parts of the display were probably clipped and I didn't notice in such a brief drive.
for the future times you are obliged to drive the MDX, I suggest a lightweight kneepad, turned sideways. Maybe not comfortable, but better than sharp edges.
cdonley, my favorite topic: Head rests. Did you notice if the head rests were up high enough to adequately support your head in case of a hefty rear-ender? I'm about as tall as you are, although of course that does not say much about the sitting height.
Headrests were fine for me. I think I needed to adjust my seats better because I tilted the seat way back, but didn't actually need it to preventbhumping my head. When I gunned it I flew backwards which was scared and fun at the same time haha. I did not hit my knees at all. The seat moves so far back now. No had to reach out for the screen so will have to play with settings more I guess,
I asked about the steering column and they said its not being adjusted except for auto raise when you get out. This is tricky though because the car turns off when your butt is out of the seat unlike other cars where you turn the key,but I guess they could trigger it on park and drive.
I hope I can figure out how to see the screens otherwise nav is kinda useless to me in there.
Cdonley I was like you getting a 60 kw, but had to bump to performance as I knew it would be too much fun to pass up! We also love the dark rims. Really nice.
- but I guess they could trigger it on park and drive.
Or better yet, trigger it when the seatbelt is unfastened.
@cdonley and Michael23
Great news about the seat travel. Much appreciated. I'll deal with the B-pillar. I'm reminded of the time I climbed into a roadster in a hotel lobby. I lhad to extract myself in a less than graceful manner to the great amusement of a female Tesla rep standing by the car. She kindly offered to get me a can opener.
"You don't sit in the Roadster; you wear it!"
A famous adage I just made up.
Re: Headrests. They guy in this video illustrates perfectly what I mean. That's almost exactly how I fit into the Model S beta(!) when I test-sat in it at this year's Geneva Motor Show: The back of the head just barely matches the very upper end of the head rest, and the front of the head is level with the window frame/sun visor:
I'm afraid I'll have to get used to sitting like that, ironically, in an otherwise very large car. I usually order my shirts with "extra-long sleeve", maybe Tesla could offer an "extra-long back" option for their car seats! ;-)
(If you find an extra "y" in my above post, please keep it!)
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