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Luxury Factor Poll

It seems that my thread had been censored by the moderators. The question is why? Perhaps it was a mistake or technical glitch? I sure hope so. It would be pretty sad if it had been done purposely.

I'll start it again:

I have a question for those who have seen and driven the S. After having driven the roadster and been sadly disappointed I can't help wondering if the S is going to have that same cheap go-cart feel. Remember that a car in this price range is purchased for luxury and prestige by the general public. Of course, it is also electric, but that will only be a second thought to the majority of buyers. Does the S have the required "heft" and feel of a true luxury car or is Tesla counting on/riding on a wave of electro-geeks for it's success?

I also would like to comment that the thread talking about my original thread disappearing is now closed for comment. Note also that I did not receive ANY notification from the moderators.

Re: "cheap go-cart feel"

I think you mean that the acceleration curve of an ICE car is, to you, clearly preferable to that of a typical BEV. So you seem to want the accelerator pedal to stimulate an app that (1) puts in a delay in response, à la ICE cars, (2) mimics the acceleration curve that a V12 ICE would provide and, perhaps, (3) include a woofer response to give that macho rumble sound as you take off.

Personally, I would rather do without it. If I want to have that experience, I'll go back to the real thing, with the smells and smoke and everything to remind me of the "good old days."

@ EdG, you forgot the jolts from changing gears.

Sorry... I was just talking about moving through first gear. You're right. There's more to miss about ICE cars.

jsanok, I know what you're talking about with the Roadster and anybody who's driven one for any length of time would know also. The Roadster's amenities to put it politely are fairly austere. It's not designed for luxury, it's designed for performance and sport.

Given the Roadster's size, weight, the materials it's made of, and the freakish torque of the electric motor, of course it has a go-cartish feel. Even an ICE Lotus Elise would have that feel.

The Model S on the other hand, weighs over 4,000 pounds, has the best sound insulation and the suspension to match the weight. I think the luxury feel of the Model S will be a night and day comparison to the Roadster.


Given the significant improvements of the Model S over the Roadster; the increased seating and weight, increased range, potentially comparable performance, and over the top amenities, how is it possible for the 300 mile Model S to sell for about 30% less than the Roadster? What, if anything important is being left out?

The Roadsters were virtually hand built, one at a time in VERY low volumes. The Model S will have economies of scale.

Also the entire Roadster body was constructed of carbon fiber while the Model S will be mostly aluminum.

Economies of scale for Model S: true.

Roadster body carbon fiber: Almost, but not quite.

"Designed exclusively to support electric drive technology, the monocoque chassis is constructed with resin-bonded and riveted extruded aluminum."

The roadster uses "Carbon Fiber Body Panels" which are still expensive and lightweight, but have different functions than the chassis. Also note that it says "body panels" not "entire body". From what I have seen it seems to me that some covers and spoilers with little structural importance are made from carbon fiber, possibly not only to save weight but also for the looks. The structural load-bearing parts seem to be aluminum.

This does not invalidate your argument, I just wanted to set things straight.

Thanks for clarifying Volker. When I said "body", I meant body panels. Even a tiny fender bender in a Roadster costs big, big bucks. Comparable damage to a Model S shouldn't be any more expensive than normal ICE vehicles.

@Mycroft, let me be a little nit-picky. I don't think that the fenders even of the Roadster are made from carbon fiber. (I know that "fender bender" may not only refer to the fender, but I could not resist the pun. Thank you for your understanding.)

More seriously, even minor damage to the Model S will cost considerably more to repair than for a "normal" steel-based vehicle, though not as much as it would if carbon fiber was involved. Aluminum is not steel, in many respects. Some comments regarding this issue can be found here:

@Mycroft, last number I read about Model S weight was 3700lbs. Not over 4000. To me that sounds more likely number considering the aluminum body, size of the vehicle and how much lighter electric drivetrain - battery is compared to similar size ICE.

Tesla has made great job with the battery pack making it a part of the structure so that battery pack weight is practically it minus structure otherwise required for that part of the car. It probably is way lighter than any other car manufacturer has even imagined (instead of adding structural weight because of supports required for battery you reduce them as battery is part of the structure).

I agree Timo, Tesla is show how bad the battery design of the Spark, Volt, Fisker Karma, etc. really is. Guys doing battery conversions in the garage are doing a better job then GM.

It was really cool when Elon pointed out how the battery pack actually increased the safety factor of the vehicle.

I've said it before, with the whole drive train located between the rear wheels, and the entire battery pack out of site under the floor, it's like the car runs on frickin magic!!!

@Timo, do you have a source for the cited Model S weight? I have yet to see any numbers other than "around 4000 lbs".

To return to the topic of the original poster: for those of you who have ridden in the Model S at Fremont, and who also have spent some time in the Roadster, how do the two experiences compare / contrast?

This article in Motor Trend puts the estimated weight at 4,200 pounds.


Someone here mentioned 3700 lbs. I think that was based on some vague babbling of some Tesla engineer. It is not a fact, but OTOH neither are any other of those figures. All of them are estimates made by someone eyeballing the vehicle. I would like to think Tesla has a surprise to give us with final product (why else would they keep so low profile about the car weight?).

BTW I used that 3700 with my recent calculations about Model S losses and those fit very well in known numbers. So I think I'm not far from truth, though 4000 lbs is still in the right ballpark if they managed to reduce losses elsewhere (like in drivetrain). 4200 sounds too much to fit in the chart anymore (assuming the 0.225 Cd Musk mentioned is correct).

Few if any have driven an S, but many of us have ridden in it. Cheap go-kart feel doesn't apply. The car accelerated silently and smoothly and cornered flat with no yaw and sway in the slalom. No pitch on acceleration and deceleration. The people inside the car were a little bit more messsed up, the car taking the lateral forces easier than it's occupents in the back seat.

I would say the feeling was more like a roller coaster right after you go over the top, the quiet is eerie, and you accelerate unexpectidly fast.

Thank you Mycroft, you have answered my question. I am looking forward to driving and buying a model S.

To all the smart Alecs who suggested I should install engine noises and gearshift jerks...Well, Tesla DID put a fake grill on the front! Why I have no idea. A Porsche 911 does not need or have a grill and it's styling is legendary.

The 911 certainly has a front air intake; whether you call it a "grill" is a personal choice.

The Model S has heat dissipation needs, so the front air intake isn't entirely historical. Still, I find it curious how the Model S designers have echoed the design requirements of ICE cars in the front grill (where, as jsanok points out, the need is different), while the interior designers are shunning the center console design because of its historical linkage to the transmission/power-train tunnel.

"while the interior designers are shunning the center console design because of its historical linkage to the transmission/power-train tunnel."

Was that from Tesla representatives? I've only seen that in the form of forum theory, not official commentary.

Brianman, you're right -- nothing official, only reading from the unofficial quorum.

@Robert.Boston As you are no doubt aware, earlier models of the Porsche 911's (I owned a 1979 Porsche 930) had very little in the way of a centre console, other than the stick shift, it resembled the "purse space" on the Beta Models at the Factory Event. Recognizing that a rear engine ICE does not require a transmission\power-train tunnel that a front engine vehicle would need, it is interesting to note that a substantial factory centre console was introduced in later models of the 911. (An after market console was available for the earlier model 911's and could be easily installed, it included gauges, ash tray, lighter and small storage area. It fit over the stick shift , and when completed, looked reasonably well integrated with the interior of the cockpit).

Still, I find it curious how the Model S designers have echoed the design requirements of ICE cars in the front grill (where, as jsanok points out, the need is different) [...]

There have been comments from Tesla, I think it was Franz von Holzhausen who said that with their first electric sedan they did not want to stretch customers' expectations of what a sedan looks like too far. They deliberately avoided to alienate potential buyers who would feel awkward driving a car that looks too different from the ICEs we are used to. At the same time he noted that future models may look gradually "more different", whatever that means. I think that's a smart move, but of course it does not help any to explain the interior design.

Dennis, thank you for your comment on the center console in the Porsche 930. Very appropriate comparison IMO and maybe a lesson to learn for Tesla.

Sorry, "Denis", one n.

Yeah, I was a tad disappointed to see the standard grille on the front of the Alpha. I got over it though. Well, until I saw the dog nose on one of the Alphas that is. :-/

One advantage of the "normal" grill is the additional frunk space. If they'd tapered down to a more svelt grille, then frunk space would have suffered a lot, like in the Roadster. For a large sedan, better to have the frunk. They can save the fancy front for the Bluestar or Roadster 3.0.

One advantage of the "normal" grill is the additional frunk space.

I think there is more to the form of the nose ("grille"-like decoration aside) than the frunk volume. I am almost certain it also has a lot to do with aerodynamics (tear drop shape) and safety (crumple zone, pedestrian safety).

Quite probably true Volker. Obviously Lotus didn't worry about those things with the Elise/Roadster design. :)

@Denis Vincent: I agree with @Volker.Berlin. Your comments on the evolution of the Porsche 911 center console are instructive. We won't really know what Tesla has done with the interior until the production intent vehicle is introduced (Jan - Mar??)

It would be a shame, however, for TM to force what appears to be a significant majority of reservation holders to rely on an aftermarket center console solution. If Elon and company are adamant about "open space" under the dashboard display (a poor design decision, IMO), they should at least provide an center console option that is easy to integrate and consistent with other elements of the Model S interior design.

Most would have to agree that the main purpose of a centre console in ICE vehicles was to accommodate the mechanical "user interface" of a standard or automatic transmission, which is obsolete in the Tesla S. Also present and maybe no longer necessary were gauges, ashtrays\lighters, heater mechanism\sound system(cassette\disc player) controls, ect. That leaves us with few but no less relevant and purposeful requirements for some kind of storage compartment and cup holder. I, for one, do not believe that a cup holder belongs in the arm rest, for all the obvious reasons. Audi has it right here, upon depressing a small rectangular plate on the dash, it ingeniously presents itself in a place where you can easily see and reach for it. The "eye sore" and utilitarian hole in the console or arm rest does not belong in a vehicle of this refinement. The same type of holder Audi's have could well be positioned below the monitor on the Model S, however, I'm beginning to think that the design of the interior is nearing completion.

One can keep coins in the cup holders when travelling toll roads.

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