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Some info from Australia rep

Specs for Australia will be different from those for North America. It is likely that cars here will be far more highly specced than standard in the USA. This, to some extent will apply to Europe as well. The roadster here is released with about $20000 worth of equipment which was not standard in the USA car. This is because Australians normally expect their cars to be at higher spec levels as standard. (True). Also, generally our choices are more limited than USA.
The interior of the S is designed to be relatively easy to change, so that in the future, if one tires say, of cloth interior it can be relatively easy to upgrade to leather trim and different accent panels. This is vastly different to every other car on the market, and is the first bit of real NEWS i have heard in quite a while! The S, in essence is expected to be a car that people will keep for far longer than the usual ICE vehicle, where many change their cars every 3 or 4 years (in Australia, this is the usual lease term). Since drivetrain will likely never need upgrading, and the exterior design is a classic along the lines of say Jaguar or Porsche, whose shapes never really seem to date, really, the only reasons to change cars would be the interior or battery capacity. The latter has already been discussed at length, and it seems that new technology will eventually fitted to the same form factor.

Deliveries of right hand drive vehicles are likely to be at more or less the same time as Europe, that is once the USA "backlog" is made manageable. After all, to make a right hand drive vehicle is just a different dash and front axle. One of the major benefits of the skateboard.
Further, it is likely that other interior colours will become available once general production settles in.
Furthermore, he tells me the company is NOT set in stone. If say 3000+ people want saddle leather or a centre console or door pockets, it likely will be made available. So folks, start writing!!

He also tells me that air suspension is fantastic and an option well worth having simply for ride quality, if nothing else, but of course there are other benefits as well, such as loading height adjustment, steep driveways and of course aerodynamically at highway speeds.

As surmised elsewhere, design studio should be up within the next day or so.

Thanks dborn! That sounds very promising. The interchangeable interior panels are a typical Tesla thing -- a paradigm shift in construction that very likely benefits themselves (in terms of production cost, scale and flexibility when building to order) as well as their customers.

Also, Tesla has demonstrated more than once that they are listening, so I guess we might be in for a few nice surprises wrt, e.g., center console storage and leather colors. I can imagine that these things are settled already for the first batch of Signature deliveries, but while those are being delivered I can as easily imagine additional options being prepared that become available soon thereafter.

@Volker.Berlin said: I can imagine that these things [e.g. center console and/or other leather options] are settled already for the first batch of Signature deliveries, but while those are being delivered I can as easily imagine additional options being prepared that become available soon thereafter.

I agree, but I'm also concerned. As a relatively early sig buyer (#422) I have no problem paying the "early adopter tax" that forces me to accept delivery of a car with some options that I do not need. However, TM has had ample time to assess the inadequacies of the beta interior, study the copious feedback from people on the reservation list ,and provide an interior design and appointments that match the spectacular exterior. If they do not do that beginning with the first car delivered, I view it as a fail.

There is really no reason that saddle leather (as an example) could not be offered from day #1. It would be maddening if it does become an option 3 or 6 months later. There is really no reason why a center console insert could not be designed and provided as a extra price option from day #1. TM has had adequate time to recognize that many on the list want it.

The early sigs will be "sales ambassadors" for the Model S throughout 2012. I have to believe that a few hundred of my friends, business associates, and acquaintances will take a thorough look at my Model S. One to three percent might actually buy one if they like what they see. If anything, any added cost of properly outfitting sig interiors could be viewed as a "marketing expense" by TM.

Of course, I recognize that we still don't know what the sig interior will be, and I'm hopeful that my comments will be moot. I've just got a bad feeling that some of us might be disappointed.

Soflauthor, I agree to a certain extent, but truth is there will always be improvements applied to vehicles that are produced at a later time. That's not unique to Tesla, or cars, or anything -- it's just the way life is. The first cars are limited in options and are more likely to have some problems that were not recognized before it was too late. However, it's never too late to fix those problems for cars that are produced in the future.

Regarding saddle leather and center console, whether Tesla had enough time to change plans or not is beyond me. Maybe they didn't even need any time b/c they were planning for a surprise center console from day 1... Or maybe they used the time since the reveal of the Beta interiors and actually changed something without letting us know so far. Or maybe time did in fact not permit a change for some reason, and the change will be introduced later. As far as I'm concerned, each of these three scenarios is about as likely.

I think it is very promising that Tesla has so far responded pretty well to complaints from the forums. Sun shades on the panorama roof? Blind spot warning? Three-phase charging? USB ports for the rear seats? As far as I can tell, all of these were not planned in the beginning and were made possible in response to input from reservation holders. I'm fairly confident even the first Signature "recipients" will be satisfied with what they get when the day has come.

@V.B: To me, an improvement would be something like ACC, enhanced parking assist, or any other functional enhancement that would be appropriate for Version 1.1 of the Model S and beyond. I have no trouble with not getting these as an early adopter—it's the price we pay to be first.

I suppose my concern goes to the "feel" of the entire car—interior included. If the interior is somehow lacking aesthetically, it will provide reviewers with something to criticize, and more important, will provide potential, but reticent adopters (who are not EV fanatics) with an excuse for passing (at least for now).

Sure, all of us here want an EV and will put up with an interior that is not necessarily competitive with cars in the Model S class (I know, I know, there really are no cars in the Model S class:), but for an Audi or BMW or MB or Lexus buyer who might be otherwise enticed, a weak interior (at the Model S price point) could be the sale killer.

I agree that TM has responded to many customer comments and they deserve kudos for doing so. I just wish that your list included more leather choices and a center console. Maybe it will when everything sorts out.

I really do hope that your optimism is justified and that sig holders will be surprised when the design studio opens (this weekend??) and first cars begin delivery in about 4 months. We'll see.

Volker.Berlin wrote:

"I think it is very promising that Tesla has so far responded pretty well to complaints from the forums. Sun shades on the panorama roof? Blind spot warning? Three-phase charging? USB ports for the rear seats? As far as I can tell, all of these were not planned in the beginning and were made possible in response to input from reservation holders. I'm fairly confident even the first Signature "recipients" will be satisfied with what they get when the day has come."

Where does Tesla's website say we can now get blind spot warning, either standard or in an option package? I must have missed that one. (I have it on my E350 BlueTec and it's a great feature, since that vehicle has a horrible "B" pillar blind spot!)

"There is really no reason that saddle leather... could not be offered from day #1."

How could you possibly know this?

That is exactly what I have been telling my kids. Just replace the seats, carpet, etc... (and of course the battery) and the car should just keep going. Thats great if you would be able to change the dash.

I know there are shortcomings to being first to getting the vehicle but I would not be too happy if say blind spot notification came out two months after I received my car. Seems Tesla would understand this.

@Olanmills: The only possible reason would be production simplication, but that is tenuous at best. If TM oversimplifies, but degrades the appearance of the interior options for potential customers, it's a bad decision.

Saddle is a color, not another material. Leathers are available in hundreds of die lots (colors). Inventory costs would be minimal, since every car is pre-configured and the numbers are relatively small. TM can certainly find a supplier that can provide in relatively low volume, orders would occur at least 3 mos. in advance, so planning and JIT delivery is certainly possible. Fabrication costs are identical to other colors. Unless I'm missing something, saddle could be offered on day #1 with virtually no additional production cost.


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