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What time is it? NAIAS TIME!

Good morning,

Christmas is over and New Years has passed. That means, here in the great state of MI, our SECOND Christmas is about to start. That’s right on January 14th the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) opens to the public. I looked at the 2012 list of exhibitors and according to the site Tesla will be in the building. Logic dictates they’ll be showing off the Model S to the masses (long way to go to NOT have it here). Three things –

1.) Anyone from MI that plans on attending, or any other state for that matter, let me know. My wife and I are going Tuesday the 17th at 9 am. It would be great to say high to some fellow visionaries.

2.) I plan on bringing my DSLR to the show for some high-res pics of all the booths. Are there any particular shots that individuals would like me to get? I have an incredible zoom so even if they aren’t necessarily letting us go hands on I should still be able to get some pretty good shots. (Although I truly hope we’ll be able to sit in one at this event)

3.) Any questions we want asked? Make a list and I’ll be sure and bother, I mean… inquire with someone. I can’t guarantee I’ll get an answer, but I promise I’ll ask the question.

Hopefully it will be a car with the new interior. If so, then the more pics of the insides, the better! Also, the front of the car to see if they've modified the nose or the hood at all.

Some questions for TM:
1. Range of height adjustment of active air suspension.
2. Seat adjustments in 8-way and 12-way power seats.
3. If TM will sell upgrade battery packs to model S owners.
4. If ranger travel fee waived during warranty period.
5. Warranty coverage and length of warranty.


Nice that you offer to pass our questions along. My little list :

- what kind of data package is needed to let the iPhone app show you the car's condition? Or can it be done by having the car hook into your WiFi network at home ?
- will the car be able to store maps you download at home for later use ?

Sure hope you'll be able to get pictures from the (new) interior ;-)


Thank you for the offer. I'm looking forward to the photos.

The question I would love to ask is:

Other than increasing capacity in the batteries, what hardware differences are there between the base models of the 40, 60, and 85 kWh vehicles? (i.e. could a vehicle purchased with a 40 kWh battery be upgraded to an 85 kWh battery in a few years and would the performance improve commensurately as a result?)

@Alan: Yes, please, the more pics of the interior (assuming it's final) the better. Thx.

Actually, I'm hopeful that TM will upgrade design studio to include the interior sometime during the NAIAS dates. The vast majority of us on the reservation list won't be able to go to the show and official representations of the interior would be much appreciated.

Alan, please confirm the overall width of the production Model S. We've seen widely varying answers to this, and the current Options & Pricing page gives a much smaller dimension than we had heard earlier.

I can't think of any questions to add to what others have already posted, I would simply like to reiterate my thanks that you're going to do this! Please take lots of pictures and put them up in high-res!

Alan, I may go to the show. My question: is the life of the battery pack pretty much the same for all versions - approximately 10 years or will the 300 pack last 15 years compared to say 10 years for the 40 pack?

Will you be "high" during the show? Will it be a contact or a chemical high? ;)

Ask about provision for front license plates. Half the world, at least, wants to (must) know!

Yes, blog post about front license plate and aerodynamics would be appreciated.

1. The active air suspension will have manual adjustments. High1 setting at 6.9" ground clearance and high2 setting at 7.3" ground clearance. Standard ground clearance is 6". At 10 mph High2 goes to High1. At 19 mph suspension goes to standard 6" ground clearance.

2.The 8-way seats have standard movements, including forward/back, up/down and recline. The 12-way seats also include lumbar support and heated seats.

3. The battery packs are swappable, however upgrading is not an option at this time. TM advises that we select the pack that will meet our current and future needs.

Thanks to Stephen Smith of TM for this information.

Mmmm, looking forward to lumbar support! Even my '06 Mercedes SLK doesn't have that.

Nice work, Stephens.

1. The active air suspension will have manual adjustments. High1 setting at 6.9" ground clearance and high2 setting at 7.3" ground clearance. Standard ground clearance is 6". At 10 mph High2 goes to High1. At 19 mph suspension goes to standard 6" ground clearance. -Stephen.K

Interesting -- given that the original Model S specs had the groundclearance at 4.5" (iirc), increased to 6.1" (possibly in response to much wailing and gnashing of teeth on these boards), I would have thought that the air suspension would tucked the car down <5" at highway speeds.

Still, I appreciate the extra 1.2" of clearance. It's unwise to travel gravel roads in a low-slung vehicle.

Ask what the second calipers are for on the rear brakes. Pretty sure they are the parking brake, but it would be good to know for sure as I don't want to be replacing two sets of shoes for the rear disc's.

Would like to know if there is any protection from power spikes or lightning ss the Leaf does: Check out this video here

What will the all season 19" tire manufacturer and model number be for production?

Does the air suspension keep the car level with hard cornering?

Will Jeremy Clarkson like the car? JK'ing...


I asked a Tesla engineer about that at the factory tour. The second caliper is indeed for the parking brake. It's electrically actuated and automatically engages when you put the car in Park.

The active air suspension will have manual adjustments. High1 setting at 6.9" ground clearance and high2 setting at 7.3" ground clearance. Standard ground clearance is 6". At 10 mph High2 goes to High1. At 19 mph suspension goes to standard 6" ground clearance. (stephen.kamichi)

Thank you very much, Stephen! That is a level of detail that we are not yet used to... Very interesting. I'm still wondering, like Robert...

Alan, could you confirm this information? And could you specifically clarify whether or not the air suspension will further lower the car at higher speeds, and to which extent? If the air suspension does not put the car lower than regular suspension, that it will not affect aerodynamics and there is no point for me in getting that option (6" is plenty, I don't need any more ground clearance, but I consider getting the air suspension for improved aerodynamics at higher speeds).

Yep, I'm wondering if there's Low1 and Low2 settings. I'd kick Low1 in automatically at some speed (e.g. 50mph), with Low2 on driver command.

Please confirm that there are front tow hook point(s) we could use to attach a license plate holder if we don't what the front bumper drilled. Or a better solution for front license plates.

@Alan, If I have standard option of performance tires & wheels on signature model and I opt for no cost option 19" wheels with all season tires can I use the difference $3500 for other options like panoramic roof and wall charger etc...?

Oh, and not only does logic dictate that they will be showing off Model S at the show, Tesla's twitter feed explicitly says just that!

@Teslamodels4me...if that turns out to be true I'd be much more inclined to go for the Performance Model S, but opt for standard wheels and tires. And I don't mind being forced to spend that money on other options that I actually want.

I would love to hear the reactions of the general public, and know what the line looks like to see it, verses say a new BMW, etc.

Even here in So Cal with a showroom close by, most people's reaction when I tell them I am getting a Tesla, is... "you mean that electric roadster car?". By the time I explain the Model S to them, they can't believe what I am telling them about it.

It's going to be very interesting over the next few months, as the Model S starts getting more prime-time publicity.

Add whether or not the two main driving screens can be easily seen with polarized glasses- oakleys are what I had in mind - for those of us that are visually challenged and spend lots on designer sport prescription sunglasses....

Alan, thanks for the opportunity for additional insights.

I'm interested to know whether there will be an Android app in addition to the iPhone app.

I'm also interest to know if factory tours are possible while the Model S is in production, or more ideally when our specific car is expected to be in production.

Thanks again!

The Silicon Valley auto show is this weekend. It looks like just about every auto manufacturer will be there, EXCEPT Tesla.

Tesla is not listed for the DC auto show in several weeks either. Maybe they ARE like Apple and CES, so important they get a line when the Beta shows up in the store, so why pay to go show it somewhere with all the other products. If you had sold out every car you could make a year out already, would you be spending money on auto shows that do not command a lot of press attention?

They are exhibiting at the Detroit Auto Show and the CES show in Las Vegas, according to Stephen Smith of TM.

About the sunglasses: Leo suggested modern screens are polarized diagonally (45°) to leave about 50% brightness when viewed straight on. Could test it by tilting your head!

I found a set of wheels identical to the 21" turbine style wheels on the Sig but at 19" will accept all season tires. They are made specifically for Mercedes vehicles. What I need to know is the bolt pattern and offset dimensions of the Model S.

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