New to the DC store and other lessons learned

New to the DC store and other lessons learned

I just walked over to the Tesla DC store (yes friends, I only work four blocks away) and learned some new things. They now have on permanent display the Model S and claim to be the last store to receive one. These models will rotate among and between stores but there should always be one on display - in all stores - from now on, the assistant store manager told me. Currently on display is the beta (VIN 22) with black exterior, black leather interior and black piano décor. Wow, all I can say is that the experience was overwhelming. This is the third S I’ve sat in and this time it really seemed to strike a chord saying: this is a big, luxurious car.

Things I learned which were new to me:

1. The assistant store manager said he believed that the two padded arm rests, immediately aft of the famed cup holders, would likely open to include some storage space. He emphasized that this was his belief, not his certain knowledge. (I don’t want to start false rumors.)

2. The display has been subtly redesigned to make it more intuitive and requiring fewer screens to open as one drills down to a particular function. What I appreciated about this improvement, aside from the improved functionality, was that the background color and shade has been changed. Previously I remember the background as being a garish white that was in much too much contrast against the comfortable interior surroundings. The new display background has been toned down (also over the steering wheel) so that in both day and night mode they are really pleasing, and yes, luxurious. Of course I imagine future Aps will give us all kinds of additional cool and funky choices.

3. The assistant store manager said that it was Tesla’s desire (again not committing) that they would have a small fleet of vehicles to travel around from store to store so that customers could see and drive several examples all at once – with/without air, performance/non-performance, pano/regular roof, big battery/small(!) battery, etc.

4. He told me that crash testing was about to be finished (end of the month) and that they had crashed something close to 60 vehicles. Ouch! We both lamented on what a terrible loss that was, imagining these full, production-ready vehicles all smashed to smithereens with few recoverable components.

5. I fit into the back seat without a problem (6’2”) but admittedly I did have an awkward time getting out. The rear wheel well extends forward so much that it requires a degree of flexibility to egress, which sadly I am losing more and more these days.

6. My guide was still uncertain as to whether the rear seat headrests would be stationary or adjustable, but seemed to think they would be there in one fashion or another.

7. If I liked the look of the High Power Wall Connector (and I do) but didn’t plan on getting Twin Chargers (and I don’t), I could hook it up to a 50 amp circuit instead of 100 amps in my garage. The former he said would cost a couple of hundred dollars while the latter would likely cost a thousand. I do like the look of the Tesla, color coordinated, wall connector but I will still have to wrestle with spending $1,200 for it.

I know zooming around (whishing around?) in our new Teslas will be the ultimate thrill, but I have to tell you, sitting in this black beast with the smell of new leather and listening to Beethoven’s 5th in the background wasn’t shabby!

andrewmfallon | 24. April 2012

Your timing was perfect - it just arrived this morning. I'm set for going in Friday. Will be the first time my best half gets to see the car.

Ohms.Law | 24. April 2012

My timing was even better than that. They had just put it on display about 30 minutes before I walked in. I'm hoping your better half will like it as much as the rest of us!

Volker.Berlin | 24. April 2012

Ohms.Law, thank you very much! Very exciting. We're getting closer every day! :-)

Larry Chanin | 24. April 2012

Ohms.Law, thanks very nice write-up.


Larry Chanin | 24. April 2012

Will be the first time my best half gets to see the car.

John, are you worried? ;-)


petero | 24. April 2012


Thanks for the exciting update. I really like your phrase “whishing around.”

For what is worth, when my wife saw the "S" in Fremont she was as excited as I was.

andrewmfallon | 24. April 2012

Ah Larry. - not at all! I've got all my selections done in my head. Just waiting or the magic email to come!

Larry Chanin | 24. April 2012

Hi John,

My recommendation is to defer to your wife for color selection. ;-)


Andrew18 | 24. April 2012

Oooohh... I'm so excited!

Tom A | 24. April 2012

"I don't want to start false rumors."

Too late!!


Thanks for the writeup. Now I'll have to stop by the DC store and drool a bit more.

That's a lot of smashed-up cars - does every model from the US for every automaker go through that many cars?!? I'm all for safety, but I hope that those cars are at least recycled or something...seems like a huge waste of resources. Couldn't get the measurements with 30 cars? 60 not enough? Seems to me there is much room for improvement for instrumentation, at the least. Perhaps some streamlined rules, maybe a redesign of the tests (fewer tests for same amount of data)?

It's fascinating to hear that Tesla expects (hopes) to have a few models of varying options for test drives. That would be a lot of non-revenue vehicles for their 20+ stores worldwide (and growing). Hmmm...maybe those cars would become available for sale at a discount after so many months as a test-drive vehicle......?

Brian H | 24. April 2012

And all 60 were bright orange!

BYT | 24. April 2012

WAIT, bright orange isn't an option in the Model S color pallet! :D

Brian H | 25. April 2012

Only sold to crash dummies. They like it above all other colors!

Andrew18 | 25. April 2012


tdelta1000 | 26. April 2012

That's great information and it's good to hear that changes are afoot.

Brian H | 26. April 2012

BTW, BYT, that's "palette", not "pallet". The former is a color board used by artists, the latter a loading platform for use by forklifts. I have no idea what color pallets are used by TM; the usual is natural light wood tan, sorta. ;)

BYT | 27. April 2012

Although I would believe Tesla would order all that paint to coat and cover a Model S that it would arrive on a pallet, you are correct, I meant to say color palette. That is a lot of paint after all... ;)

ddruz | 09. Mai 2012

Here is the response I received yesterday from Stephen Smith at Tesla with respect to point #1 in the original post. They are not planning to add any storage under the arm rests:

"I checked one last time to be sure, but it is confirmed that there will not be additional storage located under the armrests. There are electronics and other functional devices under the armrest area that do not allow for storage space. Please feel free to post my response."

Ohms.Law | 09. Mai 2012

ddruz: Thanks for the update. I was hesitant to post something at the beginning of this thread (that might be incorrect) about storage under the arm rests, lest it start us speculating about something that led nowhere. Your clarification seems to put this to rest.

On the other hand, Soflauthor’s post today ( seems to hold some promise from George B’s reported comments about the Accessory Center Console (ACC).

The bottom line: this will be one terrific car. And one, I believe, that will be well worth the wait.