Forums

Franz Speaks!

Franz Speaks!

Finally an article with commentary from the Great Oz of Tesla! Very interesting Q&A. I'm definitely intrigued!

jomo25 | 21. Juli 2011

OK, thanks. But can you include a link please?

jomo25 | 21. Juli 2011

OK, just noticed it on the Blog page. Sorry!

Thanks again!

Timo | 21. Juli 2011

Looks like there will not be tow bar even as option which is just stupid, and doors apparently are not able to clear curbs in the parking lots based on the way that question was avoided. Charging port will not be in the most convenient place even for home users (even that Franz says it is), because everyone I know parks their cars in the garage driving in it front first, not backing their cars in the garage. Same applies to parking lots with "block heater" -type charging port. It will be in the front of the car, which would make cable a really long one unless you back up to the parking place, which is way less convenient than to back out of the parking place.

Very few questions were answered, I'm disappointed. Front license plate position in front for example, which is required by law is not answered. No answer to AC power output plug existence. Just some very generic marketing talk.

I don't think this will be very successful car based on those answers. Some early birds that want performance EV and have extra money will buy this, but that's it. It still is not the car for general public even with lower price tag. Maybe that SUV sells a bit more, at least in US, but that isn't the car for me either. If that is enough for Tesla then fine, maybe they are still deliberately focusing on relatively small market.

Nicu | 22. Juli 2011

@ Timo
You are just a whining geek here. Of course it will be successful, only not for those 1% who thought this is a tinkerer's car who would like to get it for free (or close to). It is a ready to drive elegant beast. No trailers, range extenders, boat trailers etc. They only want to capture 1-3% of the high end market. If you are not in the high end market, forget about it and stop whining.

Believe me, since March 2010 I have seen 1000x you complains about the iPad's "silliness", not having USB or that gizmo or that trick, too expensive, useless ... it will die a painful death etc. etc. - it is simply killing the PC market.

Volker.Berlin | 22. Juli 2011

OK, thanks. But can you include a link please?

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/model-s-designing-perfect-endurance-athlete

Just some very generic marketing talk.

Agreed. But at least, it is an update and it does contain some welcome news wrt design details (fenders, frameless doors, panoramic roof).

... doors apparently are not able to clear curbs in the parking lots based on the way that question was avoided.

That's exactly how I read it as well.

... everyone I know parks their cars in the garage driving in it front first ...

So then, for a change, let me just mention that I have to back up into my parking lot. It's an underground garage and there is no other way to get into that space... So at least for me, I am happy with the announced charge port location. :-)

Volker.Berlin | 22. Juli 2011

As planned, [the door handles] will only present themselves when passengers approach the car. [...] The windows will have "short drop" [...] functionality, which is common on premium vehicles with frameless doors. (from the Blog post)

Would be great if they could count one and one together and make the windows short-drop at the same time when the door handles extend -- instead of when the door handles are pulled, which is common on premium vehicles with frameless doors.

It is always a distraction and an uneasy feeling when the window moves when you pull the handle, for two reasons: First, many people do not expect the window to move when they pull the handle. Second, the window does not move immediately, like it would when it were mechanically connected with the door handles. The window moves electrically, and there is a small delay, which adds to the distraction. The uneasy feeling comes from the fact that you pull the door open just before the window has actually moved. So even though in fact the movement of the window is only required to properly close the door, it feels like you pull the door open a moment too early (window is still up) and some people are afraid that this might damage the door or the window.

Simply by extending the door handles and short-dropping the window simultaneously, all these issues could be avoided and entering the Model S would feel even more convenient and welcoming than on any other premium vehicle with frameless doors.

Volker.Berlin | 22. Juli 2011

For the record, here is the original thread with all the questions posted. You can find some questions that have been answered in the blog post, and many others that haven't. There are also some interesting discussions in that (very long) thread:
http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/upcoming-qa-chief-designer-franz...

Timo | 22. Juli 2011

@Nicu, your comment is probably aimed to someone else, since I have not talked about iPad at all. Maybe I have said that it isn't useful for cars, or that Tesla doesn't want to be tied up to any single manufacturer for its touchscreen, but that's all.

You are imagining things, so go whine about my "whining" to someplace else.

(For the record, I can afford Model S, it just isn't useful for me).

Volker.Berlin | 22. Juli 2011

Timo, honestly, I think it's you who should take a break and watch Amélie before going on posting... ;-) You seem to be in a bad mood today. I wouldn't care to comment, but I am afraid, Nicu will respond in a similar way and it will go on and on... He was comparing you, a geek complaining about details regarding the Model S, to all those geeks that were complaining about details regarding the iPad, before it turned out to become a huge success. His sentence is a little broken, probably a typo or something, but I don't think he intended to suggest that you personally were whining about the iPad.

Let's be good sports. There are some details (extremely low ground clearance, no charge port in front) that make you believe that the Model S is going to be a niche player. Nicu on the other hand thinks that these details are irrelevant in the greater scheme of things, or that they may even contribute to the Model S' success (because they allow for other advantages like cleaner styling and improved efficiency at high speeds).

Time will tell, no doubt. There is no use fighting over it now. In any case the Model S does already spark development in the entire industry, and if the Model S as such is not for you, another EV will come out relatively soon that will fit your requirements. Maybe another Tesla model, maybe a Renault or BMW or Toyota, who knows.

Timo | 22. Juli 2011

My main reason to "complaint" about these issues is because I think they have deviated from their original plan: this was supposed to be sporty high-end family car, instead it is high end sport car which happens to have enough space to be used as family car. See the difference? They switched the priorities at some point.

About an inch or two higher ground clearance couldn't hurt that much. Model S frame center of gravity is already low enough that it is unprecedented, so even higher than usual ground clearance would still give it great cornering performance if the suspension matches rest of the car. There are high-end sporty cars with high(is) ground clearance that are very good to drive twisty roads.

A tow bar (as option) wouldn't hurt either. Just for that "boat trailer" Nicu mentions, in case you like to go mariner for a while. High-end specimens of those things cost a lot more than Model S, so odds are that there are people with those that could be target people for the Model S but who wont buy it just because of lack of towing capability.

Nicu | 22. Juli 2011

@Volker EU#P1 ,Timo

Yes, this is pretty much what I would respond. You have formulated more clearly than I would have done it. And yes, instead of "1000x you" I meant "1000x your", which is still not 100% English but I do not aspire to be a perfect English writer either.

Timo, take your coffee and a deep breath and we can be "friends".

I am investing actively (mostly options now) in AAPL and TSLA and it's funny to find more similarities as time passes. As one fellow trader said, Tesla is becoming the Apple of the car industry. There will be tons of mouth foaming noisy comments on the net, all that while the company / product will revolutionize the market. Few products / options, very smart design, marketing and services. I would dare to say Tesla is even more innovative than Apple and they have a technological advance as large as Apple has compared to competitors (battery pack / PEM / motor which are years ahead in terms of cost, performance, safety and durability - Apple has the operating systems which are a bit forgotten but are finally the main reasons for them selling products by the boatload).

Volker.Berlin | 22. Juli 2011

About an inch or two higher ground clearance couldn't hurt that much. Model S frame center of gravity is already low enough [...] (Timo)

If I understand correctly, this is not so much about low center of gravity which is definitely not the primary problem in the Model S due to the battery layout. I think low ground clearance has more to do with Cd value, and everything Cd-related has a major effect on range at highway speeds.

Timo | 22. Juli 2011

I don't think that would affect very much, because Model S bottom is very smooth, unlike ICE cars. If you look at the Aptera, is does have considerable ground clearance while still having incredible low Cd. It is just matter of how airflow is directed to the bottom of the car. Of course this is just speculation, I'm sure they have run more than one wind tunnel test for it (I think major change to Cd from higher ground clearance would come from more wheels getting exposed with more "upright" part of the wheel as well.)

Anyway, I'm still Tesla follower, I'll just wait for them to make car that fits my needs. Nobody else is making EV:s that come even close to anything Tesla is making. With all those "drawbacks" I complain about they are still the best there is.

Wishlist: 4WD WRC-car -like agile hatchback with enough ground clearance that it doesn't get scared with small deviation from tarmac. That would be car for me. (There is enough power available in Model S to make absolutely crazy rally car with double-engine approach).

Nicu | 22. Juli 2011

@Timo

You are waiting for the 4WD Model X without knowing.

DC | 22. Juli 2011

I agree with the comment that this is just some generic marketing talk, pretty much a big tease to everyone that is looking forward to more information. I'm not in the market for this car as I'm still in college, but I think this brought up more concerns than good info for me. I agree with Timo on the trailer hitch. I don't think anybody is planning on towing their 21ft boat with this car, but maybe attaching a small trailer or bicycle rack. I’ve seen people towing things with their BMW 5-series, so saying that it’s a luxury sedan and therefore shouldn’t have a trailer hitch isn’t really accurate.

The charge port might be a little inconvenient in the back of the car for some people, but I think that will offset by the amount of people that it’s more convenient for, and people that just don’t care. If you’re really considering buying this car, I think you’ll probably suck it up with the long cord.

Also, I think that the door handles are really cool, but it seems like it might just be an extra complexity that could just cause more things to go wrong. I'm not sure what they're doing to make the handles extend out, but what happens if you live in a cold environment and the handle gets iced up? Is there going to be enough torque in the motor or whatever they're using to break through the ice? Also, what happens when that system just breaks down with age? The window in my current car just stopped working recently, which is pretty inconvenient, but not nearly as bad as not being able to open the door. Any complexity that you add also adds another opportunity for failure. While I think this handle is neat, and I understand that it reduces the drag a little bit, I think it could also be something that comes back to bite them if it has problems.

That being said, I think this an awesome car, and I can't wait to see some on the road. I think that despite this minor nit picking I’ve done this will be a really successful car in the market that Tesla is targeting. Hopefully the prices will come down on their future cars when the technology becomes more widely available, and I'll be able to get a Tesla a few years after I graduate.

ckessel | 22. Juli 2011

We've been over ground clearance before. Nothing has changed. The proposed ground clearance is exactly in line with all the cars (BMW/Lexus/etc) they've said the Model S is supposed to compete with. If the ground clearance of the competition is ok, the Model S is ok. If the ground clearance of the competition is a problem for you, then it'll be a problem in the Model S.

The evasive answer on ground clearance leaves a slightly bad taste, but the reality is nothing has changed.

Timo | 22. Juli 2011

@DC, why not tow a 21+ft boat with that car? It has more than enough torque and weight to do that. H*ll it has enough torque and weight to tow a small truck (but not necessary the rigidity of the structure, which might be the reason why it is not offered).

It doesn't need to be big boat to be more expensive than Model S. Those things cost a lot. Something relatively small like 26 ft Four Winns V265 costs nearly twice the Model S (or depending of the options you have more).

Peak Oil bruin | 22. Juli 2011

ckessel - thanks for reiterating the ground clearance bit. I was unfortunately drenched in all the marketing speak, too. I think I speak for the majority, we'd prefer more substance. Of course, the real substance (beta) will be the proof in the pudding...now I've got to wraggle with the wife about switching parking spaces so she doesn't crimp my cord.

rd2 | 22. Juli 2011

People need to appreciate this car, the first luxury class EV car, for what it is, and not what they demand it to be. If you want more clearance, a tow rack (?), and more 'family-friendly' options, please wait until 2013, when the Model X is released. It will be right up your alley. In fact, it will be right up mine as well, right next to my Model S. But until then, I am excited as hell to get my incredibly sporty, high performance Model S. Don't forget, Tesla has often claimed to be planning a 4WD Model S as well. Maybe that will satisfy the more rugged Tesla fans out there. Personally, I cringe when I see a BMW or Mercedes with a bike/surfboard rack on top, or bikes and other cargo on the 'tow rack'. And I've never seen one of the those cars towing a boat (ridiculous). So why in the world would we expect the Model S to have these features? It was never billed to challenge the SUV market.

MTriantafelow | 23. Juli 2011

I said this on the actual blog post thread, but in case anyone didn't read those comments, I'll repeat here.

IMHO, if you are willing to make the paradigm shift to an EV, then obviously you aren't afraid to make changes to the way you drive (e.g. plugging in every night, renting an ICE for the occasional long drive, etc.). So then, is it such a huge leap to add "back into parking spaces" to that list?

There is a good bit of evidence out there that suggests that, actually, we should all be backing into our parking spaces --- EV or not. Statistically speaking, you are much less likely to get into a parking lot accident if you back into the space. In fact, I read once that UPS trains all of their drivers to always back in when parking (and plan their routes to only make right turns) to minimize accidents.

People on these forums are incredibly defensive of the Model S's nose/grill. If the port were put on the front of the car, it would really make things ugly (looking at you Nissan Leaf). I'm sure that every possible location was considered and the best solution won out. I'm not going to tell them they are wrong without knowing the details of why the other solutions were thrown out.

David70 | 23. Juli 2011

Certainly, backing into parking spaces shouldn't be much of an issue. Now I only do so when packing the trunk, but it wouldn't a bad thing to do in general. For one thing, it's easier to see oncoming traffic when pulling out of the driveway.

Volker.Berlin | 24. Juli 2011

Also, I think that the door handles are really cool, but it seems like it might just be an extra complexity that could just cause more things to go wrong. (DC)

Agreed.

I'm not sure what they're doing to make the handles extend out, but what happens if you live in a cold environment and the handle gets iced up? (DC)

Quoting from this thread:
http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/those-door-handles

I spoke with a Tesla rep at the Chicago location and this is especially a concern for our area. The door handles will have a small heating element to them so that they will not become frozen over. (msiano17)

jomo25 | 24. Juli 2011

I like the "pre-heated from a phone interface" method the best. Seems completely feasible, reasonable with a 3G connectivity. Remote engine start is not a foreign or new concept.

As for the "alternative warming method" referenced in the thread, if its truly that cold, I'd be worried about exposing that dispenser to the harsh elements in the first place. And it may not be physically possible for those of the fairer sex.

Timo | 24. Juli 2011

You'd be surprised what a woman can do ;-)

I agree that phone interface for remote controlling the car is perfect. You call to car to tell that you are off the work in half a hour, it should start warming things up so that I can drive in my t-shirt in -30C degree winter and show those antique car owners what a modern car is all about :-)

I hope they have good insulation, because it is what makes A/C systems effective. You heat/cool things once, then it keeps the temperature without much energy usage. I recently found out that you can build zero-energy homes even here in Finland, with temperature difference between summer and winter more than 60 degree celcius. What they do is build a house like a bottle. Nothing gets in or out unless you want it to do so. Insulation is everything in that. You can do the same in car (with a bit less effective, but still).

Vawlkus | 25. Juli 2011

The major reason for not putting a trailer hitch on the Model S is ther fact that it will kill the range.

Think about it, for each extra piece of weight the car has to carry/pull, it's range decreases. I'm sure you COULD hook a trailer to it if you were REALLY keen to do so, and then you'd find your range drops to 20 miles from all the extra weight you're carrying.

Until the battery technology improves to a point where hauling a trailer is feasable for an electric, there's just no point in adding it to the cars.

jkirkebo | 25. Juli 2011

Bollocks. I often tow a heavy trailer with my VW Touran 2.0TDI. For a 1.5 ton trailer (the legal max for the Touran, approx. 3300lbs) fuel consumption will increase about 30-40%. So a 300-mile pack with a real world 240-mile range would then yield maybe 175 miles. Still way more than other EVs.

And when I do tow a heavy trailer, I usually don't have to go further than 5 miles anyway.

Weight is not the big range killer, air resistance is. The trailer increases air restistance of course, and the fuel consumtoion penalty is still 20-30% when the trailer is empty. FOr an EV with regen the weight would impact range even less.

DC | 25. Juli 2011

@Timo

why not tow a 21+ft boat with that car?

I wasn't saying that the car isn't capable of towing something of that weight. I'm just saying that it wouldn't be praticle if you actually wanted to make it to wherever you're towing the boat. That would drastically reduce the range.

Sudre | 25. Juli 2011

I am curious if the ground clearance is so low because the motor is in axle. If the road to axle/motor clearance is 4.5 inches then it's not that big of a deal. If the bottom center of the car is that low then I'll just skip this whole EV hype and buy an ICE.

There will most likely never be any way to just purchase an electric car for many years. All manufactuers are going to have a waiting list and I can not be putting money down on several cars and hoping one will suit my needs... Well I can but I not going to loss that much investable money.

The BMW 5 series has a normal ground clearance of 5.6 inches.
http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/2011-bmw-5-series-13.htm

Top Gear is going to have a field day with this one... :-)

I don't care where the charging port is. I will just have a retrackable cord installed coming down from the ceiling.

jkirkebo | 25. Juli 2011

Re: towing boats.

Towing boats whenever they are used is also a US thing. I tow our 17.5" boat twice a year. Once in spring to put in in the marina, and once in autumn to pick it up. It's only 5 miles each way. Renting a car just to do this would be a big hassle.

Most everyone else over here does the same thing, nearly no-one keeps their boat on a trailer in summer. It's kept in the water, with bottom paint on if it's in salt water.

2manycars | 25. Juli 2011

Many cars do not have a tow option. None of my Audi's ever have.

jkirkebo | 25. Juli 2011

All Audis in Europe have a tow bar as a factory option. Ok, unsure about the R8 ;)

Timo | 25. Juli 2011

I learned from a friend that US doesn't have tow bar standard like Europe has. The knob size varies there, so I'm guessing the entire tow bar installation in there is a big mess for car makers. That might also explain why they don't have tow bars in cars as often as we Europeans have.

Ad van der Meer | 26. Juli 2011

I don't see a problem with the "tow bar dilemma".

If you only need it twice a year, just borrow your neighbour's SUV.

If you need it on a more regular basis Tesla Model S may not be for you, yet...

I'll get the 160mi battery. Maybe 5-6 times a year that won't be enough. Do you seriously think I will not find a neighbor/relative who will be interested to swap cars for a day?

Should I decide to go on vacation and need a car, I would just rent whatever I need.

jkirkebo | 26. Juli 2011

Yeah, twice a year for the boat. And approx. once a month for my trailer to move stuff. Yes, I can borrow my parents car but they live a few miles away and it will be a hassle. Still, I will gput up with it if there is no other big issues. Like such a low ground clearance that it will scrape the bottom on gravel roads, or mandatory leather interior.

Not many people would want to rent a car for vacation in Norway seeing as a VW Golf would run you about $150 a day.

The 160-mile battery would only cover about 40% of our driving, so the 300-mile one is a given for us. It will cover 100%, except when we need to tow...

masterxmac | 26. Juli 2011

I was surprised to learn Franz is still working there.

So let me just ask this. If the "prototype" car is not the same as the "production" car (alpha, beta, whatever) why does Tesla insist on promoting the prototype everywhere? I am sorry but that seems sleazy to me. They show the prototype on tour, they show it on the website for model s. If they think the production car looks better then the prototype then why would they keep the prototype photos up as the main image of the car? I like the prototype much better then the production car and my guess is so does Tesla...

I honestly believe that the production design wont sell. It looks slow, mushy, big and kinda ugly, the opposite you think of when looking at the "car of the future" At the end of the day cool looking cars sell - EV or not. In the shape its in I would not buy this car - the prototype on the other hand - I would have died to own, it WAS my dream car for the last 3 years, it still is.

And Besides how is that not like Apple showing the Ipad 3 as credit card thin on Apples website and then after getting your pre-order shipping you a version the same thickness as the Ipad 2. And if you complain and they say, oh that was just a concept Ipad, huh?

The fisker karma looked EXACTLY like the prototype. I call BS and I am sticking to it. Just wait till we see the "new" inside, that should be good...

mnx | 26. Juli 2011

masterxmac: Tesla insists on promoting the prototype everywhere because it is much more finished than any alpha model and people want to see it, simple as that.

I think the latest alpha images they put out look fine. I don't think they will have a problem selling the car, almost 6000 reservation holders agree with me. :)

masterxmac | 26. Juli 2011

mnx,

Not true, they have a black Model S that is fully trimmed out - on the outside - they could have done a full photo shoot with that but they don't.

As far as the 6000 pre-orders most of those were made on the old design. :)

They will sell some cars for sure - but when I say the car "wont sell" what I really mean is that it will not be a big monster hit. Think '87 mustang, (forced an over-reaction by GM to redo the carmero and firebird) '90 Jeep Cherokee, (Started the SUV craze) the early 90's Eclipse's (seemed like everybody knew somebody that had one) - that type of thing, Ford 500's come and go, but cars that make a statement are game changers, this car could have been one of those cars, but now its more of a "me too" type of design.

Car Design Hits kinda go viral, The prototype would have had that type of effect, the current design will get mistook for a Dodge Avenger.

But dont worry - the Tesla SUV is coming soon :)

stAtrill | 26. Juli 2011

@masterxmac I just got back from the Tesla open-house-thing in Raleigh; if your gripes are about the front fascia and/or the charging port position then you have no worries. Apparently, the cars will retain the grille styling of the prototype, but they have added those small vents under the headlights (which curiously weren't present on the demo vehicle I just saw). Moving the charger to the rear is apparently a done deal though.

Other than that, what other styling changes were there?

And yes, the car is still gorgeous :D

msiano17 | 26. Juli 2011

uh oh, Volker.Berlin quoted me guess I need to chime in.

If you are serious about buying this car, then like me you are probably a bit disappointed in the substance, and it seems a lot of people have already said so. To be honest, they probably threw together some quick information to get the Blog out of the way.

Realistically, the best answer is the Beta. It is supposed to be 95-99% the final product. So the design, ground clearance, door handles, and the front nose should all be better explained. Has been my thought all along, they have changed up their process a few times now and I only bought in beginning of 2011 and know that they are always changing.

Later this year the Beta will be released. That is when better answers will be around for everyone else.

Regarding the trailer hitch, I can understand why they do not want to put on one for any heavy towing. ICE cars suffer dramatic gas mileage reduction when towing a big boat (for example) same concept would hold true for total Range for our EV. Difference is infrastructure, there are gas stations everywhere, I still cannot tell you where the nearest public charging station is though in the Chicagoland area. I think that may be the deciding factor, the grid is not set up and battery tech is not there quite yet for major towing.

EdG | 26. Juli 2011

Isn't it possible that when they designed they body structure, they had weight, rigidity, safety, etc., more on the table than towing? Perhaps they haven't done any stress analysis on what towing would do to the rear structure of the car? And, given the size of Tesla's engineering staff (versus the staff size at other companies), maybe they don't think it worth taking engineering staff away from other work?

Perhaps they've got the whole thing in a simulator and they'd just need to run a few simulations. Perhaps they've already done so, and it wasn't looking good, and they decided it wasn't worth a redesign for the Model S.

I'm not an M.E., but I guess if it is able to absorb a significant rear end collision it should do fairly well with towing. But the waggling of the aluminum frame by a boat trailer may incur some metal fatigue, right?

I'm guessing that when Franz said there would be no trailer hitch, it's most likely it will stay that way.

Nicu | 27. Juli 2011

Do not forget that they had some problems with the first gear box of the Roadster. Towing 2 tons may degrade other mechanical parts than the body. For a first car, it's better to concentrate on essentials and get them as close to perfect as possible. Model X will probably take into account more uses like that.

masterxmac | 27. Juli 2011

@stAtrill

Thanks for you update about the grill, but lets break down what you (said/were told).

1) You said "Apparently, the cars will retain the grille styling of the prototype, but they have added those small vents under the headlights (which curiously weren't present on the demo vehicle I just saw)."

So that means the the "nose" of the car has been changed, and not for the better. The "grill" is just the middle part of the nose, which more or less has not been changed. They did have a version where the grill was solid and looked really dumb so I am not surprised they are going back to the old. But since the vents were staying that means that the nose we are seeing is the NEW nose of the car - so it changed - which i think looks bad. So - you are confirming that the nose has been changed to what we are seeing now.

You also said:

2) those small vents under the headlights (which curiously weren't present on the demo vehicle I just saw)

and

3) And yes, the car is still gorgeous :D

Ok, so you just made my ENTIRE case for me - which was "why is Tesla confusing customers by showing the wrong car???" - which is the one YOU SAW! You saw the prototype, how do I know? because it did not have the "vents" on the nose. I bet 100 bucks the car you saw was maroon? right? There are only 2 prototypes - a white one, which is sitting over at Autodesk, and a silver one that was repainted maroon.

So here is the deal - the car, the one you saw - is NOT THE CAR TESLA WILL BE SELLING. That car you saw IS GORGEOUS !!!!

The car Tesla is going to sell has been changed 100% from that car you just saw - not just the nose and tail - THE WHOLE THING - the hood, the doors, the fenders, ALL OF IT - and it is lost all of the cool factor it once had!

so that was my only "gripe"

Timo | 27. Juli 2011

Don't judge before you see the Beta. There will be changes before they release that. Alphas change too much, it would have been better not to have them at all in the galleries, or they need to add small text "alpha model", "prototype" in the pictures.

Some of the pictures there are photoshopped pictures of real cars, so they don't even are real in every respect. Nose cone especially changes from picture to picture. It might well be that what stAtrill saw was a Alpha, but again with another nose configuration (they might be testing if cooling airflow is adequate without extra openings under headlights). If that is the case then final product might be closer to prototype in appearance than it is to Alpha.

David M. | 28. Juli 2011

Fortunately, Tesla doesn't measure their success in how many cars they sell. That is something the big 3 in Detroit are concerned with. Tesla is concerned with making a premium electric vehicle in the quantities it has stated (5,000 in 2012, and 20,000 in 2013). They won't have any problem meeting those numbers, even without any advertising.

The Model S is a beautiful luxury car. It's surprising that some people want it to be everything to everybody. Tow vehicle, really? One day, it's got to be fast. The next day, it's got to have high curb clearance. Folks want to tow an external battery because a 300 mile range is inadequate. But it can't be too expensive. On and on.

Ease up and see it for what it is. A 4 door luxury car (for folks who can spend $60K - $80K) with acceleration matching a V8, that's (thankfully) ALL ELECTRIC, with range options. It will be years before any other car company makes an electric car with "range options". Hat's off to Tesla Motors for leading the way.

We should be celebrating them and encouraging them and not nitpicking and whining about every little thing. Whatever the Model S looks like next year, one of them will go in my garage - GUARANTEED.

msiano17 | 28. Juli 2011

I totally agree David M ... i think too many people are asking too much. Every car will have its quarks and things other would like to change but bottom like you are right.

It is a premium luxury sedan, supposed to be a competition for the E class or 5 series. Honestly I love the 5 seriers, but now that Tesla is around with a comparision for it but electric? i am sold! Improvements will be made in time, this is gen 1 of this car, take it for what it is and be happy. If that is not good enough, then o well that is what you're going to get.

jkirkebo | 28. Juli 2011

The problem is that no other company makes a 300-mile EV. So quite a few people that usually don't look at luxury sedans are interested in the Model S. Personally, I don't care much about acceleration, I'm fine with 10-12 second 0-60 times. Also I have no need for luxury features like leather interior, electric seat adjustment, premium infotainment system or large diameter wheels.

If Nissan made a 300-mile (or at least 250 mile) Leaf, I would probably have ordered one already. It's the perfect size and quite practical. Though the Tesla drivetrain is better (antispin & regen at least).

The Model S could be very interesting to many more than the usual luxury sedan shopper if they just made some options available, like:

- Basic model without much luxury items (manual seats etc.)
- Tow bar
- Air suspension with adjustable ground clearance
- Wheels of a size not suspectible to immediate pothole damage
- Non-leather interior

Thankfully we have confirmation that a roof rack will fit.

Price I'm not much concerned with. My current VW Touran 2.0TDI costs $85k in Norway...

msiano17 | 28. Juli 2011

Where did you get confirmation of a roof rack that will fit?

jkirkebo | 28. Juli 2011

Fron the latest blog post.

Quote: "The standard roof will accommodate roof racks that mount on door frames."

I have no interest in the panorama sun roof. Those that do must choose between that and a roof rack.

David70 | 28. Juli 2011

And I have no need for a roof rack (maybe in the future) or a sun roof, I want an EV with plenty of interior room. I doubt any other EV on the market now or in the near future has as much interior space as the Model S. As for acceleration, it's nice that it has it, but I would never use it unless there was some emergency situation that required it.

Brian H | 28. Juli 2011

David70;
You lie like a rug! Within a day of having it you'll have "floored" it a bunch of times. That may not count as "using", but it's gonna happen.
;)

Pages