Model S

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Beta visits

edited November -1 in Model S
The beta is going to be in dc thanksgiving weekend. Anyone been to a beta visit yet? What kind of access to the car is allowed? Did it look better or worse in person? Anyone else going to be there?


  • edited November -1
    You should have full access to the car, depending on the crowd of course.

    Some things on the car don't work and other features are definitely not what the production model will look like, but the externals are well over 95% of production and it will give you a good feel for the car.
  • edited November -1
    During the Beta visit in San Jose, the car was surrounded by velvet ropes, and only a few reservation holders were given access at a time.

    Seeing the car in person far exceeded my expectations.
  • mwumwu
    edited November -1
    I really want to be there, but that's Thanksgiving weekend which makes it difficult.
  • edited November -1
    Hello cybercop;

    My wife and I are going to go on 11/25/2011. We are P# 3764 and live just north of Baltimore. We will take as many photos allowed and as close as possible and will post them for everyone to review.
  • edited November -1
    @mwu: Ditto; I'm down in DC often for business, but I can't concoct a good enough reason to break up Thanksgiving weekend. :(
    edited November -1
    Is there a schedule somewhere for when the Beta's are and where?
  • edited November -1
    At the Oakbrook store grand opening last weekend, there were ropes around the car (signature red beta), so you didn't have full access, but they did allow for 2-4 people at a time to get into the car (one in driver's seat, the others in back). There was a Tesla representative in the passenger's seat to walk you through the 17" touchscreen functions.

    To be clear, the ropes were only a foot or two away from the car, so we did get close-up views.

    The car looked very good in person (probably better than most pictures), plus you get a much better sense of size. Here are my quick take aways:
    1. The car seems pretty low to the ground, and some of the older folks struggled a bit to get into and out of the car. Also, I am slightly worried about getting into my driveway without scraping, but I think it will probably be okay.
    2. The Tesla folks couldn't stop saying "well, this is the beta..." whenever you would look at something quizzically. For example, there were four small (maybe 3" x 0.5"), black metal rectangles on the roof (one above each window). They looked like possible attachment points for a roof rack or something, and they had spring loaded doors. When I pointed to them, one of the representatives just said... "well, this is a beta." Still don't know what they were. Also, I saw someone reach for the trunk lid, and I don't think he was going to close it (he had it well supported); I think he just wanted to see the top side of the lid. Three representatives rushed over and threw their hands under the lid like they were making sure it didn't slam down. They again said something about it being a beta.
    3. Back seat head room and leg room seemed pretty good. I didn't sit in the back, but I adjusted the driver seat to where I would want it (I am 6'0"), then my buddy (5'10") sat directly behind me. I had him sit back in a normal seated position, and he had a good 3-4" of head room (car did have the panoramic roof which helps, but there is still a cross beam above, albeit slightly behind, the back seat passengers). He had a good amount of leg room as well. I know that some have guessed that different betas might be configured differently on the interior, so take this comment with a grain of salt until we see the final production models.
    4. Tesla representatives were not real knowledgeable on the specific state rebates (and a few other things). I thought the IL stores might know if the Model S would qualify for the $4,000 IL rebate, but the three representatives I asked just said "we're not sure, we think so." In IL, the only catch is that you have to buy from an IL dealer. I assume that, since Tesla now has a "sales" store and a service center, it would qualify as an IL dealership, but I was hoping that they could confirm. It won't change my reservation status, but it will be nice if it does qualify in the end. They also didn't know how to open the charging port door after someone closed it. I'm assuming they eventually figured it out.
    5. It's definitely a real car, and I'm glad I have a reservation number. I can't wait to drive it!
  • edited November -1
    It will be worth your trip to see the Model S Beta. I flew out to Fremont CA for the Oct. 1 event and rode in the car. It's definitely a beautiful car, inside and out. I was a little shocked by how the infotainment screen looked on the dash. That was the only negative. It looked like it just wasn't properly integrated into the dash/console. I think Tesla needs to frame it up better. The whole car has these sexy curvy lines, and then there is this 17 inch LCD just hanging off the dash. Hopefully, when Tesla is done with the interior, the screen will look better integrated into the dash.

    It was just a blast to ride in the car - even if it was only for 3 minutes.
  • edited November -1
    I have to agree with David M. At first I liked the idea of no center console just to prove it's a different technology, when I looked at the dash a few times over a few weeks, I've come to the realization that it looks.... Well. Aftermarket. I hate to say it. Looks like someone bolted a big monitor to a car. No flow, no movement. Doesn't even look anchored in space, just kind of like it's hanging on a bracket, and crooked at that.

    I really hope they change it before production.
  • edited November -1
    longhorn, thanks for sharing! Those are some interesting first-hand observations, with a lot of anecdotal value, to say the least. Staff rushing to prevent the lid from slamming, not being able to open the charge port once it was closed... I am glad to learn that Tesla is a normal company after all, and there are some things they just did not get ready in time for the Beta. On the other hand, maybe it would add a nice (exclusive, luxury) touch even to the production version, having Tesla reps rushing over from out of nowhere whenever I want to close the trunk lid... ;-)

    <i>The car seems pretty low to the ground, and some of the older folks struggled a bit to get into and out of the car. Also, I am slightly worried about getting into my driveway without scraping, but I think it will probably be okay.</i>

    This was noted before somewhere, and it was answered that the Betas seem to have the optional air suspension installed which retracts to its lowest setting when parked. This implies that you won't have problems getting into your driveway, b/c while driving slowly the air suspension increases the ride height, and the standard suspension will not sit so low to begin with. Also it does not seem out of bounds to have the air suspension raise the car when you get close (same trigger that pushes out the retractable door handles, e.g., RFID key) for a more convenient entry.
  • edited November -1
    I can just imagine a software glitch with all that raising and lowering, resulting in the S "hopping" down the freeway. (I think I'm having a flashback to some cartoons I saw almost 60 years ago ...)
  • edited November -1
    Apparently not all of the Betas are moving around. The one we saw installed at the Sandana Row store is still there. There do not seem to be any plans to move it.
  • edited November -1
    Tesla masterplan insures enough beta builds (orig. utilised at the factory tour) so there is at least 1 for each store. The Oak Brook, IL store also had a separate chassis with battery pack and very few other moving parts! The car is definitely a wi-i-i-de body, no elbows running over the center console, caution: those with width-challenged garage doors should not play it by ear.

    Volker- thanks for reiterating what I heard about the beta air suspension. Being 6'4" I was having trouble crawling out of the car. Tesla rep explained the air susp. and that they wanted the display to be "slammed" down on the 21" wheels, which of course are not advisable for chicagoland street conditions..but i digress.
  • edited November -1
    <i>"caution: those with width-challenged garage doors should not play it by ear."</i>

    Yeah, I'm kinda hoping the mirrors can be folded in while backing out of the garage.
  • edited November -1
    I know this has been discussed elsewhere, but without a search, I'm struggling to find it. Is there a definitive measure of full wide, including the extended mirrors? i.e., mirror tip left to mirror tip right?
  • edited November -1
    I was told the same thing about the beta on display.
  • edited November -1
    See Model S, facts, 7' 2" wide with mirrors extended.
  • edited November -1
    Exactly, here is the direct link:

    And here is another thread discussing the extraordinary width of the Model S:
    edited November -1
    @jackhub I called to the Santa Row store and they do not have it during the week but the rep. told me they will have it again there this weekend. I'll be going by to check it out and thanks for that update!
  • edited November -1
    @BYT, hmmm. I WAS there on a Saturday. Let us know if it is white.
  • edited November -1
    Why is the Beta not visiting Miami??? It seems like it's going to most other stores.
  • edited November -1
    I attended the beta visit at the Washington DC store yesterday and came away with some information that will definitely affect my decisions going forward. I have a production reservation in the low 600s and I think the 160 mile battery would meet my needs. However, at the beta visit, the sales team estimated that delivery of a 160 mile battery vehicle would not happen until the first few months of 2013 - even with my relatively low reservation number. And, because of the need for slightly different component capabilities (they mentioned the inverter specifically) I could NOT get the 160 mile battery at delivery and simply upgrade to a battery with more range in the future without addressing those separate but integral components capabilities.

    In summery, I arrived at the event thinking I would opt for the 160 mile battery and hope for a late 2012 delivery; but I left with the distinct feeling that I would need to select the 300 mile. On a positive note, two separate sales people explained that the 300 mile range is achieved through battery chemistry alone, not by adding more batteries and consuming interior space as has been conjectured in the forum in a number of different threads. Apparently, the 300 mile version is faster off the line than the 160 mile version because there is a negligible weight difference between the two vehicles and the 300 mile version has significanly more power available; hence the need for the more capable inverter.

    I will spend some time thinking about the implications, financial and otherwise, of this information; but, I wanted to share it with other forum readers who do not live near a beta visit location.
  • edited November -1
    No consideration to the (upgradeable?) 230-mile option?
  • edited November -1
    Visited the Beta in DC this weekend and left echoing some of the major concerns I've read in this forum. Here is a summary:

    1. The exterior of the car is as good as it gets. Even the changes they made to the nose/front that I didn't love in pictures really looks good live.

    2. The cranberry color (which I would have likely never chosen) is really sharp...major head-turner.

    3. The interior of the car has issues:

    3a. Namely - the seats do not conform to the body. It is not like a "bench" per se, but it does not wrap around you like it would in a high-end BMW or Mercedes. The lack of a headrest is noticeable and in general the driver's seat was not comfortable.

    3b. The 17 inch display, while awesome, looks like it is hanging awkwardly in space and does not look integrated into the dash. Almost like I had an aftermarket iPad dropped in there. The functionality of the display is great, but the aesthetics of the design is not there.

    3c. Lots of pretty ugly, cheap looking wood touches throughout, the armrest / storage was really odd. The empty space where the drivetrain should be was weird too, although I could probably get used to that.

    All in all: I have a reservation but would say I am definitively on the fence on completing it if the finished product were to be exactly the same as the beta version I just saw. Hope Tesla hears the feedback and can adjust.
  • edited November -1
    @jscott: There's been extensive discussion about the interior; the consensus seems to be that the interior was a quick throw-together for the Fremont event. You aren't alone in hoping so! Here are some previous threads on this:–-model-s-exterior-and-interior
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