Model S

Initial review from Jason Calacanis - Sig #1

edited August 2012 in Model S
From Jason's Launch Ticker:

My mini review (in progress): I have seen a reaction like this before: when someone handed you a CD and then put Pink Floyd's the wall in a huge CD player in 1986, or when someone let you hold their iphone for the first time in 2007.
That's how people react when they're in the Tesla Model S. it's mind blowing.
[ Disclosure: Elon and I are friends. We both invested in each other's companies five or six years ago--long before I owned a Tesla. Our kids go to birthday parties together, we have dinner sometimes and we live near each other in Los Angeles. I'm far from objective as he's a close friend and I admire him deeply as a entrepreneur. Since Steve Jobs died I consider Elon the top entrepreneur on the planet--hands down. So, this review is objective about the car--but I'm biased since I know the man. Note: I had a small amount of Tesla stock (10k shares), and I sold them after they doubled. After driving the Model S I'm thinking of buying more. ]
Yesterday I got series #000000001. The first car available to the public. How did I get this car? It's a long story, but basically I sent a $50,000 deposit to Tesla *before* they started accepting deposits. I begged them to cash it. They did, and as Tesla Roadster owner 16 I was able to get the top slot (they gave the first 100 Roadster folks first shot at the Model S).
The huge center display in the car is so far beyond what you expect from a car it's confounding. I opened a Google Doc of the LAUNCH Ticker and watched folks editing it in real time. Then I had my iPhone's cover art in the dashboard HUD (the drivers), along with 1st person directions--all while having what feels like two ipads on top of each other in landscape in the center console.
You can maximize and flip windows better than on your iPad. I wish my iPad had the dual window function--and I'm certain Apple will steal the concept. It's that natural and obvious when you see it. Two windows, one iPad: go!
The acceleration is terrifying.
Literally. If you're a passenger not expecting it you're going to scream like you're on a roller coaster. Being in a sedan your brain expects to coast--which the S does well--but if the driver feels like laughing they can secretly push the pedal to the floor and silently the car pins passengers to their seats before they know what happened.
Then as the world starts to blur like you're in the Millenium Falcon, you're doing 50, 60, 70 or 90 in 3, 4, 5 and 6 seconds (I have the performance model). All with no sign of stopping.
The acceleration simply doesn't stop. SNM ('Someone not me') took it from 0 to 100 and almost stained the seats getting while getting on the freeway. Again, SNM.
You feel like you're going to hit 88 and go back In time when the flux capacitor kicks in. It's bizarre. It's otherworldly.
Then there are dozens of details you discover. The Frunk, which can fit your overnight bags. The center console, which can also fit an overnight bag. Each of four wheel wells that, you guessed it, can each hold an overnight bag.
Oh yeah, there is a huge trunk that can hold two kids in jump seats or a dozen more overnight bags. With no engine, unlike a normal car, there is a lot more room. It's an SUV in a sedan's clothing.
The storage is absurd.
Oh yeah, there are cute little crew ports hidden on the roof under tiny flippable covers for bike racks and ski racks--and who knows what else Tesla will dream up.
This is the future delivered early, and it sets a standard that will keep the CEOs of Toyota and Mercedes up at night. Perhaps that's why they invested $100M each in the company two years ago. They understood they simply can't catch this comet--so they might as well grab a piece.
This car will sell wildly beyond expectations like the iPhone and iPad did, and if Musk can make a $30K version it will become the Apple of cars.
best @jason (After 24 hours)


  • edited November -1
    You can find the Launch Ticker here:
  • edited November -1
    Sweet review!
  • edited November -1
    It's almost obscene how much fun you must be having! Thanks for the brain dump. More please!
  • edited November -1
    "Each of four wheel wells that, you guessed it, can each hold an overnight bag." -- This made me laugh quite a bit. Thank you.
  • edited November -1
    Is it just me or did Tesla include an "Opportunity Console" in this car? The video seems to show a lipped storage location and Jason refers to it in his review as well. I always remembered that area as carpet.
  • edited November -1
    If you're referring to the center console between the passenger and driver Andex23, it is HUGE. You could put a (small) duffle bag in it!

    Drove another 25 miles today and the person in the passenger seat said "i can feel the blood rushing to the back of my brain" when I hit the gas.

    Having driven the Roadster for 3+ years/15k miles, I can tell you this is 1000x the car. Tesla has a HUGE hit on its hands. Huge.
  • edited November -1
    @ andex23 – We received delivery of our car on July 27. The lipped storage area between the front seats is not the “Opportunity Console.” It is the standard center console that comes with the car. Many of the Release Candidate cars used at the drive events have a ribbed bottom in this center space, but the production version is just plain black carpet on the floor of the console area. The lipped sides do keep things stored in that area from sliding out of the center console area.
  • edited November -1
    I think the area is great for storage and the shelf is so useful. I test drove with stuff all over those areas and it stayed put. I'll use the pouch in front of seat for storing hidden things.
  • edited November -1
    The bidding is going up! Previous best was 100X the Roadster.

    Geez, if I've said it once, I've said it 1.3253 million times: never exaggerate, people just discount it!

  • edited November -1
    It sounds like seniors may need to be cleared medically before riding in the car :p
  • edited November -1
    I am very happy to see that Jason's personal impression of Elon and his capabilities are in line with what I have gleamed by watching and reading interviews. I own a much smaller amount of stock than Jason did, but bought it because I believe in the logic of this company and the man running it. I think this car will lead to a tipping point in automobile history. Perhaps not the Model S alone, but once the Model X is on the road and we are looking at Gen III and perhaps an affordable family model, then the mass market will see the inherent value of an electric car.
  • edited November -1
    Thanks for posting your experence Jason, and Congradulations!
  • edited November -1
    JasonC- I have enjoyed your posts. But how did you manage to "hit the GAS" in your 8/13 post?

    (Sorry, couldn't resist :o)
  • edited November -1
    He just hasn't learned to call it the "goose pedal" yet. So you "goose it", "hit the goose", or "step on the goose". Or SLT. IMO
  • edited November -1
    ACCELERATOR dammit :P
  • edited November -1
    Primary accelerator ;)
  • edited November -1
    Torque pedal!!!
  • edited November -1

    I am a reservation and stockholder holder and have been on the online Tesla journey for 2 1/2 years. I believe strongly in this company and drove RT 440 miles from Orlando for my test drive:

    I drove the brown 85kw non performance model. Exterior fit and finish was very impressive, In my excitement, I forgot to ask whether the paint was metallic.

    TEST AREA: combined local, boulevard, and small stretches of highway with an option to get on I95 for one exit.

    Ride: The showroom is in an idustrial area and the road is rather bumpy. The air shocks and low profile 21" silver rims handled the bumps suprisingly well. The tires did not feel like rocks. Well Done Tesla.
    Performance: Like many others...just great, the G-forces kick in and the car pulls its substantial weight extremely well. I was doing 79mph in a heartbeat and most importantly, the brakes are performers. No nose dive or squeal...just a prompt safe stop. The low center of gravity is all that is published. S bends were amazingly smooth, I was leaning more than the car.

    Overall: Tesla has lived up to its claims, the car is everything I thought it would be.

    Two areas of concern:
    1. I believe Tesla has to rethink interior finishes. Not everyone wants Black and Gray. The tan leather is wonderful, but the dark interior finishes attract heat. Tesla needs to add ONE lighter colored option to address buyer tastes and the heat element for hot or warm climates. At first impression the non leather finishes look plastic-like and don't appear to meet the standard of a car in that price range. I think this is an area for improvement.
    2. I intend to buy the 60kw battery model. Pricing appears to revolve around range, which makes sense...BUT, there should be more appeal in the mid range by adding a performance inverter otion...perhaps 0-60 in 5.0 seconds, combine it with the 21" wheels and air shocks. Tesla's success in selling the Model S will come in this and the lower range battery. Not everyone has 84k+ to spend. I pose this as a question for the engineers, marketers and bean counters.

    I am anxious to hear from others who have test driven the car.
  • edited November -1

    Observe that Brown is in the Metallic paint group.

    Only white is present in multiple groups (Solid and Tesla Multi-Coat).
  • edited November -1
    Thanks for your review purrpleh. The positive reinforcement is welcome. I too live in Orlando and would love to compare notes in the future. What is "RT"? (Roadster?)
    I missed my test drive at Dania Beach but hope to get another chance in October. :-(
  • edited November -1
    Nevermind... RT = Round Trip. Duh!
  • edited November -1
    @purrpleh: Regarding your suggestion of a Performance model of the smaller-capacity pack. Keep in mind that performance is dictated by how much current can be drawn from the pack, which is in turn dictated by both the capacity of the inverter, and the ability of the pack to deliver current.

    A larger pack, with more cells in parallel, can more readily deliver high current than a smaller pack.

    So, it may be the case that the 60kWh pack is already delivering as much current as it can without doing damage to the cells.

    I'm also a little confused by your comments regarding the leather. You said you think the tan is wonderful, but say that Tesla should offer a light-colored option. I've seen the tan and the grey, and they're both pretty light. What do you have in mind?

    I think it would be nice if there were a lighter textile offering, and if getting textile didn't preclude you from getting the heated seats. I've had heated textile seats for the last 10 years in my RAV4-EV, and they're great, although I am honestly looking forward to leather in my Model S!
  • edited November -1
    Thx Jason, for this nice review. I can't wait to get my Signature Performance here in GER.
  • edited November -1
    Having never had a car with leather seats, I'm wondering if the leather will require any special treatment. I've had handbags, that when stored in a drawer for a length of time, get a white dusting and stiffen up so that they are seemingly a bit brittle. I am getting the leather only because I want the lighter interior and the heated seats; I agree that if I could get these two things in fabric, I probably would.
  • edited November -1

    The leather seats I've had in cars start cracking within a couple of years. You can buy products that help preserve the leather but they have a tendency to stain your clothes. In my opinion, leather and wood in cars are left over from when horses pulled carriages and shouldn't be in a modern automobile.

    Leather is also hot and sticky in summer and cold and slippery in winter (that's why most cars with leather seats have heated seats--no one could stand the leather in winter otherwise, some even have cooling in summer to get rid of the stickiness.

    I had my test drive today in a leather-seat Model S. No way will I getting leather.
Sign In or Register to comment.