VIN 74

VIN 74

I picked up my Special Signature Red 2012 Model S yesterday 9/19/12.

The Obeche Wood (Matte) was an exellent choice. Really glad we did not get the "shiny" version.

Got the 19" silver rims. Saw a couple Sig Reds with the Black performance rims and again, I am glad I went with the silver rims.

Tan perforated Napa leather. Again awesome, especially against the Signature Red. The "red" is more like an "ox blood" and really quite beautiful.

Pano-roof is sooooooooo cooool.

The 17" display is so far ahead of anything else (slightly angeled towards driver, as well), I don't know what to say. Bluetoothed my phone and tablet while I was still in the showroom. Auto-links contact lists, recent phone calls, etc. Could not link my iPod.

Oh and Tesla is giving everyone free internet until they get the wifi up an running. Thanks Tesla. Way Cool. Browser is not yet Chrome, so you can not yet link to your g-mail profile yet. But reportedly coming soon.

Charger does not yet have a timer (like the Roadster) so I have to wait until 11:00 pm to plug in for the lower energy rates. Going to be a pain at first.

This car is miles ahead of the Roadster in so many ways I do not know where to start (and the Roadster is fantastic). BTW it took all of 15 minutes for the first "that's a great looking car. OMG is the new Model S"

Please post with any questions or answers (like why i did not get a 110 adapter for the charger plug. or why there is no timer on the charging function, or why i can't link my iPod, etc).

blurry_eyed | September 20, 2012

Thanks so much for sharing! Is the little parcel shelf below the touch screen in your car? Also what are the due items bill remaining to install in your Model S?

How does it feel to open the doors? Does it take much getting used to?

Michael S | September 20, 2012

As for the doors, I was afraid of "breaking" anything, so I was being too soft. So once I got used to the fact I was not going to break anything, opening the doors is easy. There is a "half-second" delay once you grab the handle and pull, but that is about it.

There is nothing (and I mean nothing) under the display. you could put a small dog cage there. They are designing modular inserts for the space and a unit with some proper cup holders would be good.

I know that "lighted vanity mirrors" were a big stink (something I could care less about). The mirrors are still not lighted.

I'm not sure what else might be missing, so if you or anyone has any specific items i should be looking for, i would be happy to give the thumbs up or thumbs down.

BTW there is no Pandora app yet, but the "slacker app" for internet music they have is just as good and "no commercials!!"

bfranks273 | September 20, 2012

Hey Michael - I just got mine vin 96 yesterday too. I was wondering about a separate thread but not sure it makes sense.

So my specialist did not mention wifi and I neglected to ask. Thanks for the info. I did get a 110V adapter, that seems like a big whoops to me. You got the two other adapters right? I am waiting for a Roadster HPC adapter and they say that will be a few weeks out.

The iPod has no wireless (right?) so you wont be able to connect it. I was advised connecting anthing to the USB only charged it, did not connect to the content. However you can play music off of a USB memory stick. My BlueTooth connected OK but during a conversation it disconnected, I continued call handheld, and then it connected again and disconnected! This morning I see how many bas on the screen but tried calling and it says no connection. So that seems a little buggy.

I'm also annoyed about the charge timing. The volume control is stepped too coarsely, you notice that at all? I was told I have XM Sat radio for a year, which contradicts something I read previously. No manuals, but they are coming. Cant think of anything else for now, will try the Slacker, thanks.

Agree on the doors, you just have to change how you think, touch a half second then pull. And you have to shut it somewhat harder than usual to get it to close fully.

Sparrow | September 20, 2012

Is a timer for charging going to be in some future firmware update? I can't imagine the car won't have a timer for those that want to charge only during the lower billing hours.

Michael S | September 20, 2012


Yeah, maybe don't need a separate thread, but just started it so anyone could ask or add anything regarding the "actual car" instead of a lot of the "guessing" going on.

As for the wifi, once they get that running, then you would not need the onboard "phone" from AT&T because you would just tether to your existing cell phone. That was always the design idea. Until then we all get free internet.

Do we have XM? See that's something I did not check. Thanks!

ipod has no wifi or bluetooth. Again I'm glad you wrote here because your guy says "USB for charging only" and my guy says "USB for charging and connecting". There is actually a screen that says "plug in your USB data device". So we'll have to see on that one.

I got manuals, warrantee, etc. e-mailed to me. But as they are being constantly updated, they should change, and change, and change.

And yes, you realy have to shut the door hard.

@Sparrow: Yes. Already confirmed. Was always part fo the vision and the Roaster has the fuction, so should not be that hard.

Michael S | September 20, 2012


Yes got the other two adapters and they just called me to say the 110 is on the way.

VincentA | September 20, 2012

Hi Michael,
We ordered that exact same colour and trim combination, so I am pleased with your satisfaction! I am surprised that I have not heard of a lot more cars with Red/Tan/Oboche Matte. It seemed like one of the classiest combos to me and my wife (and one we could easily agree on!).

Michael S | September 20, 2012

@ VincentA

You will be very happy with the choice.


BTW I'm VIN 76, not 74. I don't know why I have 74 stuck in my head.

Appologies to VIN 74........

Electric Machete | September 20, 2012

It's a bit frustrating to hear that two people who just took possession of their cars got different stories regarding the USB connection. Who needs two separate USB connectors for charging? That makes no sense. A memory stick requires no charging and if you can play music off of that then you can play music off of other devices as well. This is essential information for the delivery specialists to get right.

I was told in an email from Tesla last week that the nav system will not have traffic information. A day later this was disputed by three separate Model S owners who say that traffic is integrated.

I have a million questions, and the last person I am willing to ask is anyone who works for Tesla. So thank you Michael S and bfranks for taking the time to reply to questions here.

Did they give you an estimate for when the wifi will be enabled? Did they explain why there was a delay in something so essential to the general functionality of their vehicle?

Will you have to return to the service center for updates still since wifi isn't enabled or will you be able to update the OS through their free 3g connection?

Are you able to upload music into the onboard memory or can you only play from a memory stick?


James13 | September 20, 2012

We drool in your general direction.
If you could keep a running list of lessons learned, things to ask Tesla on delivery, things to be sure to ask before delivery, that would be amazingly helpful. CONGRATS! Now go driving.

Volker.Berlin | September 20, 2012

Who needs two separate USB connectors for charging? That makes no sense. (Electric Machete)

Chances are, if you have a passenger, they will be happy to top up their mobile phone, iPod, gaming console, whatever. One USB charge port for every passenger (as was originally announced with the tech pkg) would make even more sense!

Please post with any questions or answers (like why i did not get a 110 adapter for the charger plug. or why there is no timer on the charging function, or why i can't link my iPod, etc). (Michael S)

You may want to check the Punch List, for answers as well as questions!

Electric Machete | September 20, 2012

VB, I am not stating that it won't be helpful to be able to charge, but the inherent value of using a USB connection is transferring information, not charging. The USB should be able to be the internet connectivity conduit (i.e. tethering), connect to any iPhone or Android phone and read their music files and allow playback through the touchscreen interface and steering wheel, all while keeping your phone well charged. I just want confirmation from Tesla that it's all in the works.

Michael S | September 20, 2012

okay guys and gals, here is what we have on the USB:

i am streaming from my HTC EVO 4G right now. the system sees it as both USB and through the BLU-TOOTH

i can also stream through my SAMSUNG Galaxy tab via USB.

Problem appears to be my iPod only.

It is also the only non-android device i have tried. problem could be my ipod or all ipods. feedback from other would be great on this.

BTW: I am writing is in the car right now. do not hate me.

Michael S | September 20, 2012

as for wifi, i can only say that as long as they are giving me free internet, i am not going to push this one.

on maps its like this:

i have tesla's google maps on the lower half of the screen and "my" google maps up on the upper half of the screen through the webbrowser with my saved places, etc. worked pretty well yesterday. the two will integrate when the tesla runs google chrome, whereby you can use you google id for maps, mail, etc....

Sudre_ | September 20, 2012

@Michael S

Don't hate you.... but you are going to get out of the car and at least take a shower in the next few days aren't you :-)?

TheAustin | September 20, 2012

"BTW: I am writing is in the car right now. do not hate me."

I don't hate, I love you! Enjoy, and thanks for the great commentary and feedback.

P.S. - My configuration is blue with grey interior and matte obeche wood...I'm glad that you are so happy with the matte obeche, because I really didn't like any of the other choices.

Amos' Tesla | September 20, 2012

So glad to hear you are happy with the matte finish. That was my biggest decision without being able to see it. Same config except white leather. Vin 207 due end of month. Holding my breath! Just to be clear is the little parcel shelf in under the 17" or no? Thx

Nicu.Mihalache | September 21, 2012

iPods do not let a USB connected device read their files, as demanded by the music industry in order for them to allow iTunes store to exist (which in turn helped iPod become mainstream and change the music industry btw).

They have a audio out in the 30 pin connector (analog ?) but which does not connect via USB. If Tesla does not create some special connector for iPods that do not have wi-fi / bt, I think there is no (practical) way to do it.

In the meantime, iPod touch and iPhone and I think the new iPod nano have bt, you can use a USB key and, as you pointed out, other MP3 devices that give access to files the way an USB key would do.

Electric Machete | September 21, 2012

Michael S, thank you so much for that information on the USB.

A question about the two maps, one the internet based Google maps, the other the in house Tesla nav system. Can you explain the differences you see? Is there any traffic information on the native Tesla nav map? If so, will if offer rerouting options?

I got confirmation from Tesla last night that their nav system is Garmin Navigon. I have never used Navigon, but other people have given it positive reviews. I looked on their website and they offer an incredible amount of options to integrate into the system. Would it be too much to ask you to check out the navigon website and compare what they offer to what is available in the Tesle?

I'm very near the end of my MVPA 30 day window and would like to finalize before the 26th so I don't lose any time. I appreciate what you are doing for those of us that are still waiting/deciding.

Michael S | September 21, 2012

@Amos' Tesla :

No parcel shelf. Big empty space where they are going to offer add-on options (shelf, Cubby, maybe more logically positioned cupholders, etc.)

Michael S | September 21, 2012


did get out of the car and immediately regretted it :-)

Michael S | September 21, 2012

@Electric Machete--

No traffic YET on the Tesla/Google map Nav. Neat feature on the Nav is that if you, like I did, miss your turn, it will automatically re-route you, and fairly quickly.

I have to tell you that the nav system basic at this time, but i would not let that stop me from ordering my car all over again.

I got an e-mail just last night about how they are going to be doing firmware updates remotely while the car is not in use. Here is som of the e-mail:

"In the next 2 weeks, your Model S will display an alarm clock icon in the status bar letting you know that new software is available. Model S updates its software wirelessly, providing new functionality throughout your term of ownership. The process to install these enhancements is outlined below."

Onboard Notification
The first time you enter your Model S after an update is made available, you will be shown a scheduling dialogue box. You can install immediately, confirm the suggested time, or schedule an alternate time. Once scheduled, the icon will change color from yellow (unscheduled) to white (scheduled). At any point before installation begins, you can re-schedule the installation.

IMPORTANT: Model S must be in Park and not driving when new software is being installed. A software update can take up to 2 hours to complete so be sure to select a time when the car can sit idle for this period.

If your car is charging when the update is scheduled, charging will temporarily stop and restart after the software is installed. If you are driving when the installation is scheduled, the installation will be cancelled.

Rated Range (Functional Improvement)
Your Model S provides two Range estimates to help drivers determine driving distance. These range estimates are called Projected Range and Rated Range.

The Projected Range estimate predicts the car's range based on the driver's current driving state. In other words, Projected Range predicts how far the car can travel if the driver were to continue driving in their current style. This number is calculated by looking at energy use over the last 30 miles and assumes consistent energy use until the battery is depleted.

The Rated Range estimate predicts the car's range based on standardized range metrics set by the EPA. When your Model S was delivered, the Rated Range was based on the EPA's 2-cycle test, which yields approximately 300 miles of range after fully charging in Max Range mode. With the new software release, Model S will begin using the EPA's more aggressive 5-cycle test to predict the Rated Range. After a full Max Range mode charge, your Model S will now display approximately 265 - 269 miles of Rated Range.

It is important to note that the energy storage and driving capabilities of your Model S have not changed. Your car is simply using a more aggressive algorithm to calculate Rated Range to match the EPA's 5-cycle test. In practice, this means your Rated Range will be easier to 'beat' with efficient driving and will be more accurate given spirited driving.

Customize Range Display (New Feature)
The available range of your Model S is displayed in three locations: on the Instrument Panel while driving, on the Touchscreen's charging screen and on the Instrument Panel's charging screen. Your car currently displays the Rated Range in all these locations. With the new software, you can now elect to display the Projected or Rated Range. To customize this setting, use the Touchscreen to navigate to Controls>Settings>Units & Format.

Vehicle Entry / Exit (New Feature)
When approaching a parked Model S, the Instrument Panel screen and Touchscreen will turn on when any door is opened and the Media Player will begin playing whatever content was previously selected. The volume will be low until the driver enters the car and closes the driver's door. The volume will then ramp up to the previously set level. On exit, the volume ramps down when the driver door is opened and both screens remain on until the last door is closed. When all doors are closed, the Media Player stops and the screens turn off.

Michael S | September 21, 2012


Update from Tesla last night (to confirm @Nicu.Mihalache) "ipods will not integrate via USB at this time". It is a licensing issue between Apple and Tesla. Basically everything @Nicu.Mihalache posted is correct.

timdorr | September 21, 2012


That's not true at all. My Prius connects to and reads my iPod over USB just fine.

Any iDevice presents itself as a standard USB Mass Storage device. It just hides away its content in a non-standard iPod_Control folder. Tesla should be able to support this with a firmware update, they just need to know how to read the files and meta data contained in the iPod_Control folder.

Nicu.Mihalache | September 21, 2012

@ timdorr
Of course it is technically possible to read the files, iTunes does it just fine (for playback, not copy). It is a licensing issue - and indeed, I did not know Toyota or any other car for that matter did it (we are not talking about docking, just USB here). This gives hope that at some point Tesla will do that too (but there are so many other small issues to resolve before that ...). But iPods will not present their content as an external disk by default.

BestBrokerinDallas | September 21, 2012

@Michael S - May I ask you what your insurance is running you and with what company? I'm VIN 178 and my car is coming in the next week or two and just had the quote from my carrier and I was in tears... I started a Forum for insurance, but thought I would directly ask you, too... :-)

Michael S | September 21, 2012


You misread me. Licensing between Tesla and Apple is the issue not the physical connectivity.

Michael S | September 21, 2012


My Allstate guy did this:

I have an old Jeep Grand Wagoneer that shows as my "primary" vehicle. I kept the Roadster as a "secondary" vehicle and it kept my rate lower by $2000 a year. I now have swapped the roadster for the Model S (same second car position). I don't know what the exact rate is for the new car, but it should be less than for the Roadster. It's all bundled, but I'll se what I can find out.

Nicu.Mihalache | September 21, 2012

@Michael S
My previous post was an answer to timdorr.

Anyway, I think we all agree now :)

BestBrokerinDallas | September 21, 2012

@Michael S - Thank you! I'm trying to shop and get other quotes. It is interesting to see what companies have information on Model S and which do not... :-)

Alex K | September 21, 2012

@Michael S | SEPTEMBER 20, 2012: the two will integrate when the tesla runs google chrome...

You mentioned Google Chrome two times. Is this something that is actually planned by Tesla or is this just wishful thinking?

nickjhowe | September 21, 2012

@Michael S - if the 'Chrome' comment is correct can you let @ddruz know the source so it can be added to the Punch List thread:

Michael S | September 21, 2012

@Alex K

Well, that is what they are telling the delivery teams to tell us. So I believe it to be the case. The system is a version of Android OS, the maps are Google, they are working hand in hand with Google for app licensing. So I believe it to be true.

Michael S | September 21, 2012

Someone asked about onboard data (music) storage. My rep said that they are holding back access to potential software/data storage for now.

I assume it is because the car relies so heavily on the on-board computer, they don't want hackers fudging up the OS.

Just my take.

Electric Machete | September 21, 2012

Michael S,
Great info. Thanks so much. Hopefully they will be implementing upgrades in the nav system. I doubt that Tesla would be satisfied with where it is at now. Still, I wish they would announce the plans. I'm guessing they are gun shy now that they won't be able to fulfill previous promises (i.e. Model S as a wifi hotspot).

DouglasR | September 21, 2012

Michael S,

Thanks for the great info. Just to clarify, when you say the system cannot play music files from the iPod via Bluetooth, does that apply to the iPhone as well? Also, what about files that are not stored in iTunes -- e.g., music streamed via Rhapsody of Spotify?

Michael S | September 21, 2012


No, it MAY be able to play via bluetooth. I don't know because my ipod doesn't have bluetooth. I think i read on another thread that it will play music through iphone (bluetooth) so i would imagine if your ipod has bluetooth it will play.

We were all talking about USB connectivity (or lack thereof).

DouglasR | September 21, 2012

Michael S,

I'm sorry, my mind was wandering when I wrote that. I meant USB (not bluetooth) and iPhone (not ipod). You said the ipod wouldn't play via USB, and I'm wondering if that is true of the iPhone as well? I suspect it is -- my iPhone plays fine on my Ford Sync system via bluetooth, but only charges when connected to USB.

GHmagic6 | September 21, 2012

Michael S,

Thanks for all of your posts - really informative! One question - have the reps said anything about the availability of the Tesla iPhone app? I'm getting my car in a few weeks and am curious...


Michael S | September 21, 2012


I did not think to ask (I don't have an iphone)....

iholtzman | September 21, 2012

How do you like the 19" inch wheels? Can you tell the difference between the 19"'s and the 21"'s? I ordered the 19"'s because I live in Chicago and did not want to deal with 2 sets of wheels.
85 KW
Pano Roof
Obeche Matt
Tech Package
Active Suspension
Upgraded stereo
Paint Armour

Teoatawki | September 21, 2012

@Michael S

Word was that the OS for the screen is a Linux variant, but not Android. What info do you have that contradicts this?

Brian H | September 21, 2012

Michael S;
Isn't the shelf a completely different issue from the cubby (CCI) etc.? I understood it was now standard.

Teoatawki | September 22, 2012

Brian H,

You are correct, sir! So far it has not been installed in the cars currently being delivered, just promised.

Rod and Barbara | September 22, 2012

@ Michael S – If you have software version 1.7.36 (touch the Tesla T at the top of the 17-inch touch screen to see your version number), it has traffic info included. The traffic info is turned on and off on the Controls -> Settings -> Apps -> Maps screen. I drove for some time before gimp_dad told about the selection. One issue with the traffic info integration is that it does not appear to affect the time enroute calcuation during turn-by-turn navigation which seems like a significant shortcoming to me.

bsimoes | September 23, 2012

Michael S--I'm so happy for you; you must be having a blast! I also am very appreciative of your offer to answer any questions. Off the top of my head, I have two; Would you be willing to discuss the "transparency" of the pano roof--do you benefit from any light penetrating and can you easily see through it? (Obviously, when it is closed!)
My second question is about how quiet it is. I now have a Prius, and many people comment on how quiet it is, but I don't really find it so, because I still hear the tires on the pavement. To me, it's about as "loud" as any car, unless I am still. I was wondering if the Model S is the same, or whether the insulation is such that you don't hear the road noise, other traffic noise, etc. Thanks!

Michael S | September 23, 2012

r & b


thanks so much!!!

traffic on now

Michael S | September 23, 2012


pano seems to block 90% of the heat 50% of the light during these hot summer days. just about perfect.

Michael S | September 23, 2012


totally quiet compared to anything else i have driven. the roadster is actually really loud
due to road noise. this is quite a change. also the batmobile sound when rapidly accelerating that you get with the roadster is pretty much gone in the model s.

Michael S | September 23, 2012


I spent 1/2 hour last year talking to tesla cfo @ telsa event. he was quite positive that android was the OS. other evidence would include the google maps installed, comments about the upcoming google chrome integration by other tesla employees, and a recent comment during a discussion re: app store plans


did not drive the 21's so cant comment

one last thing this now able to stream pandora through the car via blutooth from my samsung galaxy tab...test my evo 4g later...