Dolphin Grey

Dolphin Grey

I attended the Event in Freemont. From the Design Studio and the samples in the showroom I was set on the Grey. However when I saw the Grey in person, something odd seemed to occur. In the light it was Indescribably Gorgeous but in the shade of the "tent", where people were loaded into the car, all of the luster and shimmer seemed to disappear. Further more the car took on the appearance of glossy wet primer. I've been trying to wrap my head around this for weeks now. I looked at other similar colored cars on the road, stopped at dealerships and watched similar Grey car's color change during the transition from afternoon until dusk. Nothing quite seems to reproduce what appeared to be happening at the Freemont event. After looking closely at my pictures I'm wondering if the the Grey was being altered by reflecting the white concrete barriers and white ceiling of the "tent". Additionally, last night after closely reviewing my pictures again, I noticed that there were spot lights also shinning artificial light on the cars under the "tent". Lastly the Grey car had Dark Grey Rims, which in my opinion clashed with the Silver Trim and further dulled the appearance of the Grey color in the shade. I would love to hear what other people think and if there is another car by a different manufacturer that has a very similar Grey that I could take some time to look at.

Thanks for your help !

My5bAby | July 7, 2012

Here is a copy of someone else's picture of the Dolphin Grey from the LA event which does not appear to have White Concrete barriers. The car is under a different type of "tent" without artificial lights, in the shade. This picture perfectly reproduces and represents what I'm talking about.



mbcaffe | July 7, 2012

I saw the Dolphin Grey at the LA event. It seemed to have a bluish/purple tint almost like a pacific dolphin on a cloudy day. I am sorry to say that I was not impressed. Granted I did not see it close up or in the sun but I did take the sample color chip in the sun and it looked a little better. Hope that helps

My5bAby | July 7, 2012


Thank you


Afilm_Guy | July 7, 2012

Thank you for making your post.
I attended the LA event.
And the dolphin Grey was going to be my color.
In the shade with the dark wheels under the white tent,
it caused my heart to sink, since the event I have been agonizing over paint color,
The paint appears to be as you described it wet primer.
It seems to me that the paint samples were not looked at
at the proper scale sizes when the design choices were made.
In the shade there is no metallic appeal of the dolphin Grey.
It could be these white tents.
The dark wheels some people think makes the car look meaner.
In my aesthetic I want an elegant gray I believe that the aluminum wheels
will present a more contemporary appeal.
I have asked the people of Tesla on many occasions,
to help us out by mounting aluminum colored wheels on one side and the gunmetal wheels on the other.
You can only see one side at a time in most cases.
so we can make good color choices with full size samples.
During these preview events.
This particular color is very sensitive and tricky
and cannot be modeled with confidence in the design studio.
One of the reasons is we cannot change the background behind the rendering.

Seeing subsequent photos from above in the sunlight I'm starting to figure out what's going on.
The metallic is a very fine structure, (small pieces of shiny stuff) compared to other car offerings.
The white tents and barriers are causing the light to be defused,
which is leaving no specular light in the shadows to bring the pain to life.
I'm willing to bet the factory is frustrated at our observations.
We as customers are frustrated with the factory because we have not been able to see
a dolphin gray car with aluminum wheels.

The pearl white color was suffering the same optical illusions in those environments.
In this store is the pearl white with a black sunroof aluminum wheels
as an elegant timeless look. Because it's is being displayed under specular lights
like are used in a jewelry display box in the stores, at least at the 3rd street promenade store in Los Angeles.

In close because I'm rambling there's a lot more going on with this color in the sun
some of the photos are not sharp enough to capture the texture of the vehicle.
The photos from Seattle show the color in a different light.

In these photos you will see is a little better.
But the fundamental problem is the metallic is too small.

Some positive notes on other colors.
Brown is not my color but the car sure looks great and brown very surprising result.
The signature red is really special it looks good in the sun in the shade and in the photos.
There's no wonder why this is the color for the flagship vehicle of the Tesla organization.
I'm not sure if I'm flashy enough to live with this gorgeous attention gathering machine.
The silver would be the safe choice for me but I want this car to be special.
So I can help spread the word.
That's sustainable transportation is here today and it's like being at a theme park every day.

My5bAby | July 7, 2012


You took the words right out of my mouth.

I am a huge fan of Tesla. I'm trying not to make unreasonable demands or ridiculous criticisms. I have been trying to chalk this up to a difference in taste or the fact that the color was different from my mental expectations. But it simply appears that something really, really bad happens to this wonderful color in the shade. On another post I proposed the same theory regarding the reflective elements in the paint. Something else that I'm sure you noticed but did not mention, is the Clear Coat. In the Sun it is fantastic, but in the Shade the Clear Coat on the Grey Makes the situation even worse :-(

You said, "I want this car to be special. So I can help spread the word.
That's sustainable transportation is here today and it's like being at a theme park every day"

I was hoping for a Color that would be unearthly, or appear to be from some future Human Timeline. I WANT A SPACESHIP, SILENT AND WITH UNBELIEVABLE POWER !

I want people to be attracted to the car's unusual Beautiful looks, Blown away by it's acceleration and Confused by the silence. I want them to say what the HECK was that. Then I want to tell them, "its pure electric, NO GAS period !"

My honest guess is that Tesla was aiming for the same thing.

We can only hope that they are listening to the reservation holders' comments about this color, either directly or by omission and try to rework the color. Luckily, the Grey is for Production models which are not slated to be delivered until November.

On a side note: Thanks for the pictures of the Tan with the Lacewood. That has always been my choice and the pictures further confirm how I thought they would appear together. "FUTURISTICALLY ORGANIC " !

Lastly I also liked the addition of the cup holders underneath the screen. This was not displayed during the Freemont event.


jerry3 | July 7, 2012

- I was hoping for a Color that would be unearthly, or appear to be from some future Human Timeline. I WANT A SPACESHIP, SILENT AND WITH UNBELIEVABLE POWER !

+1 And that looks like a spaceship, not a horse drawn carriage. But I'll settle for some light colours other than silver or white. Nothing against silver, but I'd like a choice. A light blue or green perhaps. Or even silver with coloured metallic chips to really make it stand out.

Jason S | July 7, 2012

Actually I like the gray color more than the silver, after seeing them all in person.

The green could be mode like a british racing green, but I like the lighter greens anyhow. Personal preference, I guess. I also agree that a lighter blue would be nice.

If I try to imagine the gray as lighter or bluer... maybe that would work, but I think it wouldn't work as well with the performance wheels. All the colors (except the sunset red and the brown, imho) work very well with both sets of wheels, so I imagine that's why they are all a bit darker than some would like.

The sig red is gorgeous. My second choice would likely be the gray, even with the silver wheels. Maybe the blue, but likely the gray.

My5bAby | July 7, 2012

@Jason S

I really appreciate your comments ! My goal for this topic is NOT to have people agree with me. I am simply looking for other perspectives. I think that TESLA my find the opinions useful.

One thing I would sort of disagree with you about is Blue in the Grey. I think there is a lot of Blue in the Grey and I find that very attractive in the Sunlight.


Brian H | July 7, 2012

The Dolphin Grey seems very well named. If I mentally transpose that shade to a dolphin, it fits perfectly.

The reverse of the muting of the grey in the shade is the way it 'pops' in the light! Wonder what the effect is under partial or heavy overcast ...

bsimoes | July 7, 2012

The front grille looks very different in the picture My5bAby posted. I like it much better than the big plastic oval of black. Has this changed? Hope so!

My5bAby | July 7, 2012

@Brian H

WOW ! This is what I am looking for, different perspectives. I have only seen / imagined the Grey in either the Shade or in the Sun.

@Brian H & AFilm_Guy

Here is a Video of what I saw in Freemont. Unfortunately the colors are not exactly represented well but you can get an idea.

However, now I am imagining the car doing what it is supposed to do, MOVE ! When I picture it driving through the city or even better yet, the countryside with trees hanging overhead, I now can begin to see something I have never seen before, a water effect. As the Shade and Light pass consecutively over the car, it should practically Glisten.

Thanks I will look for this if I get a chance to see the car again. If anyone has a video of the Grey passing under a tree, I would love to see it !


the Grill has not changed, it just looks different because of the angle of the photograph.


siddharthkakodkar | July 8, 2012

I am currently going with dolphin grey with performance wheels, but I am having second thoughts. I am considering the silver wheels, but it's hard to decide as we may never see both combinations side by side in real life. Any thoughts on what looks better on the dolphin grey?


My5bAby | July 8, 2012


First of all you cannot get GREY Performance Rims unless you are getting the Performance Version of the Model S, which is more money.

Secondly I would say the Design Studio side view rather accurately portrays the difference between the Grey and Silver Rims. However I would add that the Grey Rims and the Grey paint on the car are NOT Identical. The Grey Rims also are not dark enough to be considered black.

I have not seen the Grey with Silver Rims in Person but in my opinion Silver would look much better. The Silver goes better with the other Silver Trim of the car.

I hope you find this helpful.


bsimoes | July 10, 2012

I agree with My5bAby. Personally, I think that the grey rims look like wheels which have lost their hubcaps. I find them to detract terribly from the refined look of the car; then again, I've not seen the car in person, so take my opinion with a grain of salt!

frederic.resnic | April 3, 2013

I was torn between getting the car in black or grey. Having another car that is black (a Volvo), I went with the Grey paint with the dark grey wheels. I actually think it looks pretty incredible. I also recently had the car recharging at a Nissan dealership (they were kind enough to let me charge overnight there during a long trip), and 7 of the salesmen independently commented on how great the car, and in particular, the color of the car looked. I have never seen my car and thought that it looked like wet primer. It does, however, have a noticeable blue tint in bright sunshine; which is totally fine with me.
Basically, the color is completely a subjective preference. Get what you think looks best, and it will look awesome. Most importantly, the car drives like a rocket.

TeslaLandShark | April 3, 2013

If the Sig Red had been available to non-Sig owners I would have jumped on that in a heartbeat. I was also torn between the black and the grey. We have a black car and its really hard to keep it looking good as black seems to show all the dirt and dings that you get over time. We went with the grey and we're really happy with it. I've also gotten a lot of compliments from people about the color. I didn't actually know it was called "Dolphin" Grey. Very coincidental since I refer to my grey MS as my Tesla LANDSHARK.

bigez1 | April 3, 2013

+1 frederic.resnic... dmaslana@crmtec...

My MS is black and beautiful! However, after seeing the gray if I had one do-over....

rbgil770 | April 3, 2013

P85 Grey with grey 21's was my first choice. That said, I love my brown S60 w/ silver 21's... ;)

GeekEV | April 3, 2013

FYI, while watching a tech work on my car, I noticed the service menus called the color Tiburon Grey (though that's the only place I've seen that designation). Tiburón is Spanish for shark, not dolphin. :-)

olanmills | April 6, 2013

I think I remember seeing that name for the color on the website early on. It was changed later.

edavis008 | April 6, 2013

I also struggled with the color decision; black, grey or silver. I settled on gray and I love it. The color morphs in different light, which is cool. I have gray leather, obeche matt wood trim and 19" wheels. Everything looks great together and I get lots of compliments on it. Awesome car!!

Mike C | April 6, 2013

Also very happy with my choice of grey, although "shark" sounds a lot cooler than "dolphin".

rmitchum | April 7, 2013

50 Shades
What's in a name. . .

Mike C | April 7, 2013

Hahaha, I'll take "dolphin grey" over "manatee grey" any day, though!

Brian H | April 7, 2013

Wassa matter with "Sea Cow Grey"? ;)

Brian H | April 7, 2013

"Zombie Skin Grey"

david.baird | November 15, 2013

I've only seen the blue, both whites and signature red in person.

I thought I liked the pearlescent white, but now I'm less sure as I don't think it shows the curves of the back of the car enough, these stand out more in a darker colour.

Now the black looks beautiful, but it's flat and is going to show every single scratch and piece of muck. It's a shame they don't have a nice black metallic, that would be awesome.

But now, as I approach ordering, I'm really liking the brown, although I have to say in the design studio it looks much darker than on the photos - more dark than lili chocolate and I think it's a shame it's not darker in real life.

Anyway, brown with silver cyclone rims, black leather with carbon...

JohnFloyd | November 15, 2013

The Brown (I like to call it Copper) is beautiful in person IMHO. It looks great with the darker rims as well. I had one as a loaner in Houston for a week back in August, and it was something. You really can't go wrong.

david.baird | November 15, 2013

I agree the dark rims look nice, but I prefer to have the 19" wheels for the slightly softer ride - will be my family car, three kids in the back and a wife to tell me what to do on my right :)

Now to read the whole of this and the teslamotorsclub forums to catch up with "everything"...

On top of that Im not in a massive rush to order as I want to time it with the arrival of some supercharging stations here in Europe. So I'm targeting January with a summer delivery.

I reserve the right to change my mind on ALL specs ;)

gill_sans | November 15, 2013

All the metallics look more gorgeous in sunlight. Personally I like the grey better than the silver. Saw a beautiful grey P85 at the Gilroy supercharger last weekend. A guy was standing next to it smoking, apparently just admiring the four Model Ses lined up charging. But I digress, heh.

edavis008 | November 15, 2013

I had a hard time deciding between the Black and the Grey. I chose the Grey and I am very happy with it. Shows the lines of the car extremely well. IMHO it looks great with my grey leather interior with matte obeche wood, and pano roof.

brandtlings | November 15, 2013

If you live in a grey climate, the white really shines and shows the lines! In bright sunshine the grey really pops. We have one of each.

JonathanL | November 15, 2013

I have the grey with black interior and grey 21" rims and I think it rocks. Every time I go to the service center someone tells me it is their favorite color combo. Maybe they say that to everyone, but I think they are being sincere. I had a black loaner with grey interior and silver 21" rims and it did nothing for me. Even my son, who was set on getting the black for our 2nd car, did not care for it. I think black on black with grey rims is cool though. Btw, there was unconfirmed reports by the service center folks that a bunch of new colors are coming out soon.

It all comes down to personal preference in the end. That is why some folks like vanilla ice cream and some prefer chocolate.

Captain_Zap | November 15, 2013

I saw a Dolphin Gray once. I was really struck by how it looked just like a wet porpoise. It was a non-metallic shiny medium gray.
(Fortunately, I haven't seen any dry porpoises up close and personal.)

Pungoteague_Dave | November 15, 2013

I just had a Dolphin Gray with gray 21's loaner p85+ for two weeks. Great car, terrible colors. Truly unflattering. Really glad to get my white S85 back.

I have met the OP, who has the only other Model S in our neck of the woods (eastern shore of Virginia). He eventually settled on and took delivery of a green S with 19's. Beautiful car, with 50K or more miles so far.

Brian H | November 15, 2013

New colours? The frenzy of comments will be something to behold.

hennla | May 20, 2014

Finalized my order five weeks ago. Changed color from Silver to Grey a couple of days ago, in the nick of time I would guess. Had already gotten my VIN number.
Silver enhances the dynamic lines of the care, but was to paile. If the Silver had been darker and with more metallic shimmer, I would have gone for it, but I changed to Grey b/c of above mentioned.
I find it strange that Tesla haven't done more of an effort in regards of color on a premium car with a premium price, and that is competing with some realy exclusive car brands of german descent, with some realy nice paint jobs. I understand that it's pretty stringent enviromental legislations in the state of California, and that it can play in on the paint process, but even though...shouldn't it be possible to make the paint job and coloration better and more exciting when it comes to a car of this magnitude?

J.T. | May 20, 2014

@henni They'll get there. It starts with light and dark, then some air and dirt, a few trees and plants, some fish and lizards, then some little furry mammals and then when it's all good you get snazzy colors, luxury seat options and better Nav.

They're young, give them a chance.

hcwhy | May 20, 2014

I originally was going with the grey/grey leather 19" cyclones. When I saw a car with grey/black leather, grey 21" cyclones, it just didn't work for me. I switched to white/grey leather, 19" cyclones and lacewood. I'm pleased with it.

Recently I saw the grey/grey with aluminum rims and liked it a lot. The interior and the rims change the color immensely, so if you can see different combos before you order it would help you with your decision...not always easy with a car as uncommon as this one.

Luckily, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or we'd all be driving cars with the color combinations.