I just walked over to the Tesla DC store (yes friends, I only work four blocks away) and learned some new things. They now have on permanent display the Model S and claim to be the last store to receive one. These models will rotate among and between stores but there should always be one on display - in all stores - from now on, the assistant store manager told me. Currently on display is the beta (VIN 22) with black exterior, black leather interior and black piano décor. Wow, all I can say is that the experience was overwhelming. This is the third S I’ve sat in and this time it really seemed to strike a chord saying: this is a big, luxurious car.
Things I learned which were new to me:
1. The assistant store manager said he believed that the two padded arm rests, immediately aft of the famed cup holders, would likely open to include some storage space. He emphasized that this was his belief, not his certain knowledge. (I don’t want to start false rumors.)
2. The display has been subtly redesigned to make it more intuitive and requiring fewer screens to open as one drills down to a particular function. What I appreciated about this improvement, aside from the improved functionality, was that the background color and shade has been changed. Previously I remember the background as being a garish white that was in much too much contrast against the comfortable interior surroundings. The new display background has been toned down (also over the steering wheel) so that in both day and night mode they are really pleasing, and yes, luxurious. Of course I imagine future Aps will give us all kinds of additional cool and funky choices.
3. The assistant store manager said that it was Tesla’s desire (again not committing) that they would have a small fleet of vehicles to travel around from store to store so that customers could see and drive several examples all at once – with/without air, performance/non-performance, pano/regular roof, big battery/small(!) battery, etc.
4. He told me that crash testing was about to be finished (end of the month) and that they had crashed something close to 60 vehicles. Ouch! We both lamented on what a terrible loss that was, imagining these full, production-ready vehicles all smashed to smithereens with few recoverable components.
5. I fit into the back seat without a problem (6’2”) but admittedly I did have an awkward time getting out. The rear wheel well extends forward so much that it requires a degree of flexibility to egress, which sadly I am losing more and more these days.
6. My guide was still uncertain as to whether the rear seat headrests would be stationary or adjustable, but seemed to think they would be there in one fashion or another.
7. If I liked the look of the High Power Wall Connector (and I do) but didn’t plan on getting Twin Chargers (and I don’t), I could hook it up to a 50 amp circuit instead of 100 amps in my garage. The former he said would cost a couple of hundred dollars while the latter would likely cost a thousand. I do like the look of the Tesla, color coordinated, wall connector but I will still have to wrestle with spending $1,200 for it.
I know zooming around (whishing around?) in our new Teslas will be the ultimate thrill, but I have to tell you, sitting in this black beast with the smell of new leather and listening to Beethoven’s 5th in the background wasn’t shabby!