Do anybody know if the center console design in the current beta version is going to be what is in the final production car? This is the biggest disappointment for me with regards to the interior of the car. That empty space in the center makes the car's interior look like a minivan and cheap in comparison to other luxury cars. I really hope this is not the final design for the center console.

Volker.Berlin | 10. marraskuu 2011

@1YOUNG1, nobody knows for sure but you are not alone. You may want to read these threads to learn what others on this forum had to say on the issue:

Brian H | 10. marraskuu 2011

It's for your purse, silly!


Soflauthor | 10. marraskuu 2011

I have commented at length about the need for a center consult on both threads that @Volker.Berlin notes. I won't repeat my comments here.

However, assuming that TM is wedded to the beta interior design (no center console—a significant design error, IMO), I wonder whether those of us who want one can have a local custom shop build one at a reasonable cost. I've never had custom work done for any of my cars, so I have no clue what it would entail.

If anyone has experience with this, I'd be interested in your opinion and guestimate of cost. I just spent 15 minutes doctoring a beta photo. It should be obvious that I'm not a graphic designer or an expert with photoshop-like apps, but this is a VERY rough interpretation of what I'd ask a custom shop to implement:

Obviously, I'd much prefer to see Tesla reconsider and implement a console at the factory -- even as an option.

jbunn | 10. marraskuu 2011

Most of my cars have had a transmission hump and drive train tunnel, which is where the center divider design element came from. Even a front wheel drive has exhaust components to tuck under the car. in that spot. Starting with a clean slate allowed Tesla to have a flat floor front and rear.

At that point the center console wasn't required. I think they removed it to emphasise that unique feature.

Mycroft | 10. marraskuu 2011

After having sat in the car last week, I have to say that I'm quite happy with the design. I could always put a basket or a box down in that space if I wanted to.

stephen.kamichik | 10. marraskuu 2011

I agree with Mycroft. However, one can build their own console out of masonite and either spray paint it black or cover with black vinyl or leather.

sarge7359 | 10. marraskuu 2011

I like the ideas of fridge / cooler in that spot, or just some deeper storage. The console Soflauthor drew (15m? you are good!) could work too. I would miss having a little change tray or similar.

Cars used to have some accommodation for smokers, tho that's becoming an optional feature these days. If Tesla could have a smoker vs non-smoker option for that center space it would be nice.

My design would cut that space 70/30 lengthwise -- a deep tray for "small items" that tucks under the center console then a covered deep middle space for other stuff. The passthru section makes the storage spot less deep, but I'm not seeing a problem with the console being too deep. The cover could be rollup desk style with the storage chunk in that little carved out area in front of the armrest.

Volker.Berlin | 10. marraskuu 2011

Soflauthor, if that was 15m I'm impressed. The resulting image does a great job of visualizing the available space and how it could be used.

One idea comes to my mind that has not been mentioned yet: You should be able to rest your elbow on the armrest while navigating the touch screen. I think that would drastically help to hit the virtual controls you are aiming at while the car is moving -- even for the passenger. To me, it looks like the arm rests in the beta model are probably too far back to be used while tapping on the screen.

This is so obvious that I am confident Tesla is aware of this detail -- just as a visible and touchable rim/frame around the screen may help orientation and serve as a hand/finger support while navigating the screen. The latter argument came up to counter the idea that a perfectly and almost invisibly integrated touch screen would be slicker. It probably would, but the rim is almost definitely a good deal improving usability.

Soflauthor | 10. marraskuu 2011

@Volker.Berlin wrote: Soflauthor, if that was 15m I'm impressed. The resulting image does a great job of visualizing the available space and how it could be used.

Thx, but don't be impressed. I simply used a jpg photo in a simple little drawing program called EazyDraw (Mac). It's not a 3-D model or anything like that, just an 2-D overlay on top of the photo. A few polygons, some lines, and a fill function and it was done. Okay, maybe the annotation added another minute or two :)

More important, if Tesla insists on a flat floor to make an unnecessary statement about the Model S being non-ICE, even at the risk of turning some potential buyers off because the interior is just not 'right,', I'll hand my little drawing to a custom shop in Fort Lauderdale and ask for ideas and a quote. As I said earlier, I'd much prefer that TM provide the console directly or as an option.

Soflauthor | 10. marraskuu 2011

@stephen.kamichi: However, one can build their own console out of masonite and either spray paint it black or cover with black vinyl or leather.

I hope you're kidding. I'm pretty handy with tools and masonite, but a DIY project applied to the interior of a new $60,000 - $90,000 luxury car would be ... how can I put this ... ill-advised :)

petero | 11. marraskuu 2011

Soflauthor, nice work.

I doubt TM will include a center console. If they don’t, it will be a popular option if offered.

I know interior conveniences, tow hitches, roof racks, have been forumed to death, but… I would like to see two cup holders in my ‘optional ’ center console’ that have a three way switch: Off, Heat, Cold.

How about a microwave oven where the glove box is? Just kidding of course. Does anyone use gloves anymore?

Mycroft | 11. marraskuu 2011

"Does anyone use gloves anymore?"

Don't get 'em started!!!

EdG | 11. marraskuu 2011

Microwave/gloves: Did you want your gloves warmed up?

Cup holders: you'll want the submersible 17" display option so quick stops don't destroy your display. Unfortunately, that option reduces touch screen sensitivity. You'll need the plug-in heated etip gloves.

jackhub | 11. marraskuu 2011

Question. If there had never been a drive shaft, would there have been a center console? Was the introduction of a console to cover the center hump in the floor associated with the old front bench seat?

jbunn | 11. marraskuu 2011

Jackhub, that's my guess. Like the old wives tale about railroad guage was determined by preferences that go all the way back to roman wagon design, and the roads they built.

I've reversed my thinking about the center dash over the last few days. I'm allways short on storage space. Also nice to have a place for my right elbow that matches the armrest built into the door. And cupholders close to my hand.

I'll be pleased to get my car eiether way. These guys have done a great job so far, so whatever they decide on should good.

Volker.Berlin | 11. marraskuu 2011

Question. If there had never been a drive shaft, would there have been a center console? (jackhub)

I'd say yes.

[...] earlier models of the Porsche 911's (I owned a 1979 Porsche 930) had very little in the way of a centre console, other than the stick shift, it resembled the "purse space" on the Beta Models at the Factory Event. Recognizing that a rear engine ICE does not require a transmission\power-train tunnel that a front engine vehicle would need, it is interesting to note that a substantial factory centre console was introduced in later models of the 911. (An after market console was available for the earlier model 911's and could be easily installed, it included gauges, ash tray, lighter and small storage area. It fit over the stick shift , and when completed, looked reasonably well integrated with the interior of the cockpit). (Denis Vincent)

Denis Vincent | 11. marraskuu 2011

@jackhub That is a very good question, my 1979 Porsche 930, being rear engine, did not have a Center console, the stick shift protruded directly form the floor area synonymous with the empty space between the driver\passenger seat in the Model S. What is interesting to note however, a subtantial center console was introduced in subsequent 911's. No doubt, the main purpose of the center console is to accomodate the drive shaft and the " mechanical user interface" for the standard\automatic transmission in a ICE (age)V, which is obsolete in the Tesla Model S. The other purpose for the center console was as an instrument "clutter" for gauges, controls for the Sound system(disc player, casette player, radio) and heater mechanisms, which are also obsolete on the Tesla S. That leaves us with only a couple but no less important(form follows) functions that the center console serves, that is storage, which requirements have signicantly changed(discs, casettes being obsolete) and cupholders(which weren't necessary until Starbucks came along). Personally, I would rather not have cupholders any where near the armrest, and as mentioned in a previous thread, should be designed similar to those in the Audi's. Rather then a having a cavernous hole(or two) in the console, the holder "pops" out of the dash (which could be ideally placed below "The Screen") when you need it and returned out of sight by pressing it back in. As a storage compartment area and considering the unusually expansive space between front seats, covered and secured makes sense for some us but may be more practicle left as an opened space for a briefcase, laptop or purse for others, which makes the center console an option..!?

Denis Vincent | 11. marraskuu 2011

@Volker.Berlin You are quick on the draw, while I was typing this thread, you posted yours, "appreciate your connectivity"!

Volker.Berlin | 11. marraskuu 2011

;-) Sorry I didn't know you were typing already...

jackhub | 11. marraskuu 2011

Another question. If we had not had the hump on the floor would the bucket seat have become so popular? Would we have more bench seats in the front?

Volker.Berlin | 11. marraskuu 2011

Not in Germany. Having a bench in front always appeared to be a very American thing to me. Germans love Seitenhalt (lateral support).

Thumper | 11. marraskuu 2011

You do not want a mosonite or even very nice wood console if you are in a really serious crash. You need padded but firm structures to guide your legs.

Andrew18 | 11. marraskuu 2011

I was in the beta today snd i suspect the interior is going to be more like the alpha.the interior is nowhere near finished based on a careful look at the interior. The center section is a crude quick job.

Robert.Boston | 12. marraskuu 2011

Now bench rear seats have long served an important role in the car culture. My son is 15, so I imagine he will come to appreciate this flexibility.

And unlike our day, you'll be able to keep the temperature control on without having to have the engine running while you spend a little quality time in the car....

jackhub | 12. marraskuu 2011
The bench seat may be American in origin, but if so, it was adopted by Daimler very early. My first ride in a Mercedes about 55-60 years ago was between two people in the front seat- a bench seat. When I visited the Daimler museum at the plant outside Tuscaloosa, Alabama where the M-class was first produced, photos of early Mercedes nodels showed the elegant comfort of the front bench seat.

Perhaps we have different time references? ;)

Tim10 | 15. marraskuu 2011

If there is no center console for storing portably devices on, what is the point of the USB ports below the screen? Not having a center console is going to be tough for myself to get over. Never appreciated the look in a minivan and definately not in a sport sedan.

Mycroft | 15. marraskuu 2011

I'm sure it will be addressed in the production version.

michiganmodels | 15. marraskuu 2011

Agreed. But, that is a good point: where is someone going to place their iPod/iPHone, etc?

EdG | 15. marraskuu 2011

If there's no center console, it goes in your pocketbook.

vouteb | 16. marraskuu 2011

I do need a centre console for storage, armrest while using touch screen AND 2 Cupholders.

Mycroft | 16. marraskuu 2011

"I do need a centre console..."

Well, you may *need* to buy a different car. Because, while the arm rest will certainly have a different design, I really doubt they're going to extend it to the dash.

We shall see.

BYT | 16. marraskuu 2011

Sounds like a marketing opportunity, make a 3rd party center consul that will fit the spot.

Soflauthor | 16. marraskuu 2011

@BYT wrote: Sounds like a marketing opportunity, make a 3rd party center consul that will fit the spot.

If the final interior design is sans center console (CC), I'll get exact measurements of the area as soon as they're available and draw up a CC design (considerably more detailed and hopefully better thought-out than the pic I provided on the first page of this thread). I'll then take the design to a custom shop and get a quote for fabrication and installation. The only problem I see is matching whatever wood veneer TM uses on the dash [matching leather and carpeting (if req'd) will be easy].

There are many reasons for the CC—all of them legitimate—aesthetics (admitted personal), functionality, storage, interior flow, etc. If I'm paying around $90K for a Sig, I expect a car that meets my needs and my wants. The lack of a CC is a glaring omission that I will remedy if TM refuses to do so (but I won't be happy spending extra money on a feature that I believe is integral to the interior aesthetic of the car).

jackhub | 19. marraskuu 2011

I was at the Santana Row store today (they have a Model S beta that seems to be their's- it's not going anywhere) and a store rep told me that the 'console issue' has not yet been decided within Tesla. Hey guys, we're running out of time. Aren't we supposed to hear about final configurations and options by the end of the year?

Soflauthor | 20. marraskuu 2011

@Jackhub: Although I have no reason to question the Santana Row's store rep's statement about the no decision on center console, it's hard to imagine that a decision has not been made. I have to believe that the decision considered a number of business criteria: (1) the incremental manufacturing and material cost of adding the console; (2) the impact of a well-designed and well-integrated center console on public and media perception of the interior; (3) the estimated number of potential buyers who will be upset and not buy because there is/isn't a console, and (4) the impact on the overall design aesthetic of the interior. Considering each individually:

1) As a percent of overall manufacturing and material cost, the incremental cost of a center consult (given that it would probably not require wiring integration or embedded electronics) would be very small.

2) When real reviews of the production S begin in the automotive press, I can easily imagine many reviewers who will critique the absence of a center console (the term "mini-van" will be used as an adjective :). I cannot imagine a single reviewer commenting negatively, if a well-designed center console is present. Positive (rave) reviews—without qualification—create buzz, and buzz creates interest and sales. Why give reviewer a reason to qualify a rave review? It's foolish from a business standpoint.

3) Read this forum and others. A majority of folks who are interested enough in the Model S to comment (and many who have put down $5K or more) are not happy about the lack of a center console. I doubt too many of us will not buy because of it, but it adds a reason not to pull the trigger.

4) I've commented on the design aesthetic in other posts and won't be redundant.

I'm still hopeful that TM has made the right decision and included a center console on the Production S design. There's no upside to excluding it, unless TM wants to be different on a whim. That's not good business and it's not good design, and I believe it will hurt the public perception of the interior.

toto_48313 | 20. marraskuu 2011

The lack of center console is not such a problem for me, however the screen positionning and current design is not attractive at all.
It was much better on the alpha design, and I hope the final design will not be as the current beta, otherwise I may reconsider my reservation.

S #5

Volker.Berlin | 20. marraskuu 2011

It was much better on the alpha design, and I hope the final design will not be as the current beta, otherwise I may reconsider my reservation. (toto_48313)

Compared to the uncertainty that was inherent with your decision when you reserved S #5, the dash board design should be a relatively minor issue...? There seems to be a trend to post "if not this or that, I will reconsider/pull my reservation". Sounds kinda silly to me, I am having a hard time taking those comments at face value.

Mycroft | 20. marraskuu 2011

I'm standing firm. If they don't reconsider the cupholders, I just might think about reconsidering my reservation. You hear that Elon, you're on notice!

Volker.Berlin | 20. marraskuu 2011

And you'll regret whenever you floor your SL55. There won't be no joy no more in accelerating your fossil-burning German car... :-P

Mycroft | 20. marraskuu 2011

Oh, I'm keeping my SLK55. She's my range anxiety solution. :-D

Although, every time I have to fill the tank with $60 worth of gas, I curse the wait for my Model S. You're right Volker, cupholders be damned, I want my Tesla!

brianman | 20. marraskuu 2011


Ok, what's her name?

Mycroft | 20. marraskuu 2011

"Ok, what's her name?"

Betty of course. :) Hopefully the tag will work and you'll see a picture of her next to my wife and I.

michiganmodels | 20. marraskuu 2011

Tag did not work :-(

Mycroft | 20. marraskuu 2011

Oh well. If anyone knows of a free hosting site that allows direct linking to pictures ...

jackhub | 20. marraskuu 2011

It was kind of curious, but the Beta on dispaly at the Santana Row store had cup holders sort of projecting out of the side of the seats. it was difficult to see how they were supported (the velvet ropes prevented a clear view of the space between the front seats), but they were about a third of the way up the back of the front seats and between them. A real rube goldberg contraption that certainly looked temporary.

Mycroft | 20. marraskuu 2011

In the beta I sat in, the tops of the arm rests, (between the two front seats), slid back to reveal the cup holders. It works, but not ideal.

jackhub | 20. marraskuu 2011

I don't recall seeing anu arm rests in this beta. The cup holders were just sort of hanging out there.

jackhub | 20. marraskuu 2011

Anyone else see the cup holders at the Santana Row beta?

Mycroft | 20. marraskuu 2011

Here's a picture of the arm rests and cup holders from the beta. You can see that the driver's arm rest is moved back to reveal the cup holder while the passenger's is not. We'll see if this img link works. :/

Mycroft | 20. marraskuu 2011

ok, I think the image thing worked. So here's the shot of my wife and I next to "Betty". :)