Emulation modes for dealer test-drive cars

Emulation modes for dealer test-drive cars

I mentioned this to the Tesla dealer in Washington Square (Portland, OR) yesterday, he suggested I post it on the forum.

The cars used for test drives are all performance models - until dealers get a "regular" car, there's no real way to feel what the differences are between performance, regular 85 kWh, 60 kWh, etc. Reading the performance numbers isn't' the same as "feeling" it.

It seems to me that it would be possible to put in an emulation mode switch via software - that is, you have a performance model, but it can be made to emulate a lesser model's performance by changing a setting.

This accomplishes several things - it lets the dealers only need one type of car (air suspension notwithstanding), and allows potential customers to feel the difference in performance. I know some folks I've talked to are reluctant to buy a car if they've only been able to test-drive a souped up version, not the one they'd actually get.

There's a potential for up-selling, too - if someone thinks the regular 60 or 85 kWh pack is fine, letting them see what they're missing by not getting the performance model might get them to upgrade.

This assumes, of course, that the acceleration of the car is controlled by software, but I think that's a pretty safe bet.

sergiyz | September 1, 2012

Probably depends on location. The first round of test drives in Fremont was mostly non perf cars.
But they do have the ability to tone things down.
I think for the next round they've limited the speed to 75mph.
They could potentially have driving modes, although some options like air suspension and 21" wheels would be hard to emulate. | September 1, 2012

My friendly neighborhood Tesla store informed me that they are getting 2 test drive vehicles next week. 1 non-performance & 1 performance. I drove a non-performance for the Get Amped event.

BYT | September 1, 2012

I have taken two test drives now in the Bay Area, both cars were defiantly non-Performance and I am buying performance! :)

cerjor | September 1, 2012

KJR4235: Where are you located?

Robert22 | September 1, 2012

Can someone semiquantify the difference in acceleration between the performance and non- performance experience. If the performance acceleration was 10/10. How would you rate the non-performance acceleration?
8/10? 6/10? Thank you!

BYT | September 1, 2012

I asked my handler on Monday if he had driven both perf and non-perf and he said that he had. He say's they feel very similar, you just end up passing more cars in the perf. vs. non-perf.

brianman | September 2, 2012

5.6 vs. 4.4 seems pretty "quantified" to me

Davidinkl | September 2, 2012

I drove a nonperformance and then a performance back to back a month or so ago. I would say the nonperformance would be an 8.5. I'm sticking with the nonperformance. As I remember it wasn't the 0-30mph that impressed me as much as the 30-70 mph, in both cars | September 2, 2012

@cerjor I am in Colorado

Michael23 | September 2, 2012

A g37 is faster than a non performance for comparison so many have probably already experienced that 0-60 before. The performance will blow you away if you've never been in something that fast.

Brant | September 2, 2012

so almost 8/10 for nonperf
Consider it quantified

Robert22 | September 2, 2012

Thanks, I can do the math, but It wasn't what I was after. After talking to several Tesla employees that had driven multiple cars at a variety of locations, I was surprised at the consistency of the response when I asked the same acceleration question. The seat of the pants subjective experience i.e. feeling, isn't as proportionately reduced as you might expect from a lone assessment of the numbers. I asked them if I didn't plan to do jackrabbit starts every day, how much would I be missing? The universal response was "not much". That seems to be the sentiment of several forum members that have driven both, although others have indeed decided to upgrade to performance models after tasting the heroin. I decided based on cost and taxes (sales and recurrent excise) that I would rather pick up an opportunity console and a few of the future goodies Tesla will undoubtedly offer, and sacrifice the 1.2 seconds. My friends at MIT tell me they can get the 1.2 seconds back for me if I'm willing to leave the car with them for two days, but I think I'll pass on the offer. My car might wind up on the dome. Lastly, after talking to a state trooper recently, he felt it was rapid acceleration relative to traffic flow that gets the attention of an officer more frequently than absolute speed so perhaps I can save myself a few citations with a modicum of underperformance.

sergiyz | September 2, 2012

I think the perf model is feeding more current to the motor, not sure if the motor has more coils as well.
TM also mention a tuned traction control and suspension that is effectively software tuning.
That leaves the perf wheels and tires.

Volker.Berlin | September 2, 2012

"Is 4.4 seconds vs 5.6 seconds alone worth $10k?"

Brant | September 2, 2012

I put that number up partially to justify my purchase ; )
I got a taste
Agreed that if you are not going to use it you might as well spend the $ on something you will.
Another way to look at it though: an increase in 0-60 time of the Porsche Panamera of 0.9 sec (going from the S to the GTS) will cost you 20K. So it would seem that in the world of performance sedans this is quite a deal.

jerry3 | September 2, 2012


Everything I've read indicates the difference in the Performance version is a bigger inverter and some suspension tuning. The motor remains the same.

ChasF | September 2, 2012

I've read that the performance motor has additional windings, therefore beefier.

Sudre_ | September 2, 2012

From what I have read the performance version is a larger inverted, motor and probably wire between them.