last friday i stopped by the tesla store in west la to take a look at the sleek black model s in the window...
the car looked every bit as good in person as i hoped, the lines and the design are elegant and strong, very jaguar-like. i'm just going to quickly list in no particular order some thoughts, things i noticed, had questions about, after spending about 20 minutes looking at and sitting in the car.
- very comfortable front seats (none of the electric windows, seats, etc worked on this beta), nice steering wheel, driver fields of view comfortable, clear. very open feeling cabin overall.
- instrument cluster impressive, 17" touchscreen panel was working for the most part, bit slow, but as expected in beta. nice design and much room for expansion via software. touchscreen was intuitive and reassuringly responsive, should work very well.
- the general finish quality of the upholstery (cream nappa) and panelling (banana leaf, i think) was a little off, gaps here and there, some awkward transitions in small areas of upholstery and panels, corners of seats, ceiling lights, door jamb, but again, perhaps to be expected on a beta. i have been driving bmw's for the last decade or so and expect that the finish on the model s will ultimately rival that (5 series). it is a very expensive car and should feel like it.
- some pieces of the body were plastic, the rear name plate, the front grille... i do hope that's not the final material.
- the back seats were slightly awkward to ingress and egress (i'm 5'9"), not super roomy, but nonetheless fairly comfortable.. the headrests front and back did seem to be manually adjustable. the rear seat a/c/heat vent seemed to be a mockup, very loosely fit and cheap feeling..?
- the center console between the front seats was also loosely fit, two sliding armrests and two cup holders, and overall somewhat small given the space available. i questioned whether or not it would be prudent to fit another storage/holder space in there.. if the factory doesn't i am sure there will be an aftermarket offering as it seems fairly obvious. not too much storage. the glove box in this beta was nonfunctional.
- the front and rear boots/trunks both had to be gingerly operated as the pneumatic arms were finicky.. but both spaces looked roomy and very useful.
- the chromed rear end frame piece visible in the back interior floor was very substantial feeling, strong and safe.
- the door handles didn't work so i didn't get a chance to see them operate, likewise the charging port, although that manually opened without much ado.
- the wheels were the 19" (20?) sport rims, looked very nice, sturdy and aerodynamic
i left with a mostly positive impression, some concerns about fit/finish and materials, and a couple design thoughts.. but overall felt like a really nice car. i am looking forward to an actual test drive in a full production model.
#708 los angeles