Saw the prototype (not alpha) in Seattle, impressions and expectations of a reservee. How about yours?

Saw the prototype (not alpha) in Seattle, impressions and expectations of a reservee. How about yours?

- changed title to proto vs alpha

- I haven't ever seen the battery benchmarks listed specifically as maximum range. You would expect that's what they represent but normal use numbers would be marginally more useful.

- Sales rep mentioned the sunroof glass has some heat deflection tech. Allows light but deflects heat.

First off, I'm pretty sure they're running the alpha is built on Merc S 500 frames. Car looks great already and the potential for the cockpit is exciting.

Talking with a sales rep he stated all the testing was showing better than expected results.

As a reservee I'm expecting the following based on what I saw and heard:

Battery range:
Normal use ranges will exceed predictions based on new tech advances and conservative benchmarks.
At least 180, 250, 320 of normal use, not maximum range.
This seems to be the biggest demand for us and the biggest markup for Tesla. I'd do the same but we're feeding the fire.

Battery swap:
Expecting to be able to swap to any other size battery pack. Already reading that the 230 and 300 interior will be smaller from the size of the battery pack. Not sure this would be big deal, by the time it's time to replace the battery (8-12 years) the 160 will be plenty of room.

Would like to see a means to attach a solar accessory to allow some 3rd party fold out panels or even solar spoiler for trickle charging.

I'd like cloth, synth leather and real leather options with leather being standard.

More sporty not less, more towards a Maserati GT/Aston Martin mix than a Camry. If they flatten the curves out, I'm out.

I think they'll exceed the 5.6 in 60 secs. More interested in handling than acceleration but it's going to nice to have both.

Sunroof - Standard with a delete option. Think we'll be 50/50 on who wants it or not for both the weight it adds and those who already get a sun overdose.

Early Adopters - While we'll get to drive the betas, I'm hoping Telsa will surprise all of us first year production folks with a juicy luxury upgrade or schwag. Also would like to see a guarantee for free retrofit for upgrades of technologies that weren't quite ready in time for production.

Lastly, while we'll likely get most the details we need before ordering day, hoping Tesla has a chance to surprise the industry and us with a few undisclosed features. I think they'll be blowing peoples minds already but final release should have some secret WOW factor to it.

How about others? Anything I missed? Also, we'll need a forum support group to get through the next 12 months.

David70 | 7 mai 2011

Actually, I was more concerned with questions about charging infrastructure. And what we saw was the prototype, not the alpha.
So there are likely to be a lot of changes by the time we get to drive the beta (supposedly some time in September). I hope you're right about the more optimistic ranges of 180, 250 and 320. Especially if that's standard instead of just range mode. If so, maybe the lower drag coefficient of the Model S is what is responsible for the improvements.

As for the sun roof, I'd only go for it if it included a shade screen for hotter days.

Since you're a reservation holder you can read my comments made this morning on the thread "Portland and Seattle Model S Tour Dates".

JimBl | 7 mai 2011

Crusoe, Great review.

I saw the Tesla on Wednesday and came back today to reserve a signature series. I have been following this car for a long time. They had me on Wednesday when I saw the high gloss cherry apple red model built in 2009. I waited a few days before committing to the big reservation fee just to make sure, but I soon discovered there is no getting over Tesla lust. :)

Others were there who also had laid down the money for reservations, but most had opted for the non signature model. Some of them expressed concerns about the S being a new model. They wanted to wait for some maturity in the production line and shake out of the "bugs" that occur with a new model. In some ways they are smart in their approach. I made my decision based on some discussions with early Roadster owners. They quality was good and the "bugs" were quickly addressed by Tesla. Time will tell.

The tires are looking like they will be "run flats" which are great for performance, but you go through a set very fast. I have them on my mini and they only get about 16K to 20k. This was backed up by a discussion with some of the Tesla folks there. They said most of the maintenance is about tires.

Now for the waits. The wait for my reservation number that no one really seems to know what the value means on the impact to the delivery date. The wait until June to see the options and the final costs. The wait for the notification that the production on my car has begun. Then the long wait for delivery a year later. My only concern is my sanity. Waiting makes me nuts.

Roblab | 8 mai 2011

I have heard twice now that the longer range batteries will take up more space. Does anyone have any link for that information?

It has long been said that all the packs will be interchangeable, so I wonder how it is that any battery will have to have a car just for it. Several have said that they plan to buy a smaller battery, and then rent (if this is what Tesla offers) the long range packs for times they need the max range.

The 160 version, I understood, will not have as many cells as the 230 version, and the 300 will have as many cells, and the same size, but with a new chemistry that gives it more storage than the 230. Panasonic has been building these cells, and Tesla testing them, for months.

Sorry to derail this thread, but I keep hearing this stuff, and it seems there is nothing to warrant such comments.
Back to your regularly scheduled programming....

hwye81k | 8 mai 2011

180, 250, and 320 sound great to me. I had not heard that. At the Portland show I did hear that the paint job on that prototype was over $20,000.......6 or 7 coats of paint. I doubt that even the signature will get that..........but I'm hoping.

Timo | 12 mai 2011

Electric Cars News message is spam. Marked as such.

Electric Cars News | 12 mai 2011

For Timo, only the administrator can decide your opinion ...... Thanks.

Timo | 12 mai 2011

Message without any contribution and with a advertisement link is generally considered as spam. Your message fills that criteria. So I marked it as spam.

Brian H | 13 mai 2011

GrammarNasty mode ON/ criterion (singular) /GrammarNasty mode OFF

;) ;p

David M. | 13 mai 2011

Oh No, not RunFlats! I had a car with RunFlat tires. You will get a HARD RIDE and a LOUD RIDE. Why put LOUD tires on a quiet car. Makes no sense at all. My old car had them because it had no trunk space for a spare. The Model S has plenty of space for a spare. First thing I did was replace all 4 tires with Michelin Pilots for a quiet and soft ride.

clea | 13 mai 2011

hopefully runflats will be an option that we can opt out on ...

jkirkebo | 13 mai 2011

Yeah, I want neither run flats nor a spare tire. A tire repair kit and a compressor is fine for me. I've had one catastropic flat (that a kit couldn't fix) in 21 years of driving. That's what tow trucks are for...

Mittar | 18 mai 2011

The Alphas are built on the Model S frame, it's custom built by Tesla from the ground up and is not based on a Mercedes frame.

ncn | 18 mai 2011

Runflats are worthless for me anyway, I need *snow tires* most of the year.

Hopefully it will be possible to get manufacturer-approved snow tires at launch, unlike the problems with the Roadster. I'll have to order them immediately of course.

santana338 | 23 mai 2011

The runflats on my Honda minivan have caused a bit of a problem. There was a class action lawsuit against Honda over them. And you can't just replace the tires. You had to replace the wheels too. That adds up to a big bill on a brand new car. I hope this is an option and not standard.