If you could change one thing about the Model S...

If you could change one thing about the Model S...

OK, one thing only per post. Physical change, not 'make it cheaper'. Ok to explain, but don' say 'cup holders, and console, and rims, etc.' If enough people respond we'll cover all the bases. If I could change one thing about the Model S...I'd make it 6"-12" shorter. That would lose the rear facing seats, diminsh storage a bit, lighten the car by a couple hundred pounds, increase the range, increase acceleration. I'm confident the folks in design would make it beautiful still. Who's next?

stephen.kamichik | 3 mai 2012

You are descibing the Gen3.

Discoducky | 3 mai 2012

Front motor

Cattledog | 3 mai 2012

Doubt it. Shaving 6" doesn't shave $25,000. If it did I'd say shave 18" and give it to me for free. Gen 3 will have a different form factor, electronics, materials, batteries, console for the complainers, etc.

So what would you change?

Trnsl8r | 3 mai 2012

The door handles.

ddruz | 3 mai 2012

I would change the center armrest/cupholder/rear-vent module. It could be redesigneed with nearly the same footprint to include low cupholders in front, storage under the armrests, and cupholders in addtion to the vent in rear.

DallasTXModelS | 3 mai 2012

I see noone can read. Why is it that a car that seats 5 adults, only 4 comfortably, needs so many cupholders?

Cattledog | 4 mai 2012

I'd change the front grille/nose cone, perhaps get rid of it (but not look like an EV-1). I don't understand its purpose with the ICE gone.

Teoatawki | 4 mai 2012

The Model S needs a grille because there are 3 radiators which require airflow.

"The system also features three radiators, with two side ducts that cool the car and a middle radiator that deals with heat from the motor and battery pack."


MandL | 4 mai 2012

An industry standard charging port on the front or back (not side). And, of course, the delivery date.

TikiMan | 4 mai 2012

Make the interior more similar to the original prototype.

BYT | 4 mai 2012

@Trnsl8r, I like the door handles a lot, why would you change those I wonder?

Larry Chanin | 4 mai 2012

The Model S needs a grille because there are 3 radiators which require airflow. - Teoatawki

I think Cattledog was referring to the nose cone device that is solid and does not permit air flow. It appears to be merely decorative without function. The grills that permit air flow are very narrow and are below the nose cone and below the headlights.


Trnsl8r | 4 mai 2012

@BYT... don't get me started... :-) I had a chance to try them out at Santana Row.

- Unless they pop out automatically, they add an extra step and delay opening the door (push, wait, then pull). This will get old fast.
- The functionality at Santana Row was iffy. You had to have the right touch. Simply yanking on the handle didn't work, you had to let the sensor register your hand, then it opened.
- I haven't received assurances that they would operate if the car loses all power (as with a power failure or an accident).
- Last, but most important. They are pointless eye candy. One more thing that could break. There are several other car door handles that are also flush with the body, but completely mechanical. Look at Aston Martin (or, for that matter, Volvo 240).

jerry3 | 4 mai 2012

Grey, rather than black, cloth seats.

adstein | 4 mai 2012

entire interior.

Slindell | 4 mai 2012

I'm with Trnsl8r on the door handles. Like the 17" touch screen, just more complicated stuff that adds to the price for no real gain.

Change: too much chrome. Remove bottom of door, remove from grill (makes the car look buck-tooth), remove 1/2 from windows.

mvbf | 4 mai 2012

I second the second front motor which will eventually happen I think.

Cattledog | 5 mai 2012

I'd create and allow integration of portable battery packs, perhaps rentable from Tesla in 50 lb increments (for human lifting), that could go in the footwell of the trunk and the base of the frunk, simply plug into your battery grid and extend your range. If a 600 lb battery pack gets you close to 300 miles, (6) 50 lb packs ought to get you close to another 150 miles.

aglenn | 5 mai 2012

Battery cost. Then the game is over!

David M. | 5 mai 2012

Had to think for a minute, so as not to be petty. Ok, here it is.
Change the 17" touchscreen to a 15" touchscreen. It would still be plenty big, but not so big that it would be a challenge to integrate into the dashboard.

I agree that most folks will not opt for the rear facing seats. I can't think of any other car that has seats that can't be used by adults. A lot of reservation holders will be shocked when they realize that the car won't fit in their garage. I have a big garage, yet I will only have 12" to spare. My current SUV fits with 2 1/2 feet to spare. Surprise!

All of you reservation holders better get out the measuring tape.

stephen.kamichik | 5 mai 2012

Keep the 17 inch screen. It is easier to see the "buttons".

David M. | 5 mai 2012

196 inches long. WOW.
That's like two Smart Cars - literally! (SmartCar is 98" long).

jerry3 | 5 mai 2012

17" still seems kind of tiny.

Mark E | 5 mai 2012


Not when you are in the car. I was not a fan of the beta interior until I saw one in person ( in black with black lacewood). I'm looking forward to seeing what storage options end up in the interior as currently there are none in he betas.

dbourne | 5 mai 2012

Here's my $0.02

Power folding mirrors - they manually fold but I'll only have a few inches of margins with the mirrors fully external extended for my San Francisco garage and I'm either gonna have to be very careful daily or manually fold one mirror daily.

Storage space in the doors. My 335i Coupe has wonderfully spacious an discreet storage pockets in the doors and Model S (a bigger car than my 3 Series) lacks this based on the beta models I've seen

Continuing on the doors, while the Model S door interior is a design statement, it could stand to have a more practical handle to close the door from the interior and a more comfortable arm rest. I'm super excited about Model S but I think I'm gonna miss some creature comforts of my 335i

I'm reservation #5050 so maybe tweaks and new options will be integrated by the time they get to my order


sanjosedriver | 5 mai 2012

- 150HP motor option in the front for power and AWD like Model X
- Center console more like the original prototype (I can see why they removed it though, reduce weight and show how spacious the car can be)
- 4G LTE (I think the real reason they don't have it, the Tegra 3 processor currently doesn't support it, hope they immediately upgrade to Tegra 4 in 2013)
- Storage area on the bottom of the doors (perhaps like the Lexus IS that fold away and have a small cupholder)
- "Hard" lock buttons on the doors
- Blind spot monitors (one of the prototypes had this actually)

and lastly...

- Partner up with Google to deliver the first public self-driving car

jkirkebo | 5 mai 2012

I would add a CHAdeMO connector. Somewhere on the front of the car. Behind the nose cone, in the frunk or something like that.

Jason S | 5 mai 2012

Good ideas so far. Hard to pick just one (@sanjosedriver).

@cattledog -- I reject your assertion that the center console isn't a physical design choice. Perhaps you should've asked for exterior only changes, if the goal was to ignore in interior completely. And then you'd have a pretty empty thread, since I think most agree that the exterior is very nicely done.

Therefore, the one thing I'd change to make this car appeal to more people: _optional_ center console. There is being a rebel with a purpose and then there is being a rebel without a cause. No center console is just rebelling against most people's clutter tendencies and rather than retrain the customers we should let the customer have what they want at a cost.

BYT | 5 mai 2012

@Trnsl8r, I understand what you mean about it getting old, waiting for the handles to pop out. But this is one of the reasons I am getting the technology package, because the door is supposed to just pop open when you approach it, hence saving the novelty for your passengers... :)

jbunn | 5 mai 2012

Inductive charging. Plugging in every day will get old fast.

BYT | 5 mai 2012

I also would love to see inductive charging for also the potential of a highway strip that can possibly down the road charge the car while driving.

Cattledog | 5 mai 2012

JBunn +1kw. Jason S - I was only asking for people to list the single thing they'd like to change the most, and my example was a laundry list. I do agree that the center console is physical, and understand that many people don't like the lack of it.


I am not one of those people. I LOVE the idea that this car is cleaner due to its power train and it will help wash me of junk that I throw into the nooks and crannies of my BMW 5 (a car I like quite a bit, and got 40 mpg driving San Antonio to Houston last week on I-10!!!)

I like that Tesla will clean my carbon footprint AND my crappola footprint. Can't wait!

Crusoe | 5 mai 2012

More than one thing per post but:

Retracting roof rack rails.
Second charging port option in frunk, not only back, I'm thinking a folding solar array sliding out of the frunk while parked. Extra range battery.
Cyclist/Ped image recognition and warning, "EV car approaching". EVs are sneaky. Or USB port up there so I can DIY.
Just put a center track down the middle for mounting and sliding around whatever console you want. Think MINIs design.
Wizbang solar panel retractable spoiler.
17" screen and dash centered and symmetrical and put it on a 3 position pivot. Permanently pivoted towards pilot is a bit wonky to me.

Programmable marquee in rear window for any of the following boasts:
Look ma no exhaust!
Electricity is not worth more than blood.
Yes, this is a permasmile.
306 lbs of torque at stop. Yes you'd lose.
Say hello to my 1st mate, Chewy.
It can do the Kassel run in 12 parcets.

A few more choices in exterior color palette. Spoiled a bit coming from a MINI. Surprised no Red, wouldn't be my choice but surprised. I'm #3562, 160 so mine could very well be a 2013.

+1 on power fold mirrors
+1 on size but no biggy (no pun intended). I have to reverse the door going into my house to fit it in my garage.

ddruz | 6 mai 2012

If my previous post about reworking the entire center armrest/cup holder/rear vent module is considered more than one thing to change, then I wish to amend it to say the one thing I would change would be to add storage under the armrests.

A modest amount of storage under the armrests yields tremendous bang for the buck. This one small standard-feature change would mitigate the concealed storage concerns for a significant number of buyers.

All crash test results would remain the same. The footprint and exterior shape of the center module would remain the same. The design studio pictures would remain the same. And this change does not preclude optional console inserts for those desiring even more concealed storage, additional cup holders, etc.

Volker.Berlin | 6 mai 2012

[...] the one thing I would change would be to add storage under the armrests. (ddruz)

It's only a rumor so far, but reportedly they are doing exactly that. We'll probably only know for sure when the first Sigs are delivered.

John56 | 7 mai 2012

I would get rid of the solid black "nose cone" and have a big mesh grille instead. Especially on the sport version. Like the Caddy CTS-V.

Johann Koeber N... | 7 mai 2012

cruise control
with radar and crash protection

h8young | 7 mai 2012

+1 on the center console.

+1 on the power folding mirrors

+1 on the blind spot monitoring

gjunky | 7 mai 2012

+1 on the nose cone
+1 on covered center storage

Volker.Berlin | 7 mai 2012

-1 nose cone. I don't want to drive a Jag. That mesh grille design is en vogue today which means it is out of style tomorrow. In other words, the current design is just fine for me.

Volker.Berlin | 7 mai 2012

Power folding mirrors: I was offered a 10 pound sterling bet by a Tesla rep that at least the European version of the Model S will have this feature. I'm convinced the rep did not exactly know for a fact, but had strong assumptions about the company he works for.

Ad van der Meer | 8 mai 2012

I've read all the suggestions and all I can say is: Yawn.

There is only one thing I would change: The delivery date!

BYT | 8 mai 2012

LOL@Ad van der Meer, here here to that!

I would also love to have my Model S now to enjoy it during the summer months when I enjoy driving the most. Alas, winter driving it will be for my first go at it but at least I don't have to wait for it to warm up in the morning!!

petero | 8 mai 2012

I would like to change the interior trim(s).

At the Newport Beach Event I spent time looking at the Banana Leaf, Lacewood, and Piano Black trim. The Banana looks like a plastic formica, the Lacewood is very dark and has a distressed –beaten finish (not elegant), and the Piano black is looking better (it is what it is). I am not getting a Performance “S” so CF is not a choice.

To me, wood trim should show a nice grain and a rich finish. It should highlight and enrich the interior. Like a beautiful strand of pearls – understated and elegant.

keithz | 16 mai 2012

One thing? Make the tech package standard. For the price of the car, some of features listed there should definitely be standard. It's a a little challenging not to feel that Tesla is really taking first adopters to the cleaners.

Other than that I would make twin chargers standard on all cars. And open them all up to the supercharger network. Why limit the network with so few cars on the market? The supercharger network is the best tool that Teslas has to combat range anxiety.

The Froq | 16 mai 2012

Make it possible to buy a Model S without a battery.

Make points available where you can change your battery within 2 minutes (like Tesla said in the beginning) Charge the battery's with Solar Panels, I know Elon can find a supplier for that!

I don't mind changing battery's if there not mine.

Soflauthor | 16 mai 2012

+1 center console accessory available when the first sig is delivered for those of us who want it
+1 power folding mirrors
+1 blind spot detection

thwang99 | 16 mai 2012

No side mirrors, cameras instead! Adjustable headrests all around. Redesign 17" touchscreen mounting to make it "look" smaller, maybe more round-ness in the corners?

Brian H | 16 mai 2012

BYT | May 8, 2012 new

LOL@Ad van der Meer, here here to that!

There, there; it's "Hear! Hear!" Brit Parliamentary call of support = Hear the man, hear the man!

Volker.Berlin | 17 mai 2012

One thing? Make the tech package standard. For the price of the car, some of features listed there should definitely be standard. It's a a little challenging not to feel that Tesla is really taking first adopters to the cleaners. (keithz)

My take on the price of the Tech Package: That's the margin by which they missed their initial price goal (and it's surprisingly small).

Tesla announced the base price for the Model S on March 26, 2009. A while ago, I compiled a list of news articles and comments from that day, you can find it on this page:

We all know how everything becomes more expensive in 3 years time, and how development of ambitious engineering projects rarely stays within budget. I presume Tesla pressed hard to deliver on their original promise of a $50k electric premium sedan, and in the end they had to find $4k somewhere. Thus they made good on their initially announced price with the Model S still being economically viable for them, by making the Tech Package optional.

That *is* nickel-and-diming at it's finest. In this instance, however, I find it acceptable (Tesla fanboy syndrome). Assuming that the alternative would have been missing their announced price, making the Tech Package optional has much smaller repercussions in the media (and among the reservation holder crowd). Now, if you cannot affort those additional $3.750, then you can forgo the Tech Package and still afford a Model S at $50k after US tax rebates. If you don't blink at the Model S' price range, then $3.750 doesn't make a huge difference for you, but it does make a difference in Tesla's spread sheet. And for the Signature model, the Tech Package comes standard anyway.