New specs available for the Model S

New specs available for the Model S

See the website....Model S

Volker.Berlin | 22 février 2012

Wow, great find!

Finally, that's a pretty detailed answer to the third bullet of this thread:

I'm going to evaluate those now-published specs there.

JayK | 22 février 2012

Interestingly under the Interior section they list:

Center armrest with two cup holders
Open center console storage area

I guess those two features are open for interpretation, but it sounds awfully close to the Beta interiors that a lot of people have a problem with. Doesn't sound like they modified it much from the October event. Of course they could just be listing the features of the beta and keeping any modifications a secret for now.

Robert.Boston | 22 février 2012


"Horn. Beep. Beep."

Robert.Boston | 22 février 2012

Some more thoughtful reactions:

The list appears to cover most, if not all, of what we assumed. Included "high end" features that we didn't definitely know about earlier:

  • Rain sensing, adjustable speed windshield wipers
  • Manual folding side mirrors (not powered, as hoped)
  • Stability and traction control
  • Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free calling and streaming music (good to see streaming music is supported)
  • Three spoke, multi-function steering wheel with tactile controls (seems to suggest that this is something other than the Model X steering wheel, with its nano screens)
  • Front LED map lights and rear LED reading lights
  • Front sun visors with LED illuminated mirrors
  • Fully trimmed frunk and rear cargo area with keyless open (keyless open! I wonder how this works)
  • Anti-theft alarm system

Things excluded that I'm happy aren't included:

  • Pedestrian alert noisemaker

"Standard features" missing that some have hoped for:

  • Front fog lights? LED foglights are part of the Tech Package, so I assumed that standard fog lights were part of the base
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Storage compartments in doors
  • Ambiance lighting
  • Rear cupholders (likely an oversight in the list)
  • 12-V power outlet in frunk and/or rear cargo area
  • Automatic tilt-down of passenger's side-view mirror while in Reverse

Also, no discussion yet of warranty, other than for the battery.

stephen.kamichik | 22 février 2012

Rear hatch and frunk are probably cable (possibly electrically)operated by a lever inside the car.

Tom A | 22 février 2012


Frunk and rear cargo area keyless open: Well, I assume it's like my car, where the fob has buttons for door locks/hatch and a separate release button for the top-half of the hatch (glass part swings up). My hatch, etc., are not powered, just like the standard Model S, where the hatch and glass don't open on their own, the buttons just unlock/release them.

Also, why are you glad that the side mirrors are not powered? How can you adjust the mirrors without them being powered? (perhaps I'm showing my age, here)

Fog lights: I assume that there are no fog lights standard, which is common for most vehicles, as far as I know.

Observations of my own: So, a standard-definition backup camera is standard? Another reason to ditch the tech package - I don't need high-def to see whether it is safe to back up (heaven forbid I turn around to look).

I'm grateful that the bluetooth hands-free calling feature is standard. I consider that a critical 21st-century safety feature, not a luxury.

It's also nice to see that the daytime running lights are LED (for efficiency reasons and cool factor).

Robert.Boston | 22 février 2012

Sorry, "not powered, as hoped" was shorthand for "contrary to our hopes, mirrors are not powered".

mlascano | 22 février 2012

For the side mirrors, the "not powered" part is for folding them in/out. I'm hoping they do have power-adjustable capabilities (although not mentioned).

Volker.Berlin | 22 février 2012

Also, why are you glad that the side mirrors are not powered? How can you adjust the mirrors without them being powered? (Tom A)

Two misunderstandings in one! :-)

- We hoped for powered side mirrors, but turns out the mirrors are not powered (still hoping powered mirrors will be offered as an option).

- "Powered" does not refer to adjusting the mirror. Of course they will be power-adjustable. Look at the Specs page: Powered vs. manual refers to "folding" (to reduce the risk of some other car hitting the mirror while your Model S is, e.g., parallel-parked in a narrow street).

Brian H | 22 février 2012

Manual folding also suggests they will "give way" if bumped from the front.

Klaus | 22 février 2012

@Robert.Boston, although there is mention of 12v power outlet but not the location.

stephen.kamichik | 22 février 2012

In the features section the ranges have been revised to 160, 230 300 miles AT 60 MPH (from 55 mph).

brianman | 22 février 2012

It was noted previously in this forum or the TMC forum (I forget which) that the "60 mph" page(s) are incorrect (old/typo/whatever) and due for an update.

gagliardilou | 22 février 2012

no blind spot notification - I was hoping for that.

TikiMan | 22 février 2012

"Open center console storage area'

(Heavy sigh)... At this point, looks like the 'diaper-bag' holder is staying :-(

Still hoping praying for an optional permanent user-friendly /safe center console, with lockable storage compartments. Here in California, anything in plain-sight is a burglary just waiting to happen.

olanmills | 22 février 2012

Seems pretty cool, though if someone had a definitive rundown of the new information, I'm sure it would be appreciated.

On the lack of:
Heated side mirrors -- I hope this is just an omission and that they will be included with the tech package, which already includes auto-dimming mirrors.

Power-folding mirrors -- I'm glad the mirror-folding is not motorized. As someone mentioned, this is beneficial because if someone does bump into your side mirror, then they will fold in, and prevent some damage (at least from one direction). I suppose you could design power mirrors that could still take the force of a manual fold without damaging the motor inside, but still I think think this would be a costly feature without much use.

I used to park in a very large outdoor open parking lot, which meant people were often walking between the cars. Also, the spaces were kind of narrow. I noticed that a lot of people would fold their mirrors in. However, I also notice that this mirrors would most often have scrapes and scratches on them. That's because if someone did rub up against them, then all of the force went onto the surface of the side mirror housing. So I always kept my mirrors out and unfolded. My choice has been validated. Several times I returned to my car at the end of the day and noticed that one of the mirrors was folded in partially, which means someone bumped into it. However, there was no damage.

Model X steering wheel screen-buttons -- I wasn't expecting this to be availablefor the S, just hoping. I would be happily surprised if it was included with the tech package, but I'm not expecting it.

Storage spaces -- Yes, I too hope there is more storage space. I don't need much, just somewhere handy to keep a phone, and maybe some miscellanious items like napkins and pens, etc.


One thing I noticed was the interior touch-sensitive door handles. That sounds cool and will certainly be a nice little 'wow' feature for passenger. I'm guessing it means that when the car is stopped and unlocked, merely touching the door handle will sort of cause the door to pop open. No more pulling on a handle!


A couple other things I would like to see: I hope there are vents near the corners of the dash that will blow air against the front corners of the front side windows when the windsheild defogger is on.

The amount of memory storage seems small. Tesla is either being cheap, or they are using some very expensive flash memory or something. It says it comes with storage for up to 500 songs, standard. Using the very rough estimate that the average MP3 is about 5 MB, that means Tesla is only providing 2 or 3 GB of storage. The sound studio package is considerably better, with storage for up to 3,000 songs, but still that's only 15 GB. My estimate of 5 MB per song is on the low side, so it might be more reasonable to guess that they are offering 4 GB and 32 GB storage options, but still that's not that much. I'm not sure if 32 GB is enough for my music especially since there's no CD player. More than that though, I'm worried that the lack of space will limit potential app usage in the future. As I mentioned in the 'Most wanted apps' thread, I think it would be a lot of fun if you could skin both the visuals and sounds of the car, and who knows what other applications might be dreamt up either by Tesla or third parties in the future?

Lastly, I really want a two-pronged 110 V outlet in the car. I realize it's not a simple thing. They'll have to have an inverter somewhere and it will complicate things if they want to make such a feature available in multiple countries.

Tom A | 22 février 2012

I see what the side mirror issue is now...thanks for the clarification!

I never heard of side mirrors that folded in a motorized fashion. Every vehicle I've ever driven had passive folding side mirrors, where they only folded under force in order to avoid breaking. I noticed that later models had a notch where, if you folded them all the way, they would stay folded, essentially parallel to the door.

Yes, motorized folding is not a feature I would expect or want to be standard.

olanmills - I noticed that the side mirrors weren't listed as heated. Heck, my $30k Mercury hybrid has heated mirrors standard. Oh, well. TM is a startup, after all.

If I dare continue down that road, however, I'm a bit miffed that the LEAF has the front seats AND rear seats AND steering wheel heated - standard - and it's not bundled with a leather package. I know that Tesla cannot bank on a diverse portfolio of vehicles and economies of scale that, say, Nissan can rely on, but that's low-hanging fruit in terms of efficiency (*ahem* range). It's modestly disappointing that such efficiency features are not standard. Oh, well. A bit nit-picky, perhaps, but it is a $60k+ vehicle, after all, where the technology needs every efficiency gain it can get.

Even if I would have to pay extra, I would appreciate the option of having the seats heated without having to suffer leather. I hate leather - doesn't breathe - I sweat down my back and legs every time, no matter time of year, or whether I'm in a car or in a home/office with leather upholstery. It baffles me that people pay extra for leather. I go out of my way to avoid it.

Now, perforated leather seats...they are really nice - my friend's 2004 Chevy Monte Carlo SS (retailed for a hair under $30k) has perf. leather heated seats. Very, very comfortable!! I'd pay for an option like that without blinking! So far, that only seems available on the Performance variants.

brianman | 23 février 2012

They should have an (opt-in) tracking option that allows Tesla to identify how often heated seats really matter (read: due to pre-emptive climate control for cabin comfort) so they can omit it entirely from Bluestar and back it up with statistics.

olanmills | 23 février 2012

brian, even if the temparature inside of the car isn't too cold (it's been inside an underground parking garage, for example), if you yourself have been outside in freezing weather for a good amount of time, the heated seats are still a nice comfort!

Also, there are still going to be those times where you forget or other wise don't want to use remote heating.

Volker.Berlin | 23 février 2012

... or cannot use engage heating remotely b/c said underground garage is a dead spot.

brianman | 23 février 2012

Note that I didn't suggest removing it as an option from the S (or Bluestar for that matter).

What I'm suggesting is that Tesla include instrumentation in the S (premium vehicle, high price tag) to help inform themselves and customers with real data as to what value such features actually have (or don't).

Similarly, for opted-in vehicles, statistics on real-world battery consumption and life from Model S can really help educate Tesla and the entire EV industry (both being within Elon's stated priorities).

The Froq | 23 février 2012

I think the specs are looking fine to me, but why do we need a map light in the front?

We've got Google maps on a17 inch screen!

Robert.Boston | 23 février 2012

@Froq: to give us enough light to rummage through the giant bag stashed on the floor between the front seats.

The Froq | 23 février 2012

@RB Not me! I am buying the optional center console, which I'm sure to come.

I'm looking forward to the pictures of the interior of the Sig Performace.

jkirkebo | 23 février 2012

Motorized folding mirrors are nothing new. My 2005 VW Touran has them. My 2012 Nissan Leaf has them as a standard item. It's a very nice feature to have if you park in tight spots in parking garages, especially on a large & wide vehicle.

They all fold manually too, if hit by something.

The side (and maybe center) mirrors must be electrically adjusted, as they state that the keyless entry with memory function adjusts seat, steering wheel and mirrors for you.

Soflauthor | 23 février 2012

@Froq: Not me either. If the optional center console is offered, I'm getting it, assuming it's well conceived. If not, I'm going to have a custom center console fabricated. Money welll-spent, IMO.

DrJ | 23 février 2012

Good news is those are specs of a base model only, without options listed. If you read closely, they only list a 40kwh battery, microfiber interior, and piano black trim.
For those of us eagerly anticipating a center console, I'm sure that will be an option, not standard. As Elon has said in earnings calls, the options are what make the company money, and is a partial (although I'm sure a "big" partial) reason why first cars off the line are fully loaded. Need bigger margins when volume is low, makes those earnings calls less brutal, which makes our stock price happier.

Longhorn92 | 23 février 2012

I was sort of hoping that we would get some basic (one or two button) homelink in the base package. That is the one option in the tech package that I would really like to have, but paying $3,750 just to add homelink would be ridiculous for me. I guess I will just have to dig out the old garage remotes and place them in the center console... not wait... the glove box.

A know that it is a really small issue, but that is probably why it frustrates me so much.

Kallisman | 23 février 2012

Duct tape is your friend;)

vouteb | 24 février 2012

Manual folding side mirrors

jkirkebo is right, you can have electrically folding mirrors(for parking, not adjusting) and folding manually(when bumped).

This should be standard in this car class.

ddruz | 25 février 2012

Does anyone know yet whether the panoramic roof option will add or subtract from the headroom? The standard 39.8" front headroom seems quite ample but the 36.6" rear headroom might be tight for those with taller torsos. How the panoramic roof affects headroom may be an important consideration for taller people in deciding whether to purchase that option.

Crow | 25 février 2012

Pano roof increases headroom with the sunshade open and decreases it with the sunshade closed. No o e knows yet by how much since no one has seen the sunshade and TM hasn't said.

Volker.Berlin | 25 février 2012

No one has seen the non-panoramic roof, either. There are still a few uncertainties left.

ddruz | 25 février 2012

@Kroneal and Volker.Berlin: Thank you

prash.saka | 25 février 2012

I just came back from the Boston Tesla display event. This is my first viewing of the vehicle. And here is my take on it.

- The car does have a blind-spot indicator. However, it comes with the Tech package.
- The mirrors can be folded-in manually. And, they can be folded-out as well (just in case you would like to experiment).
- There are two cup holders between the two front seats. There is a slide-in cover that can be used to cover these cup holders and serve as an elbow rest.
- There aren't any cup holders for the rear seats (at least I couldn't find any).
- As known, there is no storage area between the two front seats.
- The 10% pending (from the 90% beta) includes (mostly) interior design changes. And some of these changes "could" be a center storage.
- GPS is standard and uses Google maps. The tech package is for high-definition maps.
- Tesla has plans to provide the SDK to third party developers so that they can create apps for the center instrumentation screen.

- I felt the rear legroom a little less (even for someone who is 5'8"). Then again, I drive a '94 Lincoln Towncar which is like a boat and has ample legroom.
- The driver's seat is a little lower than I expected and felt more like that of a sportscar seat than a sedan. It could, however, be raised.
- I am not sure how a 3 hour drive would be as I felt a bit tight and cramped.
- I was able to see where the hood (or the bonnet) ended, which will help during tight corners or pulling in/out of parking spots.
- Backing up is a small concern as I couldn't see where the car ended; the rear windshield blocked my view. I suppose I could use the backup camera.

For those in the Boston and New England area:
- A store in Boston will open late 2012. Tesla signed a lease already and will get the store ready soon. The representatives were reluctant to provide the exact location but it will be within 30 miles of Boston downtown.
- The store (almost assured) will offer service and repairs as well.
- The next Boston event will (most probably) be for only reservation holders. This could include test drives and will be in the late Spring.

Hope this helps,

brianman | 25 février 2012

Thanks for the trip report, Prash!

"The car does have a blind-spot indicator. However, it comes with the Tech package."
Was this an official quote from a Tesla rep? If so, this is (excellent) news I think.

"Tesla has plans to provide the SDK to third party developers so that they can create apps for the center instrumentation screen."
Do you recall anything regarding whether that will be freely available (like on the web site) or whether there would be a fee to purchase the SDK?

prash.saka | 25 février 2012


The tech package includes blind-spot monitor, and this is according to official Tesla representative. So yaay!

I assumed the SDK will be free, and hence didn't bother to ask. I wanted to ask if it is iOS based. But, there were quite a few folks behind me and didn't want to hold up the rep. She said that this information will be available soon.

A few more things:
- The rep confirmed that the "bricking" blog is incorrect. Even if we left a 50% charged car unplugged for about 12 months, the battery should still be rechargeable. (On a side note, the term "bricking" is a no-no with the reps).
- Tesla will deliver the car to our homes. We don't have to go to any store to pick it up. Well, this is true for those in the Greater Boston area.
- Test drives are by invitation only, at least for the near future.
- We can extend our reservation once for 6 months without having to go back to the end of the line. This option is intended for those who have existing leases on other cars and would want to wait till the lease expires before getting their Model S.
- There are a few controls behind the steering. These include drive-parking-neutral control, wipers, and lights.
- There are two steering mounted controls. The one on the right is for volume. I can't remember for what the one on the left is.
- I couldn't find behind the steering controls for cruise control. The one on the left could be for this. (I will check it out again).
- There is some plastic in the car. And some of it was coming apart. Right in the middle of the panoramic roof, just behind the driver's seat, there is a plastic separator on the roof. I am not sure what the purpose of this is. And it was almost hanging off the roof.
- The charge port cover (which is also part of the rear lights) is a bit too delicate. I noticed a crack on the display model's. I am not sure how much use it can take, especially if it will be opened and closed almost everyday.
- The frunk has an additional pocket about the size of two laptop bags. This pocket goes into the car (towards the driver). This is a nice find.
- Other than a holder, door-opening handle, and a speaker, there is nothing else on the door. I like to keep toll tickets and change for parking on the door pockets. But there are none in the model S beta.

~ Prash.

PS: I might go back there tomorrow (Sunday) to ask any questions that might be asked here.

stephen.pace | 25 février 2012

@Prash, the apps won't be iOS based since the chipset was already announced as the NVIDIA Tegra 3:

As far as I know, they haven't announced the platform, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was an automotive grade embedded Linux variant similar to what Toyota went with. Ideally the SDK would come with a Model S emulator for testing our apps, but I suspect there will be a rather stringent process for getting them installed (i.e. they don't want people 'crashing' the system or doing nefarious things to the car). I would expect more of a curated Apple App Store approach than Android app store model for third-party app distribution. And similar to how Apple rolled out the store (e.g. there was no App store at iPhone release), I'm guessing Tesla will focus on getting the car out the door first and apps second.

olanmills | 25 février 2012

Awesome news about the blindspot indicator.

Back in January, the a rep in Bellevue also mentioned to me that the 3rd party apps would be supported, but did not know (or could not share) any details beyond that.

Also, if you see the car, you'll notice that there's an 'Apps' placeholder tab in the UI.

Volker.Berlin | 26 février 2012

prash.saka, thanks for sharing your detailed observations! It's worth noting that the car you saw is still a Beta model -- and one that has been shown around a lot. I think it is neither surprising nor any hint to actual production quality, that some plastic covers in these hand-built exhibits do not fit perfectly or even come loose.

Similarly with the steering wheel and stalks -- in the Beta models I've seen pictures of, Tesla used an off-the-shelf steering column from Mercedes (in this case, the small third stalk on the lower left is indeed the cruise control). I guess it might have been the same in the Beta model you checked out. That's only a place holder, the production car will have a steering column exclusively designed for/by Tesla. As a consequence, the Beta model doesn't actually tell us anything about the layout of steering wheel controls and stalks that we will see in "our" production models.

The Model X steering wheel is original Tesla design, and it contains touch screens as steering wheel controls. We don't know anything for sure, but it doesn't seem too unlikely that the Model S may end up with the same or a very similar steering wheel. You can see it displayed on the Model X page ...

... and there is a discussion about these touch screen controls going on here:

Schlermie | 26 février 2012


I've read comments from Tesla that the apps will support both iOS and Android platforms (at least). Both Tegra and the Apple mobile platforms are based on ARM processor architectures.

Tom A | 26 février 2012

Thanks, Prash! Fascinating.

This part intrigued me the most:

- GPS is standard and uses Google maps. The tech package is for high-definition maps.

Does "GPS" mean turn-by-turn? Or does it just mean that you can bring up Google Maps, and it will show you where you are? I'm curious because turn-by-turn navigation is currently listed as part of the tech package.

The Beta is coming to DC next weekend! I'll definitely be going there. I just went today to see the Model S powertrain on display. Very cool. I've seen pictures, of course, but it's just so cool..."elegant" really.

Tom A | 26 février 2012

One question I will be asking is if Google Maps can be displayed on the "instrument cluster". According to the features page of the Model S, the turn-by-turn navigation shows up on both the 17" display and on the instrument cluster screen, so that you don't have to look over at the 17" while driving.

stephen.pace | 26 février 2012

@Schlermie, yes, but if iOS was supported, it would be the first platform outside of Apple, and I just don't see it happening. Android would be more likely given investment and early Tesla ownership by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Android support could be through a virtual machine or app repackager similar to how Blackberry is doing it.

Tom A | 26 février 2012

VB: According to the spec page, I'm sure that the Model S won't start out with the Model X prototype's steering wheel:

"Three spoke, multi-function steering wheel with tactile controls."

It is possible, though, that the steering wheel on the Model X could show up as an option, either right away, or maybe later.

Mycroft | 26 février 2012

I'd be willing to bet money that the Google maps implementation will just be the normal Internet maps with a gps indication of where the car is. I really doubt it will include a turn-by-turn application.

mvbf | 26 février 2012

Thanks prash.saka for sharing all your observations. To me t

mvbf | 26 février 2012

accidentally hit the submit early so will start over.

Thanks prash.saka for sharing all your observations. To me the most concerning of your observations:
"- I am not sure how a 3 hour drive would be as I felt a bit tight and cramped."

Let's hope they nail the driving comfort in the production model. To reach Elon's lofty goal of being not just the best electric vehicle, but the best car period, long distance driving comfort will be a must.

ddruz | 26 février 2012

Not being a car expert as many in these forums are but from the limited standpoint of a general reservation holder and shareholder I respectfully support mvbf's statement:

"Let's hope they nail the driving comfort in the production model. To reach Elon's lofty goal of being not just the best electric vehicle, but the best car period, long distance driving comfort will be a must."

From the perspective of an average person buying the car driving comfort and interior human ergonomics would seem to be extremely important when comparison shopping versus other luxury sedans.

To follow that up, what are people's thoughts about the rear seat headroom spec of just 36.6"?

Jason S | 26 février 2012

The 36.6" rear headroom is about same as my current car (my current car lists 37" rear, 39" front), so I wasn't concerned at all. I popped up the specs for my current drive and the Model S then compared; the S is about 6" wider and a foot longer than my current car but my passengers don't seem to mind my current one (my current car seats 4 comfortably, 5 is uncomfortable imho).

Shoulder room is better in both cases by at least 2" so the S should be ok comfort for 3 full sized folks in the rear seat. Legroom is better on the S specs as well.

For comparison I looked up BMW 5-series specs. Headroom on the 5 is 1.5" more for rear (slightly less in front) while legroom is slightly less in the BMW vs the S. The shoulder room is 2" greater in the rear for the BMW as well. Overall the BMW 5-series is just a bit larger in the rear head and shoulder space.

All seems like pretty normal numbers to me though. The one I sat in seemed like it could use a bit more padding in the front seat but overall everything seemed really nice.