I dropped by the Park Meadows store last night to take a look at the design studio and VIN 43. I'll start with impressions of the design studio. The tan leather looks much more yellow online than it does in real life and I was told that the web based design studio would change to reflect that. The banana leaf has a more conservative look to it than in the original betas. It has more of a grayish-brown finish to it now, which goes nicely with the tan leather and the grey piping. The lacewood has a little more brownish-black hue to it now. Since seeing the banana leaf in October, I was pretty sure that I was going with that and tan leather. I changed my mind last night because the black leather with the red piping and CF looks really sharp in person. My personal designer (wife) agreed and opined that my previous preference was too busy with the cream headliner.
VIN 43 is pearl white, white leather, and banana leaf. It has the 19s on it and they look good. The interior doesn't have any changes when compared to the last Beta I saw, VIN 22. 43 still has some fit and finish issues inside, like getting the gaps right on the trim, but overall the interior has a more finished and solid feel than 22. There were more features that were operational, such as the pano roof and steering column adjustment. I played with the touch screen for a while and it became quite intuitive in a short period of time. I really liked it and no longer have any safety concerns with not having tactile controls.
On the exterior of 43 there are a couple of panels that are slightly off. You don't notice the gap inconsistencies unless you look for them but they are there, as you would expect in a Beta. One thing that concerns me is that the passenger side door didn't close easily. It definitely needs adjustment. One change is that the chrome trim accents on the rockers are gone. It still has a slim chrome strip so that when the door is closed it has the same look from the outside that some have complained about in these forums. Same for the chrome piece at the hatch opening. Both chrome pieces have been replaced with the typical black plastic. It was explained to me that the chrome on the older Betas had taken a beating and looked pretty tired so they may be changing out the chrome. Personally, I liked the chrome. 43 does not have rear headrests but they told me that the RCs would have them.
Teaser Alert: The rep said that George would have a major announcement soon, in the next 2-3 weeks.