When will we see new interior?

When will we see new interior?

I have heard through a combination of rumors that they are re-designing the interior. Possibly w center console, possibly a re-do of the arm rests/cup-holders that no one seemed too enthused about (I heard those were MB scrap bin parts.) Anyone seen or heard anything? I notice that Tesla has gradually removed most if not all the interior photos from their website.

Mycroft | 19 janvier 2012

Don't have your hopes set on a center console.

Official answer from Tesla is "first quarter". That could be all the way up 'til 31 March.

Tesla is having a coming out party on February 9th, both for the Model X and for their Los Angeles "Tesla Design Studio". We're hoping they'll also publish their Model S design studio no later than Feb 9. The new online design studio should give us 360deg views of the new, final interior.

Robert.Boston | 19 janvier 2012

I don't see any reason to believe that the opening of the LA Design Studio will have any correlation with updating the on-line Design Studio. They share a name, but little else.

As I understand it, they cannot change anything about the interior after the final NHTSA safety tests, and we know that those are still on-going, but that they are going on. So, if Tesla manages to finally score across-the-boards 5-stars, then that will lock the interior design for at least this (2013) model year. inference, Tesla must have an interior design now that is effectively final. Would be nice if they shared that.

David M. | 19 janvier 2012

I don't think they are done with the interior just yet. Since reservation holders appear split on the console/no console issue, I wonder if Tesla will compromise by having a removable console, so that everyone will be happy? Whatever they do, they need to have two cupholders though. The Prototype only had one cupholder.

IMO, the problem with the Beta dashboard was that the infotainment screen didn't appear to be properly integrated into the dashboard. It just seemed to be hanging off the dash and not anchored. I don't think it was directly related to the console, but since the screen is so big, it was begging to be framed out. Also having a console, would probably de-emphasize the massiveness of the screen.

Now that I've been following the company for nearly two years, my experience tells me that Tesla will "get it right" in the end, and most of the customers will be happy. A prime example is the front grille. That design appeared to go through a few iterations, and in the end, it's awesome! They've been doing that consistently. I guess I'm saying that I trust that they've been listening to our comments, and will "hit it out of the park" once again.

Incidentally, I also believe that the Model X will be awesome too, because Elon says it will, and I believe him.

Larry Chanin | 19 janvier 2012

Hi David,

I know you have strong feels about the lack of a console and framing of the infotainment screen, and I share your observations regarding aesthetics. However, it may be wise to lower your expectations regarding a significant change in the interior that adding a console would entail. Remember the Betas that we saw at Fremont were 90% production intent prototypes. I guess we can hope that that remaining 10% could embrace a console, but I wouldn't get our hopes up too much. I sincerely hope that this issue isn't a deal-killer for you.


The Froq | 19 janvier 2012

Can anybody tell me where the 2 USB ports are in the front?

Change is coming!!

Mycroft | 19 janvier 2012

Tesla hasn't said yet.

Peak Oil bruin | 19 janvier 2012

Yeah 2 cup holders is a deal breaker, jk, sorry

dborn | 19 janvier 2012

I really cannot believe that a distraction like cup holders could be a deal breaker! My B class Merc has these and they are dust and junk collectors! very rarely i might fit a soft drink bottle in there if it has been a really hot day. Of a little more use is the moulded in wine bottle holders in the door pockets, useful to stop these rolling around when going to a BYO restaurant. even then, they not used much.
i would far prefer that the space occupied by drink holders be utilised for something useful, like sunglasses (for the passenger) spare reading glasses, or accessories such as combs or even electric shavers. I am sure the ladies could also find a myriad of better storage uses also!

Timo | 19 janvier 2012

Peak, is that too many or too few cupholders?

Douglas3 | 19 janvier 2012

Just for the record, in the Beta interior there were cup holders inside the center arm rests. Each armrest slid back independently, and the cup holder was underneath.

I really miss having decent cup holders in the Roadster. There's only one and it's pretty much useless if you have a passenger with you.

Soflauthor | 19 janvier 2012

@David M. : Comments on the forums were NOT split evenly between those who wanted a center console and those who didn't. I didn't keep an exact tally, but I did follow the issue closely. My best guess is that the split in favor of a redesign that included a center console was at least 60 - 40 and was probably 70 - 30.

I agree with @Robert.Boston that the interior design is now complete. We'll see whether Tesla listened. If they didn't, I'm quite certain it will cost them sales with the second wave of buyers (folks who aren't EV enthusiasts and are just looking for a cool luxury Sedan). We'll see.

David M. | 19 janvier 2012

Larry - From here on out, there are no deal breakers. IMO, making the front grille awesome was much more important than the dashboard or console. Tesla intended to tweak the dashboard and / or console in the aftermath of the Oct. 1 event. I'm sure whatever they did is better than what we saw in the beta. We'll find out soon enough.

DrJ | 19 janvier 2012

I agree that I think the majority of folks, myself included, would like to see the center console area re-designed. The design of the beta looked, well, incomplete. Those black plastic pieces running on the floor looked like Tesla might have had something designed to go there but it either didn't work or wasn't ready for prime time. I'm not a pack rat, but I do have a cup of coffee of the way to work (current cup holders don't allow for use of cupholder while driving which makes them pointless), and I do use sunglasses and keep my headphones for the gym in the car. Don't really want to leave those just thrown on the dash. Have to agree that for most of us early enthusiasts it would be disappointing but not deal breaker, but the next wave of customers, AKA the other 99.9% of car buyers, won't be as forgiving.

engle | 19 janvier 2012

Hopefully they got a chance to improve the interior for 1.0. However, I was told that once they submit cars for NHTSA crash testing, they can't move anything near the airbags even 1 millimeter. The configuration is frozen. He also said there was a code freeze on the control panels during testing, too. This is from one of the TSLA regional sales managers.

Why not assume it will be similar to the Beta vehicles, so one is not disappointed later on?

Mark K | 20 janvier 2012

If they already designed in some changes, then we're in luck. If not, there's no time for changes now.

Let's hope they managed to slip in a console and anchor the screen with it.

We'll find out when they light up the design studio online.

petero | 20 janvier 2012

Perhaps the Donut Analogy has merit. Many are so focused on the hole (cupholders, center console, dash, options, pricing) they don't see the Donut. Look at what TM has created: a car company, a new factory, ‘out of the box’ technology, 2 revolutionary new automobiles, a new way to market cars … and a forum to keep us all highly excited and entertained while awaiting our “S.”

There will always be room for improvement. That is what 2013, 2014… is all about. I bet if you evaluate your current car it has a few areas you are not thrilled with, and these makers have been doing this for 60-100 years!

Good luck Mr. Musk. 2/7-2/15 is a big week for you and your teams.

Soflauthor | 20 janvier 2012

There's little doubt that TM is already considering enhancements for future Model S versions, but frankly, that is not an excuse for offering version 1.0 to the marketplace with a less that adequate interior. Those of us who are spending between $50 and $100K have a reasonable expectation of a solidly designed, well integrated, flowing interior that has the look and feel of a luxury car.

I, for one, will be very disappointed if the final interior is nothing more than a small tweak of the beta. I'll buy my sig because other design elements trump a failed interior, but I'll then go directly to a custom auto shop and see what I can do to make it right for my taste. If I'm going to spend $95K for a car, another 5 percent to get the interior the Model S deserves might be worth it. For me, an integrated center console and a better choice of leather (e.g., saddle color) are worth considering. However, I shouldn't have to take matters into my own hands, and it will irk me to do so.

One final thought -- reviewers for automotive media will begin evaluating the final production Model S soon. I suspect that at least a few of them will be looking for things to criticize. Why on earth would TM tee-up a target for negative comments with an interior that doesn't meet reviewer expectation for a car at the Model S price point?

Charged_Up | 20 janvier 2012

sofl - if the interior is not changed and if you decide to do some aftermarket changes, let me know. maybe we can get a multi-car discount :-)

seriously, the issue of usable cupholders and driver storage is not trivial - it is fundamental to the ergonomics of driving a car. I and others have conveyed this on a number of occasions to Tesla, whether through reservation personnel or on this forum. So one would like to have hope that they listened, at least a little, to these concerns.

petero | 20 janvier 2012

Soflauthor. Despite what I said about the Donut, I feel much the same. I want saddle interior and that is why I am ordering cloth interior. If TM won't give me saddle I will pay a local shop the $1500-2,500. The bottom line, the “S”, though not perfect, is too good not to buy. Many of us have modified our cars (interior and exterior), motorcycles, planes, stereos, home theaters -to our taste. I have seen guys put $15-20K into stereos for their Porsches – with all the engine noise you couldn’t appreciate their ‘investment.’

Six months ago in a forum, I suggested TM establish a custom shop in Fremont to modify customers cars ( custom color leather and paint, center console, more memory…whatever the customer is willing to pay for). It would be very profitable. However, TM can only do so much with the timetable at hand.

You bring up an interesting point regarding the Auto Press. I have a particularly low opinion of the Fourth Estate (de-press) and I am sure they will find fault with the “S.” Top Gear was only the first salvo. TM will not be a much of an advertiser, the magazines are supported by “Big ICE.” They seem to love BMW, MB, Audi, Porsche - no matter what.

Brian H | 20 janvier 2012

"I have seen guys put $15-20K into stereos for their Porsches – with all the engine noise you couldn’t appreciate their ‘investment.’"
They needed the best they could get to penetrate said engine noise ...

Brian H | 20 janvier 2012

Never underestimate Japanese adaptive digital technology.
Or its bad taste!


BYT | 20 janvier 2012

@Brian, LOL, that's like those carnival game where you try to get your horse across the finish line by shooting a water canon at a target. It would be both fun and more sanitary as it gives everyone a reason to aim. Not to mention if you are a bad shot at the bar, maybe you would think twice before driving home. "Oh craps, I didn't hit the target at all... TAXI!"

adstein | 20 janvier 2012

Totally agree on the inadequate beta interior. I have showed the car to many BMW buyers. First reaction is salivation at the execution of the exterior. Second reaction is that the ill conceived console is a show stopper. Sign me up for some group buys in case the bet interior is it. I want a console, graceful integration of the display and would appreciate saddle leather.

adstein | 20 janvier 2012

Apology for grammar...

cerjor | 20 janvier 2012

Since so many of us would like a console and the model S might not have one, maybe there is an opportunity for a third-party console that can nicely set in the vacant place below the info screen.

phb | 20 janvier 2012

I may feel differently when I actually see the thing in person, but I actually like the interior minus the console. I really think that I will enjoy the feeling of openness. I have a HUGE console thing in the Suburban and, frankly, it's just an excuse to collect crap.

I agree that some small amount of storage it nice for things like sunglasses and parking garage cards but, other than that, it's all pretty superfluous. Oh, and I need a couple of cup holders.

I DO hope that someone makes a 3rd party solution for those who want a large receptacle for "necessities."

David M. | 20 janvier 2012

I thought I was the only one that wanted saddle leather seats. There are lots of us. Tesla, saddle leather please.

Jason S | 20 janvier 2012

+1 to saddle leather and a nice console

Teoatawki | 20 janvier 2012

I was defaulting to tan because I really didn't want white leather, didn't really want black leather either. But saddle leather sounds like a winner to me!

vouteb | 21 janvier 2012

I will get the 'fast' S or SIG here in the UK (Order no. 13) , but only if the Control Panel looks better integrated (alpha version) as opposed to what I have seen recently.

I like the back 'bench'.

petero | 21 janvier 2012

vouteb. I find it hard to believe that this is a dealer breaker for you. While the center panel may not be perfect (to your taste) compare it too everything else.

Sorry. For your Pounds/Euros you should get a car you are proud to own. Perhaps after you see and drive an “S” you will have a change of heart. I hope so, the “S” is so advanced and the competition is so stagnate.

TikiMan | 21 janvier 2012

Not that this is a comparable vehicle to the S by any standard, however, the interior of this new Jaguar combined with the Model S's high-tec would IMHO make the Model S the ultimate DREAM CAR!....

BTW, I have never been a big fan of Jag's until seeing the CX-16, and for an ICE semi-exotic, my hat goes off to the designers, for creating a really beautiful exotic masterpiece!

Also, to be very honest, if I didn't have to drive so far, I personally would even consider moving my deposit to own a CX-16, as it is IMHO a far more impressive looking vehicle overall for the same price as a fully loaded performance Model S. If it was a full EV, it would be a DONE DEAL!

Larry Chanin | 21 janvier 2012

That's an absolutely gorgeous coupe, but as you state not comparable to the Model S sedan.

Other than having a console and some framing around the infortainment screen, I don't follow how any of the other interior design aspects could be usefully applied to the Model S interior which has to accommodate a 17" screen with the other complementary "through-the-wheel" screen.


petero | 21 janvier 2012

vouteb. I find it hard to believe that this is a dealer breaker for you. While the center panel may not be as we might prefer, compare it too everything else.

Sorry. For your Pounds/Euros you should get a car you are proud to own. Perhaps after you see and drive an “S” you will have a change of heart. I hope so, the “S” is so advanced and the competition is so stagnate.

Erik M. | 21 janvier 2012

That Jaguar interior is plain ugly to me...

TikiMan | 21 janvier 2012


I guess my main point with the CX-16 comparison in a nutshell is... Tesla's designers really need to think beyond the scope of your average ‘mini-van driver’ with regard to the interior quality and overall final design. With a $100k price-tag, the vast majority of 'real-world' buyers are going to be highly turned-off by the current beta interior design, and it could very well affect sales in the long run! Especially with options like the Jaguar CX-16, Porsche Panamera, etc.

Again, EV tec and saving the planet aside, the factual reality is... ANYONE with $100k available to buy a new car is not likely thinking purely about current and future gas prices, much less morality of greenhouse gasses! Tesla really needs to consider that into their equation right now, until they decided to mass produce a fully loaded economy version of their EV cars to the $40k and under market.

Again, if this were to be a fully loaded $40k car, most would accept the current interior design without any hesitation, but it’s NOT a fully loaded $40k car.

vouteb | 21 janvier 2012

I have had an Aston Martin DB7 and now a Jag(downgrade!).

Just want to look it really smooth and not clunky.

Mycroft | 21 janvier 2012

Once we experience a drive in the car, I think minor issues like consoles and the available colors of leather will quickly become irrelevant issues.

vouteb | 21 janvier 2012

Whilst I need to wait an extra 6 month before they make the right hand drive for me (UK), the good news is that you US Drivers would have 'found' and hopefully have sorted out the first faults.

Mycroft | 21 janvier 2012

"the good news is that you US Drivers would have 'found' and hopefully have sorted out the first faults."

Hey, glad to help! :-)

Teoatawki | 21 janvier 2012

Pretty sure they are not thinking about the average mini-van driver at all. My wife's Odyssey has around 20 cupholders for 7 passengers. Even I think that's a little over the top.

vouteb | 21 janvier 2012

Thanks, Mycroft!

TikiMan | 21 janvier 2012


I don't agree, after sitting the beta S for a good 30 minuets (aside from the 17" touch-screen) I was thinking and feeling very 'mom and dad mobile'. Especially with the center purse / diaper bag holder. Very Kia / Hyundi looking right now.

TikiMan | 21 janvier 2012


Not sure if you have sat in a beta Model S yet, however at this point, if you are expecting the quality interior design and style of a Austin Martin, you are going to be fairly disappointed.

Larry Chanin | 21 janvier 2012


I agree that the Beta interior can be improved with the addition of a console and framing around the infotainment screen. I just think that the rather conventional Jaguar interior you used as an example has nothing useful to offer to help the Tesla designers to integrate their screens, etc.


Timo | 21 janvier 2012

@TikiMan, Austin Mini, Aston Martin. Both have some legendary status and both are good to drive, but interior is better in Aston. :-P

Soflauthor | 21 janvier 2012

@mycroft i think minor issues like consoles and available color of leather will quickly become irrelevant issues.

I disagree. Regardless of other aspects of the car, the beta interior is an inferior design in any otherwise superior vehicle. Many people, myself included, put heavy weight on the interior (it's where you "live" while driving). If TM did not respond to an overwhelmingly negative response to the beta interior, I'll be very disappointed. I'll still buy the car, but as I noted earlier in this thread, I'll make the necessary mods to make it right. I shouldn't have to do that when I'm spending $95K on a car.

If the production S has a lightly tweaked beta interior, I'll bet it's panned by the automotive media when the car is reviewed. That would be a shame.

Soflauthor | 21 janvier 2012

Correction: I'll bet the interior is panned ...

TikiMan | 21 janvier 2012


Understood, and the CX-16 is not exactly what I expect Tesla to do either. however, I am just trying to show what kind of competation Tesla will be up against vying for the 100k USD auto market. The Model S needs to surpass expectations in all categories to make a mark. Otherwise, the end will not justify the means.

TikiMan | 21 janvier 2012


Yes, I 100% agree! The WHOLE POINT of this vehicle is to sell to the long-distance executive commuter (like myself). If the average higher-income executive (with a long commute) doesn't find it appealing, they will just buy a less expensive luxury ICE vehicle, and spend the savings on gas, until a really luxury EV hits the market. By that time, Tesla will have already missed the mark, and we will all be stuck with an overpriced EV with no one around to support it.

Again, it's in ALL our best interest to see Tesla succeed, regardless of how 'fan-boy' excited we are about the car. Reality is reality.