Oct1Event–The Model S Exterior and Interior

Oct1Event–The Model S Exterior and Interior

This Oct1Event thread focuses on the Model S exterior and interior related to the October 1-2 Model S event. Here are a few examples of relevant areas of discussion for this thread:


Overall Beta exterior design characteristics
Fit and finish of the Beta
Front and rear lights
Exterior dimensions, clearances, etc.
Images and video links of the exterior


Overall Beta interior design characteristics
Fit and finish of the interior – seats, steering wheel, dash
The control panel
Other interior controls
Spaciousness for seating, legroom (front and back)
Interesting dimensions (e.g., the ground clearance for the Model S)
Features that were a surprise
Images and video links of the interior

Note that other Oct1Event threads address general impressions, the test drive, and the formal Tesla presentation. If you have comments on those topics, please post them in the appropriate Oct1Event thread. If you’ve created your own thread or site or blog or on-line photo album, please provide a link.

All of us who couldn’t attend thank you for filling us in!

Brian H | 10 ottobre 2011

The excellent engadget article above links to another (bottom "More coverage") at Autoblog:
An interesting note at the end of that article:
Who isn't skeptical? Hundreds of people from the Bay Area, along with hundreds more from across the country and around the world, all of which have put cash down to be one of the few with a Signature Series Model S. Potential buyers flew in from as far away as Tokyo, Denmark and Switzerland to be part of this weekend's event, including one gentleman from Iceland who inked a deal to purchase 100 examples for his car sharing service. Fittingly, he signed the papers on the hood of a Model S beta Saturday night – the same sedan we ran around the track less than 48 hours later.

100 (Signatures?) off to Iceland for a sharing service! That was a $5-8 Million signature. They will, of course, be running on geothermal generated power, like everything else there. :)

Brian H | 10 ottobre 2011

BTW, the gallery on the engadget page is great. The thumbnail opens an 86-pic factory tour, with excellent clear shots of the 'station' description plaques.

Brian H | 10 ottobre 2011

P.S. The first 32-pic drive gallery on the engadget page is good, too, including some excellent shots of the jumpseats.
If the galleries are slowish to start, well, it's AOL. Hit Esc, then reload and it will come up immediately.


Slindell | 10 ottobre 2011

I got to sit in the driver's seat 7-Oct, and I feel better about fitting into the Model S. Altho they did not allow me to adjust the seat height or steering wheel (it's a Beta), I still managed to fit with inches to spare with the seat very high.

Brian H | 10 ottobre 2011

The great majority of males are 28" tall, sitting; most height difference is in the legs. There are long-torso exceptions, but the 36" headroom spec seems to leave lots of clearance.
Visibility lines are a different matter, of course.


Robert.Boston | 10 ottobre 2011

Impressions on the seat bolstering? There's another thread that suggests that there's not enough support on the sides. Opinions? What about thigh support? I'm very long-legged, and like a seat that can come out to provide some additional support there (a la BMW).

joefee68 | 11 ottobre 2011

Getting back to Volker.Berlin's (excellent) post on Model S being able to turn a profit, the investor report below states that Tesla's Gross margin

"was over 30%" and .... as a result, the development of Model S remains on schedule for first customer deliveries in mid-2012 (see the "projected delivery" thread at "In addition, we continue to have confidence in our long term target gross margin of 25% for Model S when we reach an annualized sales run rate of 20,000 units."

I too was at the ride event and feel we are getting one heck of a car for the money !!!

Denis Vincent | 11 ottobre 2011

@ joefee "Hear here!"

Brian H | 12 ottobre 2011

That would be "Hear! Hear!" (British parliamentary call of support, meaning "Hear him!".)

And I agree. This is a very high "value for money" product.

ASG | 20 ottobre 2011

Thanks Slindell & Kroneal for attempting to quantify the headroom in the S Beta. I'm also all torso (only 35-36" inseam, & 6'8") so I guess I'll wait until the Beta makes it's way to Portland for the test-fitting!


Volker.Berlin | 4 novembre 2011

By the way, am I am the only person who misses the old T side badge from the Alpha? They did change it, right? (cybercop)

I noticed the same thing. And I cannot come up with an excuse for that change. The integrated T with turn signal was eye-catching and Tesla-specific. (myself)

Well, what was eye-catching about it was its 3-dimensional quality, as if it were carved into the car. I'd guess it was particularly its 3-dimensionality which had to go in favor of an improved Cd. Tesla probably couldn't achieve a Cd value of .22 (nothing official, but those are the latest rumors) if they gave way to gimmicks like that. If you look closely, something comparable but decidedly more 2-dimensional is still in place in the betas builds that were presented at the Oct 1 event.

discoducky | 4 novembre 2011

At the Bellevue opening the guy who was doing the demo of the 17" touchscreen said the stereo system was wholly designed by Tesla. Has anyone else heard this? I asked him again and he said "Yes, all the components are built in house". I doubt that, so I'm guessing they are sourced from another company and maybe this will be a late announcement from Elon.

The interior, after a long look is great. I've recently sat in both 7-series and A8.

Also, the Sequoia green is really nice. They had car shells on the wall. However, the Catalina White looked really nice as well on the wall.

Mycroft | 4 novembre 2011

I think you're right and they're using the computer as the head-end and attaching high quality components such as a digital tuner, amplifier, and speakers.

Robert.Boston | 4 novembre 2011

@Discoducky: Glad to hear about the Sequoia Green. It's really hard to see these colors accurately in the Design Studio, but to my eye that green looks almost exactly like the color I would have chosen from an infinite palette.

Mycroft | 4 novembre 2011

I thought the blue looked interesting. I don't think I've ever seen that deep and dark of a blue on a car before.

But then, comparing the way the red beta looks in pictures of the car (like a candy-apple red) and the Signature red on the mini-shell mounted on the wall (like a pure dark, darkest red), the blue car in person might look different.

I also noticed there was no mention of "Muir Red". So it appears there will not be any shade of red available for the general production car.

Robert.Boston | 4 novembre 2011

I think Muir Red and Napa Cabernet would be nice color additions (the former a redwood color, the latter a purple/red/black).

Mishkin Berteig | 5 novembre 2011

A couple days ago I saw the Model S on display in Toronto. I had reserved one just a few days prior based on what I saw on the Tesla web site. Now I'm not so sure...

Just based on looks, my all-time favourite car is the Aston Martin Rapide (here's a site with some photos: ). When I first saw the Model S images I realized that I was looking at a car that was the closest I had seen to the Rapide in terms of shape and details on the exterior. The "T" side badge, the shape of the front in profile, the shape of the side mirrors, the windows, etc. etc. I immediately fell in love with it.

Then I saw the beta. There are so many minor styling changes... and they all add up to creating a pretty ho-hum sedan instead of an outstanding performance sports sedan. The current Model S design could be anything - it's boring. The changes to the headlights, the mirrors, the "T" badge, the grill, the accents... all of it was disappointing.

I almost canceled my reservation right there and then.

I didn't, because I am truly hopeful that some of this feedback will result in some re-improvement of the exterior. The range, the performance are things that attract me, but they aren't the things that are deciding factors.

(BTW, I don't particularly care about the interior - it just needs to be functional. Yes... I'm shallow: I care about what other people think when they see my car, and that's usually just the exterior.)

Mycroft | 5 novembre 2011

You might as well cancel your reservation and start saving up for a Rapide because what you see on the beta is what the production car is going to look like. It's only the inside that they're still working on finalizing.

Frankly, I think the S looks fantastic! While there are some mods I would have made to the nose and the rear charging port, everything else is perfect for my taste.

Most of the exterior changes from the Alpha to the Beta were driven by aerodynamics. They were shooting for the lowest Cd they could achieve and at .22, they succeeded admirably!!!

petero | 5 novembre 2011

Mishkin Berteig. I saw the Model S…. There are so many minor styling changes... creating a pretty ho-hum sedan. ... it was disappointing. I almost canceled my reservation.

Sorry for condensing your comments, I hope I did not change your intent. No argument, the Rapide is beautiful. I am sure the original concept of the Rapide was a bit different and changes to accommodate production, etc. were made- even in a $220K+ car.

If you read the forums, many forum participants have some issues (center console, charge port, the nose, tow hitch…). Cars change, evolve from concept to production… I can’t remember a car company that has shared so much of the process and encourages its’ customers to be as involved as Tesla. I anticipate further changes.

When the final see and drive the final version of the “S you will decide yes or no. There must be some redeeming qualities because you did not cancel your reservation. I can’t wait to get mine, even with changes, it will be a superior car to most everything on the road.