Beta first impressions

Beta first impressions

I saw the beta in ft lauderdale this weekend. This was the white beta from the Detroit auto show. Here's my observations:

Exterior really is as attractive at it seems online. Wheels were gorgeous and though large, the proportions are lovely.

Interior was a very mixed bag. The touch screen is less of an issue as far as dash integration than I thought looking at photos online. I can see getting used to it quickly and the display itself is very readable. Seats were acceptable but almost no side support- that could certainly be improved for a car that is supposedly fast and has sharp handling. I had no issues with vent placement but there were some serios usability issues. The armrest and cup holder seem like they were designed by someone who never sat in the car. A major fail. The doors had not even a slim pocket for papers or whatever. And there is a definite need for some sort of closed storage lest that "purse tray" becomes an auto junk bucket. Where I live - south Florida- I always have a drink and a sunglasses case at the ready. In this interior there's no place for a drink that you can reach and only the floor for glasses as the glovebox is un reachable for the driver. I wont even mention the pens, change, and other junk that require a home. Trunk storage is great and fit and finish looked decent, although there were a few glue spots visible.

Although a tesla employee there would not say much about changes that may be forthcoming, he did make a point of saying that the interior on this car was a months old design and did not necessarily reflect post Fremont ride event feedback. One certainly hopes so as this level of usefulness in a $100,000 car (signature) is a significant failure to date. The tesla guy also said that a lot of controls would also involve voice integration and steering wheel control, which, if well implemented would improve usability of the screen by a large margin. He also hinted that there were a few features/benefits for signature that remain undisclosed.

Bottom line: I'm dying for a test drive and love the "idea" of the car even at a premium price, but the interior needs work for me to sign on the dotted line. Hopefully there's a version 2.0 version of the interior waiting to be disclosed.

brianman | 29 gennaio 2012

"He also hinted that there were a few features/benefits for signature that remain undisclosed."

I hope we see these start trickling out as March approaches.

rdw95 | 5 febbraio 2012

I have been following the Model S for almost 2 years now and made the trip down from northern Florida. I think the car looks much better in real life than the photos. Yes - there will be more changes to the interior from what the rep said, but I saw enough to put down a deposit. There will be another test car here in April/May for test drives for those who have placed deposits, and I can not wait. Being a "car guy", I was impressed with the suspension and brakes on the chassis that was shown. From what I understand, these are production ready pieces. Rear brakes are large vented rotors, with 4 - piston calipers, Fronts also have larger 4-piston calipers on large vented rotors. The rep said they were made with the help of Brembo, and look like it. Upper and lower suspension arms look good, and tie into strong front and rear suspension carriers. Can't wait to drive it. And oh yes...reservation numbers are over 7000.

Timo | 6 febbraio 2012

@rdw95 And oh yes...reservation numbers are over 7000.

You should tell your reservation number in Reservation Tally -thread.

It has not been updated for a while.

Charged_Up | 6 febbraio 2012

Follow up - went back this past weekend for a second look. Store had done land office business in the prior week, with a whole bunch of regular reservations and they told me 31 people added their names to the Sig waiting list!

I was told that interior in the car was a September design. Modifications have been made to interior - center console was specifically referenced - and is now finalized, but they were not willing to discuss yet. They also indicated that they expected some other plusses for signature holders beyond white leather and red paint. The Tesla guy who was there from California had driven a bunch of the betas and mentioned that while regen was expected to be adjustable, he didn't know how - and that regen was not as strong as in the Roadster.

Truly, the exterior is attractive - more so in person than I would say via pictures on the web. This car did have some placeholder parts and its hard to say what changes will occur. I will say that the corner of the screen may get some getting used to with your right leg as there isn't the same kind of support that you find when the center console is higher. But all in all, I'm looking forward to that test drive....