Did Any of You Drive the Blue Performance Vehicle in Palo Alto Today?

Did Any of You Drive the Blue Performance Vehicle in Palo Alto Today?

I test drove the blue S at the Palo Alto test drive event today and found the acceleration surprisingly underwhelming. I'm wrestling with how this could be true after all the fabulous reports from other drivers. The car I was in was ostensibly a Performance model according to the folks working there, although after reviewing my photos, I noticed there was no rear spoiler. I'm fairly certain it had the black interior with red piping though. I certainly wouldn't describe the acceleration as sluggish, but it didn't feel like 4.4s; it felt more like 5.6s. I gunned it several times during my drive, and it didn't have the instant punch I was expecting. It seemed to accelerate like a Trans Am during the first second or two, and then something kicked in which caused it to pick up the pace. Maybe there's something wrong with that particular unit.

I've been struggling all day with what might have happened, and there are a few caveats that might help explain...

1. I didn't actually clock my 0-60 time, so I don't really know how long it took me to get to 60. I've driven in other cars that will do 0-60 in 4.4 though, and this didn't feel like 4.4. (I know...not very scientific.)

2. It could be that my perception was altered because all the usual performance cues (engine sounds, body movement, road feedback) were missing. The ride was incredibly quiet and smooth.

3. The Palo Alto route was really bad for testing acceleration when I was on it. Most of it is composed of narrow, single-lane roads with cyclists peppering the shoulder throughout most of the route, so it was a bit unnerving sustain high speeds for any length of time. Most of my acceleration was limited to what I would consider short bursts.

4. When driving at high speeds, I never took my eyes off the road enough to get a glimpse of my max speed on the spedometer. I should've had my copilot monitor and report that to me.

5. Either I wasn't really driving a Performance model, or maybe there was something wrong with it.

Did anyone else drive that particular vehicle (Palo Alto, Blue, Performance, No spoiler, Black interior) today and come away with the same impression?

I'm thinking about going back tomorrow to see if they can shoehorn me in for another drive.

jjaeger | 2012年7月14日

What was the route for the Palo Alto test drive? I drive tomorrow and am curious to look at the route before i go first thing in the morning.

stuberman | 2012年7月14日

I drove the other performance vehicle (black with a light interior I think). Yes, the roads were challenging if your goal was to go all out. I did manage to hit a high speed that I don't want to report here. Given the challenges of the roads it was really hard to glance at the speedometer, but I thought that they electronically limited the car's top speed. I base this assessment on the fact that the speedometer reported that same fast speed when I looked at it a couple seconds apart while I still had my foot firmly planted on the accelerator.

I thought that the car drove beautifully. I can't wait to get mine.

Schlermie | 2012年7月14日

Here's the Palo Alto test route:

nickjhowe | 2012年7月15日

Thanks @Schlermie. Heading there today.

Peter7 | 2012年7月15日

Schlermie, any chance that the car was low on charge, the system reduces the power available when the batteries are low.

Timo | 2012年7月15日

It seemed to accelerate like a Trans Am during the first second or two, and then something kicked in which caused it to pick up the pace

That might be illusion caused by the nature of the BEV acceleration: no gears, so no slowing down the acceleration either until you hit the RPM of diminishing returns. It should feel more like jet taking off than car that accelerates. So: you are expecting car to accelerate very violently at first, then slow down acceleation a bit when gear is changed. Neither is happening, so your brain interpreters that as slow acceleration and then picking up the pace.

Or car was just limiting acceleration for some reason, just like you said. Can't tell, haven't experienced myself.

Erik M. | 2012年7月15日

I don't think the blue car in Palo Alto was a performance model. We were told there was only one performance model and that was the black which had the spoiler. We were there from 4pm till closing at about 6:30pm. There were six cars in total: the black performance, and then five standard versions: blue, silver, white, pearl and black.

The performance model was in high demand. In fact, at least two cars were just sitting their while there was a line of people waiting for the perf to return. I wished I could have gone for another ride because 10 min is just too short!

I had the opposite experience as you. I drove the silver non-performance model, but to me it felt like a performance model from what others have described. At the many stop signs, I would floor it and watch the speedometer climb to 50 mph what seemed no more than two seconds! Really amazing acceleration!

btsmann | 2012年7月15日

I asked to drive a NON-performance model, and they had me wait while two black teslas came thru, and then had me drive the blue one. So i suspect the blue is not a performance model. I thought the accelleration was amazing, but then i was comparing it to a Prius and a Volt that I drove that day!

jackhub | 2012年7月15日

I too asked to drive a standard model and had to wait while two performance models went through. I had no difficulty wringing out the standard model (silver). Bicycles were a slight issue on the second leg of the route.

Schlermie | 2012年7月15日

Thanks for the feedback folks. It sounds like they misguided me to a non-performance vehicle. That's disappointing, but also a relief at the same time. Maybe I'll get another chance at a testdrive sometime.

With regard to the boost I experienced after the first second or two of acceleration, I'm wondering if the traction control may have been holding it back after I punched the accelerator.

jjaeger | 2012年7月15日

Yes, at the drive this morning i asked what performance cars they had - and they indicated that the two black cars were performance, and the blue and silver were not performance.

I drove a black performance and was impressed - although getting behind a delivery van and similar traffic made it a bit challenging to fully run it out.

Michael37 | 2012年7月15日

The blue was sitting idle for probably 15 minutes while everybody was waiting to drive the performance car.

I volunteered to take the blue car out, since it seemed lonely, but for some reason they didn't take me up on my generous offer. ;-)

D Vo | 2012年7月15日

Is there a button to push to get the 4.4 second 0-60 performance?

EdG | 2012年7月15日

You have to have the Performance version. The button is generally pushed by your right big toe.

Vic M | 2012年7月15日

I can confirm that only the two black models at the PA event were performance models. They did not disappoint my fiance who was driving.

Schlermie | 2012年7月15日

I went back to the test drive event at the end of the day today, and the staff there confirmed I was mistakenly placed in a non-performance car yesterday. They let me try one of the black performance models this evening, and it definitely made a difference, most notably during 0-30. It was also nice driving the test route this evening, because there was no traffic and no cyclists on the shoulder. My copilot set me up for some 0-60 runs while he timed it on his mobile device. There was probably +-0.5s margin of error in our methods, but the result was definitely somewhere in the 4s. On average, our measurements were around 4.4s.

Even without timing it, the feel of the acceleration was clearly something extraordinary.

brianman | 2012年7月15日

@Schlermie - Makes me happy on two fronts: (1) technical aspects of the vehicle are as expected (and satisfying) and (2) Tesla treating the customer well.

Jason S | 2012年7月15日

I'm pretty impressed that Schlermie could tell the difference.

Kudos to you sir, you know your performance vehicles!

Brian H | 2012年7月16日

I see that the course is so rectangular that there were only right turns till you're back in the parking lot. How do you know it turns left properly?

Should have alternated directions. The route would work as well the other way, and the freeway entrances and exits would have been even more fun!

vouteb | 2012年7月16日

Just to let you all know that this feedback is extremely useful, but very jealous greetings from Europe.

Volker.Berlin | 2012年7月16日

vouteb +1 on all accounts.

dtaubert | 2012年7月17日

My wife drove the blue car. Didn't want to be tempted by the performance model. ;-)

CIAOPEC | 2012年7月18日

I thoroughly enjoyed my test drive of the black performance w/ pano roof July 15th in Palo alto.

Here is a video trailer I made of my experience. Note the white car in the video was not the car I drove. I apologize for the substandard audio and choppy video. First time using iMovie...

Brian H | 2012年7月19日

Good photo of the brown:

Alex K | 2012年7月19日

@Brian H: Good photo of the brown

That's the paint color my wife prefers, although it's kind of sad seeing that shopping cart filled with some homeless person's belongings in the background, illustrating the dichotomy in our society.

vouteb | 2012年7月22日

Alex K: Thats not a homeless person cart!
Thats Tesla's new centre console.....

Teoatawki | 2012年7月22日

@Vouteb That's not a homeless person cart! That's Tesla's new centre console....


ThomasN | 2012年7月22日

It looks more like John petersens personal mode of transportation for leaking lead batteries

Timo | 2012年7月22日

@Alex K, huge majority of homeless people are it thru their own actions. Capability of buying car like Model S is also result of choices people make. As long as people are not forced to be one or the other it's not dichotomy of society, that's just people in free country. People that have money should not feel guilty of having money.

Based on some comments in here some of us might soon be homeless, only our "cart" is that foreground brown shiny object, not that background shopping cart.

jwcormier | 2012年7月23日

Any similar picture of the blue car?

Brian H | 2012年7月23日

Here's one from Denver:

jwcormier | 2012年7月23日

Thanks, Brian. I appreciate it.

Brian H | 2012年7月23日

Alex K;
America is a very mobile society. In 5 yrs. you may have switched vehicles with the cart-owner! |8-0 !

nickjhowe | 2012年7月28日

In Palo Alto it was difficult to tell the blue from the black (the blue looked black from most angles)

jwcormier | 2012年8月3日

Thanks, Nick. That is very helpful. I wish they had the blue car in DC, as I am leaning heavily to that color, but would really like to see it in person first.