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2021 Refresh Delivery + Thoughts + New Wheels

HX_Guy

Member
Sep 1, 2012
779
1,117
Phoenix, AZ
I finally got my 2021 Model S Long Range on Saturday Sept 4th, after ordering it back on Jan 29th. It's been a long long wait, but as many have said, you all but forget about the agony of all that waiting once you have the car.

I've been driving a late 2016 Model S 75D for 5 years now so very very familiar with the car, which makes the changes with the new ones very noticeable, mostly good, but some bad.

Outside looks great, the front bumper is vastly improved in my opinion and the flared fenders, while subtle, definitely make the car look more muscular. I immediately swapped out the factory 19" Tempest wheels for 21" Twin Turbine wheels with 20mm spacers all around (Wheels are new, had them waiting in the garage since March - the spacers I moved from my 2016). With the spacers, the offset/stance is perfect...the new wheels poke out 7.3mm in the front and 5.9mm in the rear compared to the stock Tempest wheels, which are surprisingly more aggressive in offset than the previous Model S and the outcome is spot on.

Driving dynamics wise, the adaptive air suspension is amazing coming from normal springs on my 2016. It's much smoother and you can really feel the changes the car makes on city streets vs freeway for example, its very very smooth and I did not expect it to be as noticeable as it is.

It's also much quicker, though I don't feel that it *feels* that much quicker than my 75D, but I can *see* that it is via how fast the speedometer increases - that is a huge difference. I wasted no time doing some tests and pulled out a 10.94 @ 130.01 MPH which I think can even be improved on a bit.

Inside is obviously a complete redesign. Overall it's great. The inside definitely feels more upscale, the center tunnel being as high as it is, and as you see in most luxury cars, helps with that feel. It is noticeably quieter. The seats are softer, but compared to my 2016 Next Gen seats, they are not as supportive, especially the bottom side bolsters. The seat cooling works very well, it feels like A/C is coming through them it's so cold, not just a fan (perhaps A/C air is being sent through?)

I love the clean dash look, but I do not love the A/C system. The graphics for controls the air direction is cool and all, but it's much more limited than traditional vents where I could point a vent at my forearm if I wanted - now its basically all one straight direction and while I can move it to the left side...then my right arm doesn't get air.
Another crazy thing that I don't know how many people will even notice, but I'm usually pretty in tune with this kind of stuff, is the left side door arm rest. It's too low and too shallow compared to the previous S, it feels like its not at the same level as the center arm rest so you have this sort of noticeable offset between your both arms.
I had a solid roof in my 2016 so this is my first experience with an all glass roof and while I like the spaciousness it provides, here in AZ you feel that heat coming through strong, even 5-6" off the glass. As the driver you really dont get any benefit of the glass roof, it's not in your field of vision so there isnt much benefit here.
My wife loves that they have a proper vanity mirror now with lights. :p

The sound system is worlds better than the standard audio I had in my 2016, and I haven't even received the new software update yet that adds the Subwoofer adjustment, which I've read make the system noticeably better.

Really like the new UI and both instrument cluster screen and center screen. The center screen is insanely responsive, right there on par with a new iPhone. Love the graphics and the sharpness of everything. I don't love the limited features compared to the previous UI however. Everything is a bit harder to do, like changing the A/C fan speed. The Homelink is more difficult to get to, and when you get to a destination where it auto pulls up, it covers the bottom of the screen and blocks other things. The instrument cluster is very limited in what it shows and the scroll wheels on the steering wheel are no longer customizable, no idea why they took that away. I used to have one for volume and one for A/C fan speed. Now one controls volume/tracks and the other just Autopilot on/off and speed.

Finally, the yoke. I've gone through a few stages here with the Yoke. At first, I was like holy crap this is the coolest thing ever. Then I drove it and thought, why is this necessary? Then I got used to it after a day or so and as many others have said, the shape is fine, but the buttons are still a big question mark. I've grabbed air a couple times and "lost control" a couple times on a round about where I went to grab a top that isn't there. I think the side and bottom of the wheel are great and the driving position is very good especially when on Autopilot. I keep the wheel as far forward and as low as the setting with allow so the yoke is sort of almost in my lap if that makes sense, and you can very easily just rest your palm on the bottom with your elbow on the center arm rest. You can tell that this was the thought behind the design. I think they could have added a top portion as well, though it would block the instrument cluster so I can also see what they didn't. In the end though, its good once you get used to it and you get used to it quickly. The buttons though...you have to look down every time, at least so far. I've turned on the windshield wipers countless times when making a turn, as well as the blinkers. Stalks here would have been better, but also probably would have looked super odd with this shape/size steering wheel.

Last note on the delivery. It felt rushed but that was my fault, I contacted Tesla and apparently they were planning on delivering it to me next week, so I contacted my sales rep and he was able to push it through for Saturday for me, but the downside to that is they gave me floor mats from the pervious gen Model S, which fit like crap. There were also a couple other issues...the driver side hood seal sticks out a bit and needs fixed. Both front seats need replaced as they have these odd creases in the seat backs (verified other cars did not have that), the driver side handle needs to be adjusted as it noticeably sticks out when its fully recessed, and the airbag cover has the vein/worm defect. I set an appt to have all of the items addressed.

Oh yeah, one last last thing, if you valet park the car, you definitely have to tell the guy how to put it in drive and reverse. :D

Some pictures! Pulling up at home with the stock 19" wheels.

1.jpeg


And with the 21" Tesla Twin Turbine wheels

2.jpeg


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They gave me the wrong floor mats (they put in pre 2021 mats wtf), pulled them out and waiting on new ones.

6.jpeg


19" wheels under the aero hub caps. Not pretty.

8.jpeg


Much better. :)

9.jpeg


And she's pretty quick too. Test done this morning. :D

10.jpg
 
Last edited:

WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
4,092
5,701
Seattle, WA
@HX_Guy FYI, you can use a pinch apart with your fingers to split the AC flow coming toward you - it doesn't have to be just a single flow of air. Experiment with that.

Also, what's your reported range at 100%? I see 281 miles at around 80-90% on your dash. Given my experience, just wanted to make sure you weren't reading too low...
 
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HX_Guy

Member
Sep 1, 2012
779
1,117
Phoenix, AZ
Having had a little more time with the car, the yoke "issues" seem to disappear pretty easily. Turning and such as super easy and really already second nature. I still hit some of the button at times, seems the voice control one is the one I most often hit on accident (which make sense as I mostly drive with my right arm).

One thing also that is super apparent compared to my previous 2016 S 75D is just how effortless the acceleration is. I mean you really notice it. Not so much in feeling faster, as the old one had plenty of torque as well, but for example getting on the freeway, on the same on ramp I've done for years, the muscle memory used to speed up previously had me getting up to 75 MPH or so and now I look down and I'm doing 90, it's just so smooth!
 
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HX_Guy

Member
Sep 1, 2012
779
1,117
Phoenix, AZ
Without spacers should work fine, but would look absolutely terrible. The wheels would tuck in about 15mm compared to the stock refresh wheels and just look goofy and out of place. Do the spacers.
 

HX_Guy

Member
Sep 1, 2012
779
1,117
Phoenix, AZ
what brand of spacers you are using?
The spacers are from Motorsport-Tech, super great company. I just ordered a set of 25mm to try out on the rear with the 20mm on the front. The original 20mm are from them as well and have had them for close to 5 years.

Regarding the studs, no did not have to cut them, the way the spacers install there are little pockets for the studs to fit into when you mount the spacer to the hub.
 
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HX_Guy

Member
Sep 1, 2012
779
1,117
Phoenix, AZ
Picked her up from wrap and tint today and damn she came out MEAN looking! I freaking love it!

• Suntek full body protection wrap (heavy on the whole front end, rockers, and rear quarter panels)
• Llumar IRX tint all around
• Llumar Air windshield tint
Tint1.jpg
Tint2.jpg
Tint3.jpg
 
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