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Experiences with my Sig 100 v1.5

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by jsa, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. jsa

    jsa Member

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    #1 jsa, Nov 9, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2008
    I'll post pics soon...It's going to be about a week or so as I'm traveling. The nature of my work has me with the car only part of the time, as I'm out of the state quite a bit.

    I spent four days total with the car, driving around San Francisco. Unfortunately, I'm not a sports car expert, as this is my first... so the difficult part is giving anyone opinions of comparison.

    First off, there is nothing crazier than looking down at your new car dashboard and seeing a tac that goes to 15,000 and a speedometer that goes to 150mph. That, I think, freaked me out a little bit...in a good way.

    Essentially, I feel like I am piloting a rocket ship. I think about being a place down the road, and suddenly (and without warning) my car is there. 0-60 in the 1.5 just *feels smooth* in comparison to my test drives of the VP-13. I can't say I can tell the subtle increase of performance in terms of time of 0-60 (I'm not standing next to it with a stop watch), but clearly I'm getting a smooth, consistent acceleration and well beyond what any safe driver would ever really need in 95% of situations.

    Also as compared to the VP-13 test drive, the car sounds and feels more like a well oiled machine (irony intentional). It's less clunky, though I doubt this is due to the 1.5, it's just a finished product. It feels right and is a better overall experience.

    I've smoked anyone who gave me a nod at a stop light. That's fun. I can tell I needed about one day of "douchebaggery" before my ego was satisfied and I avoided such things. I feel bad for them, though, just a little. ;)

    In terms of other performance, once I got used to the un-powered steering, I found handing of the car to be absolutely excellent. I've never driven this low to the ground before, but making turns felt like something out of Tron... I felt bad for my passengers as they weren't expecting me to take turns at quite that speed (neither was I, at first).

    One little San Francisco characteristic: Going up hills doesn't seem to play any factor in acceleration that I can tell. In fact, other than perhaps using more power (which I haven't really noticed in terms of overall consumption), I'm going up steep hills without breaking a sweat. Further acceleration is available if I wanted it. In the city, I was afraid someone was going to jump out from behind a parked car, so I didn't go to crazy.

    Regenerative braking was awkward for me for the first half hour of my driving... [Editor's note: I was mistaken in calling it "regenerative braking." What I should have said that in "coast" mode, that is, when you take your foot off the accelerator but do not press the brake down, the car slows down faster than you might expect a car to do without brakes. During that time, the brake lights turn on.] I began to realize that any time my foot was off the accelerator the brake lights were on, as the regenerative brakes were rolling. Once I got used to that, I actually learned to love it, as it seemed very natural, particularly in city driving. Braking was very efficient and you could tell there wasn't added drag after you take your foot off the brakes...Immediate release.

    As far as the features of the car, I've put everything through the test. Let's start with the most common feedback: The radio. I have to be honest, I'm an audiophile and techy, and I'm big on feature optimization... I think this is a great device. As far as interfaces go for the size, I have no complaints. The nav (in 3D front view) is now my default screen. My only beef with the radio is that the iPod support is a little challenging... If I set my playlist before attaching it I'm fine, but I haven't been able to figure out how to navigate playlists yet through the JVC (I can bring up the menu item "Playlists," but I can't seem to traverse to the list itself). The sound of the system was a little tinny by default but I adjusted the EQ and was satisfied with the seven speaker setup. For a car this low to the ground, and often with the top off, I think this is a great system.

    The heated seats work great, I used those a little bit. Defrost and air is fine. You have to remember to select AC or Heat or it won't work, but you get used to that. No complaints here on the HVAC capabilities.

    The seats have lumbar support! That was a surprise...little inflation squeeze things you squeeze and it inflates. Bonus! I was happy to have that, because I'm tall and I was sure my back was going to suffer.

    Regarding fans and pumps and what not, everything operated as I expected it to. Yes, after driving it for a while, you'll park it and you'll hear the fans roaring and pumps pumping, but I'm fine with that. It doesn't spoil the experience at all. On one occasion, after driving it a lot one day, I heard a rumble like sound with a fan up front that sounded a bit scary. I turned the car off, turned it back on, and it never returned.

    I've tested charging in various modes. I personally set it to charge at 1AM and leave the car in "Standard"mode. I can elaborate on the options here if anyone is interested, but the bottom line is that most of the time I'm going to leave it in "Storage" mode (when I'm away) and when I'm in town "Standard" mode. I've also inflated the tires for "Comfort" driving (lower pressure) versus "Standard" which is much harder a ride at higher pressure.

    Key fobs work great, you get to program your third button to do whatever you want (trunk, garage door, whatever). I got HomeLink working so I open my garage with my touch screen (great feature, because where the heck would you put a garage opener). I like the various status screens available to you, all fun to play with and learn about your electricity consumption. Kudos to the team who designed the interface, I'm really picky about it and it seems to make intuitive sense. I could spend hours writing about their interface, and the elements to it...but over all I think they did a fantastic job with limited real estate.

    As for the soft top, after some practice, I can get it on and off in a minute or two. It's pretty simple, and I don't feel particularly like I would want an automatic one...just one more thing to break. I'm learning convertible etiquette (I've never owned one) so I find myself putting the top back on a lot because of some illusion I have of added security... It's probably worse to park it in the city with a soft top, inviting vandals, but somehow it made me feel better. I'd take my radio with me, as well. If folks on this forum are old-school convertible drivers in cities and want to offer some tips, I'd sure appreciate it.

    Anyway, for four days of driving that's a start. Look for pics in a bout a week or so.
     
  2. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Congratulations! Sounds awesome. What colors (interior and exterior) did you get?
     
  3. jsa

    jsa Member

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    Obsidian Black, premium two-tone, rally 1, black/saddle...and saddle head restraint. :)

     
  4. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Sounds classy. :cool:

    I'm a convertible owner myself and how to deal with security is a constant point of debate with a rag top. Some even say you should leave your doors unlocked. Like you, I used to take my head unit faceplate with me as well, but then I found I was happier not being paranoid about it. Took me a good 6 months, though.
     
  5. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #5 doug, Nov 9, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2008
    You sure about that? It seemed the Tesla people went back and forth about whether or not to tie the brake lights to regen. Darryl had said that ultimately they decided not to do it.

    Edit: Sorry, I meant to say brake lights, not brakes.
     
  6. jsa

    jsa Member

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    #6 jsa, Nov 9, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2008
    I was mistaken in calling them "regenerative braking." What I should have said that in "coast" mode, that is, when you take your foot off the accelerator but do not press the brake down, the car slows down faster than you might expect a car to do without brakes. During that time, the brake lights turn on.

    (Yes I'm sure about the lights turning on.)

    So, yes, Darryl was right, there is not regen tied to brakes. There is regen tied to the car slowing down, however...and because of the rapidity, I guess it makes sense to turn the brake lights on.
     
  7. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #7 doug, Nov 9, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2008
    Sorry for the confusion. I meant to say that Darryl said that the brake lights would not be tied to regen, and only come on when you pressed the brake pedal. Also it's fine to use the term "regenerative braking" when you take your foot of the accelerator and the motor slows you down, since that's exactly what it is. (Analogous to engine braking.)
     
  8. jsa

    jsa Member

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    Hmm. Well, I look in my rear view mirror, and I see the light turn on (you can see just the edge of the top brake indicator) when I remove my foot from the accelerator. When I'm back with my car next week, I'll go mobile with someone behind me and ask to confirm it.
     
  9. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Well I guess they changed their minds again.
     
  10. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    jsa, a great write-up! I cannot wait for the pics :)
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yes, thanks for the write up!

    Do keep in mind that your range is likely to be a little further with more pressure in the tires. If you ever find that the range of the car isn't quite enough for a particular trip you might want to think about upping the pressure again.
     
  12. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I think I read that VP13 was a durability test car before they used it as one of the first DT1.5 eval vehicles. VP13 was probably "thrashed" quite a bit before you had a chance to test drive it.
     
  13. jsa

    jsa Member

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    I figured... There were cables coming out of the dash in the passenger area floor, and a bit of a rattle. Still, both myself and a friend drove the VP-13 and were blown away by the experience, regardless. The fact that the production Sig100 w/1.5 improved upon it was just bonus...icing.
     
  14. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Thank you for this write up! Can't wait to see the pictures! :biggrin:
     
  15. bobw

    bobw Tesla Reader

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    I also want to thank you for the writeup. It's great to read about cars in the hands of actual customers!
     
  16. DDB

    DDB Member

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    My thought exactly...real world owners. Thanks!
     
  17. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Thanks a lot for the detailed write-up. It really is good to know customers that have been waiting 3 years + don't feel the car as anticlimatic.
    Also funny to see that someone that has driven the car a lot more than I did on my one test drive finds the regen braking good for citydriving as I did :)

    Cobos
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yeah, it sounds like they went with a noticeable amount of regen which is a good thing. People who aren't used to it might balk after a short test drive, but by many accounts it is something you can get used to and appreciate given a little more time with the car. This is one of those things were you would have to look past focus group feedback.
     
  19. jsa

    jsa Member

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    The regen is only noticeable at slower speeds, such as stop and go traffic between lights in city driving. These are times where you probably, normally, would be hitting the brake with an automatic transmission or downshifting with a manual.

    I find it actually a comforting way of driving. I read early on that drivers of exotic sports cars are used to engine braking being more intense and noticeable, so that part of the goal was to simulate this. Since I'm not used to driving one of these cars, it wouldn't matter to me.

    At higher speeds, such as freeway driving, I can't tell the difference.

     
  20. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Very nice writeup, hope to see the pictures soon. I live in SF too and if it has no problem with the hills in SF it basically won't have problems anywhere else. I have the same comment that it's great to read the experiences of actual customers.
     

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