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Gawkers

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ElSupreme, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
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    4,279
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I know everyone here thinks the Model S is the cat's meow. And I get a lot of strangers looking at my car. This didn't really surprise me. Why people look at my car is baffling.

    The first thing that I figured out about my car is that almost everyone has no clue what it is, or who Tesla is. I thought they had more exposure, but apparently in Atlanta they are essentially unknown.

    Second people look at the car 100% on looks. It seems that everyone things the car is gorgeous. I tend to agree, it isn't the most beautiful, but certainly at least a 9. I find the styling subdued, so I am surprised it attracts attention.

    The third and most shocking to me (before I noticed it, and thought about it) is that they have no idea the car is electric. This only seems to make them more interested, versus turning them off (another surprise to me). And well when I inevitably show off the acceleration I know I have them hooked.

    My two favorite gawkers so far have been:

    The guy (the first morning I had the car) in the Panamera Turbo that could barely stay in his lane he was staring so hard at my car for about 3 miles in stop and go traffic. He obviously knew what it was. I didn't interact with him at all.

    The pair of guys that got me to roll down my window at a stop light. "Nice car, is it fast?" was their opening line, I half paused expecting the whole 'Tesla makes it talk'. He followed with "Those are really big brakes, your car must be fast. Right?" Then I went into the 'Tesla makes it'. It is electric. Then told theme there was a performance model I didn't have. Then floored it all the way to 60 (speed limit 50) at the light. They were hooked. They told me at the next light.
     
  2. Zextraterrestrial

    Joined:
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    3,636
    Location:
    Humboldt/Los Altos
    For living in California I have an extremely high # of people looking at my car w/ no clue what it is. A few know of it but most have only heard of the Roadster up here.
    The police officer that gave me a ticket had no idea what it was and didn't ask or care. I'm sure he didn't want to feel more stupid by asking
     
  3. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    11,923
    This.... My wife and I were talking about this yesterday. We expected to fit in and just look like any other luxury sedan (Mercedes, Audi etc), but we find people are stopping and staring. I think it probably has to do with what you said: people don't know what it is.
     
  4. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
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    1,350
    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    At one point I was asked "What is it?" ... Tesla, made in Fremont. This was in November, so not many people knew about them.

    Last weekend I was getting car washed / waxed at a local place. "Can I buy one?" ... I hadn't thought of that before, so was surprised. They must have thought it was a custom of some sort. Same answer tho: "Tesla, made in Fremont, near San Jose." Everybody around here knows where that is.
     
  5. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
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    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Funny, when driving the Roadster, I found a surprisingly high number of people I met, here in Atlanta, knew what Tesla was, but once I started driving the Model S, I got the same reaction that ElSupreme describes. Might have something to do with the kind of people that will approach you with 2 different kinds of cars. People that are interested in sports cars are probably more likely to keep up with automotive trends and thus have heard of Tesla.
     
  6. dave

    dave Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
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    451
    Location:
    Greater Cincinnati
    I have had the exact same experiences.

    After researching and drooling over the car for so long, I am still surprised when the majority of people have never even HEARD of Tesla.

    I am also surprised at how many people gawk over the car based on looks. I bought the car sight unseen based on what was "under the hood". Looks were not that important to me, and truth be told, I was kind of hoping it would NOT be flashy, because I don't like the attention, and would much rather have a "sleeper" car. So much for that plan... Peoples eyes go to the door handles automatically - another feature that I really couldn't care about - as well as the 21" wheels, which admittedly are solely there for looks, and I did choose them based on that. :)
     
  7. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    Jan 1, 2010
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    Location:
    Weston, Florida, United States
    My demo to people always starts with me saying "Let me show you what's under the hood" (without telling them it's electric). They always say something like "the engine's in the back???" I then show them the trunk. They usually become speechless at that point, and I explain everything. I always tell them "it's" 0-60 in 4 seconds, without mentioning mine in non-perf. I'll still destroy them off the line...
     
  8. johnnyS

    johnnyS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
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    409
    I have noticed the same thing. Most people are not interested in a sports car, but they could see themselves in a model S. Some of the beauty is that it does not have all the usual junk--exhaust pipes, antennae, gas tank fill flap, door handles, key lock, etc. Many have commented here on the interior being minimalist, but the exterior is too. My IT guy literally ran up to our office when he saw the model S in the parking lot--"Is that yours?" when he ran in the door.
     
  9. byt

    byt Member

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    Nov 26, 2012
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    199
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    I have had a lot of this since getting the car. I had one person ask if they can touch it and begged me to trade her for her hummer. I had another lady block traffic to ask me about the car, said it's the most beautiful car she had ever seen. I find that keeping my Pearl White beauty washed and clean turns more heads then when she's a dirty little girl. I have had to on a few occasions remind people to watch where they are going because they are staring at me and not where they are going... also very scary!!
     
  10. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    Location:
    Burlington, Vermont
    The reception one gets in a Model S is pretty much the opposite of the reception you'd get in a Hummer, at least in 2013. There's a Hummer in my neighborhood with the vanity plate: IKNOW

    Gotta like it!
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Ottawa, Canada
    People really do steer their cars, and walk, to where their eyes are pointing - it's instinctive on some level. There's an old saying, "Look where you want to go."

    I've had people getting uncomfortably close on the road because they were staring at my car. I've had a pedestrian crossing the road stop walking right in front of me, because he was gawking at my car... bearing down on him!?! I've even seen people veer off course while coming out of the local Starbucks drive through, because they turned their heads to look at my car. Cringe!
     
  12. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    DFW
    Same thing here. Everyone asks who makes it, I'll say "Tesla", and they have no clue what I just said. My English accent might have something to do with it, but I don't think so (though whenever I talk about the falcon doors on the X, everyone, including my wife, thinks I'm saying Vulcan doors). Tesla need to market outside of the motoring trade, and that includes the motoring pages in newspapers. I'm sure they are (I read about them in the American Airlines mag months ago), but it's still not making a dent. I was chatting with my CEO this morning, and he's vaguely heard of Tesla, but only because of the NYT article, so then I have to spend 5 minutes explaining how the article is inaccurate. It's amazing how negative press gets out there so easily.
     
  13. jbherman

    jbherman Member

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    Location:
    Leawood, KS
    I'm pretty shocked that a few people in Kansas City have approached me in parking lots and said "Holy crap! Is that a Tesla?!" I didn't expect people to know what it is. On the other hand, I had one person ask me if it was a Kia and another if it was the new Dodge Dart! Gasp!
     
  14. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

    Joined:
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    I have the same mix between "YOU HAVE A TESLA?!?!!!" and "Who makes it? Ford?"

    I also get the "is that the car that's made in Finland that got the Obama loan?"

    SMH.
     
  15. Zextraterrestrial

    Joined:
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    Humboldt/Los Altos
    Yesterday someone told me my S was made in Texas, or at least that was where the headquarters was. I re-informed them correctly...
    I have heard that it was made in Michigan too? hmm
    It makes me really happy when someone actually knows WTF it is and is ecstatic about it. vs the 'Tesla' what?, 'Tesla', huh? who makes it? .. as you will experience if you haven't yet... but hopefully not for too long.

    Several people have recognized the hat logo and commented on the car without seeing me with the car. That is awesome (all younger males 20-35 yrs or so)

    I received a thumbs up from a kid in a fixed up wrx at a stoplight he said 'Karma?' haha - NO...I flooored it ;>
     
  16. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Smithfield, VA
    About two weeks ago I was driving down the road, 50 MPH, windows down. Dude pulls up next to me in the lane to my right, matches my speed, and (over the wind noise) yells "Hey, isn't that the car Justin Bieber drives?!??!?" Yes, we're still going 50 MPH.

    I said "Not quite", then floored it. I didn't like the dude looking over at me while trying to drive in the lane to my right.
     
  17. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
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    Location:
    MD, USA
    I think I might be oblivious or something--I suspect I've had a gawker or two, but not sure. One guy I did notice, though--we were stopped by each other a few cars back from a light, and he was on my right trying to talk with me, and waving...I rolled down and he was like "Is that electric?" or something along those lines, and I told him it was all electric. He was impressed and asked how much it was. ;-( Sigh, I didn't quite stick to my guns, so I said it starts around $50K and his eyes got really wide, but anyway he gave me a thumbs up and praised the car...then the light changed.

    No one at 7-11 earlier today noticed my car, though. ;-)
     
  18. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    Marina, San Francisco
    A lot of people take pictures while driving including a lady in a white s behind me today on my way to work on Gough ;). Are you on this forum?
     
  19. Liz G

    Liz G P03056

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    Location:
    Wentzville, MO
    I was stopped at a light. A mom and her son in a mini van were making a left turn at the light. I watched the son as he focussed in on my car and then started jumping up and down in his seat and pointing. Poor mom. I think he gave her a good start.

    And on the what is it topic....

    While getting my car registered and licensed I encountered some problems. The clerk was having difficulty with the licensing so went into the back to get help from a manager. A short time later the manager comes out and calls my name. I go up hoping to finally have an end to the ordeal when the manager proceeds to ask me if it is a car I am registering. Managed to contain the smart a$$ comment. Probably would not have been helpful.
     
  20. StephRob

    StephRob Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
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    Location:
    Kentfield CA
    I run into a surprisingly large number of people who don't know it's a Tesla or that it's electric, even out here in the SF Bay Area which has to be the area with the highest general level of knowledge about the company. It's such a beautiful car and it's kind of a mystery, so people do stare at it. I want them to know that such a beautiful car is electric, even if I don't have a conversation with them about it. That's why I ordered the license plate ELCTRYK. Gets a lot of thumbs up!
     

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