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Model S Plaid - One Year Later

omarsultan

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 22, 2013
4,453
16,579
Northern California
Kinda of hard to believe, but one year ago today, I was one of the lucky few to take delivery of one of the first Tesla Model S Plaid

IMG_0816.jpeg


The intervening year has been a blast with this car--I have loved every minute of ownership. I did a 6 month post, so I am going to focus on what has changed in the last six months in the update.

The basics:​

  • Birthday: May 25 2021 7:44:45
  • 9,122 miles
  • Running 2022.12.2.20 (FSD beta build)
  • Lifetime efficiency: 336 Wh/mi
  • Pack 2% degradation - I was at 96.1 kWh usable on delivery, currently at 94.5 kWh -- this post for details

Performance:​

A few folks wondered if the performance held up--this powertrain continues to amaze on a daily basis both on the track and on the streets:
  • My best 1/4 mile time dropped a tenth to 9.473 @ 151.53 -- on all season tires :p
  • My 0-60 time is consistn--just did a run this morning to confirm and came in at 2.13 sec (w/ rollout) -- my best is 2.11 sec so I'd say the car has not lost anything
IMG_0418.jpeg


Service:​

No real updates on the two open issues from my 6-month update--they still have tape on the 2nd row latches to deal with the rattle and the side mirrors still do not flip down properly when I shift into reverse.

I do have two new issues:
  • I was having issues with the DashCam ("USB drive unplugged") and mobile service figured out the USB cable from the glovebox to the "USB hub" had come lose
  • I just stated getting intermittent "Safety restraint system fault" (RCM2_a196) messages. The tech had me check there was nothing jammed under either front seat (there was not) so it is going into the shop next week
I have been lucky and avoided some of the issues, like the low-speed rumble, that other folks are seeing.

Body and interior:​

  • Car is still as tight as the day I picked it up. No new squeaks or rattles, sound floor is still low and the active noise reduction only helped that
  • White interior is still pristine--survived many passengers and one of my German shepherds
  • The wood trim looks like it dried out a bit--I have applied a light coat of Liquid Gold a couple of times which help adore it to its original sheen. I will say it is kinda fragile, it is prone to nicking, so a touch-up stick is a must (link in the 6-month post). I like the open pore, textured finish over the hyper-shellacked look in some cars, but this is the price you pay.
  • Paint is looking great (I do not have PPF installed). There is one sub-mm chip in the hood (which was my stupidity not road debris). I know a few folks had concerns about road rash on the front of the rear wheel arches--mine are minimal chipping (a couple of tiny chips in front of the right arch). Of course this is California so I don't have cinders and the like to deal with. I only hand wash, so the paint is still swirl-free.
  • Miss the pano roof, but I do appreciate the quiet and rigidity the fixed roof brings
  • I have to once again call out the great job Tesla did with lowering the noise floor, then adding high-resolution audio with Tidal was 🤯

AP and FSD​

There are still a couple of quirks/annoyances that persist since day 1
  • Still cannot set following-distance (quirk)
  • The car absolutely struggles with proper following distance--when actual speed is lower than set speed, if a car in front of me accelerates or changes lanes, my car seems to forget that it can go faster now. I have to goose the accelerator and then the car picks up speed (annoyance)
  • Car takes forever to come up to speed when it changes lanes into a faster lanes-I have timed it and it takes 8-10 sec to accelerate to match flow, which is dangerous
  • I have not missed the radar being turned off--nothing got worse and seem to improve phantom braking (the hard braking at high speed)

Software​

This is my only area of disappointment with the car. Most of you got v11 with the holiday update, but I've been running the same SW for a year know and the pace of updates and fixes seems glacial. I mean, one year later, why is this still a thing:

IMG_0408.jpeg


Beyond the UI/UX fails of the button itself, why is it covering the repeater camera views precisely when they are most needed--it should never have been released like this, but in the last year, it should have occurred to someone that this kinds sucks and should be fixed. For me, the biggest feature update was the availability of Tidal. Tidal is great in the it really shows of the quality of the sound system, but overall, things are kinda underwhelming (the implementation of blind spot camera comes to mind). It seems like the SW team is starved for resources, which is a shame. What happened to the games that were shown at release? What is supposed to happen with the rear seat monitor, because the current set of features don't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think Tesla has the best modern UI out there right now, but given all the computing horsepower and displays available, it seems to be under-delivering on both features that are commonplace on other cars (i.e. cross-traffic and 360 views) and unique things only Tesla could pull off that show off the power of their HW+SW platform. RIvian is doing a great job showing the flexibility and fungibility of a software defined platform and Apple's vision for CarPlay is certainly throwing down the gauntlet for UI and extensibility.

Yoke​

Continue to be a yoke fan--would not go back to a wheel even if Elon came over to install it. I love the yoke+stalkless control scheme. I have driven everything from city streets, to freeway to winding coastal roads and switchbacks and the yoke has always been great--the only thing I have not done is high-speed track driving with the yoke, so cannot comment on that. The caveat is the yoke requires some re-learning of how to steer--some folks will will be cool with that while others won't. I am not trying to convince anyone of anything other than to give it a honest try for a week or so.

Random​

  • I got one of the pirate CCS chargers from South Korea -- works great
  • I still have about half of the Tequila left :)

Bottom line:​

I love this car, it is fast, fun and gorgeous and, given a choice, I'd buy it all over again.

IMG_0407.jpeg


** UPDATED ** I screwed up on the pack degradation, it is at 2% not 6%
 
Last edited:

VikH

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nov 23, 2015
1,235
1,371
Midwest, USA
  • The car absolutely struggles with proper following distance--when actual speed is lower than set speed, if a car in front of me accelerates or changes lanes, my car seems to forget that it can go faster now. I have to goose the accelerator and then the car picks up speed (annoyance)

I believe this is largely related to the lack of radar. I have 2 Tesla Vision cars (including a 2022 Model S LR) and they both suck at following distance. It is basically 2 or 7 and there is no granularity. I drove a Tesla HW3 non-FSD radar car recently and it was a significantly better at following distance control.
 
Kinda of hard to believe, but one year ago today, I was one of the lucky few to take delivery of one of the first Tesla Model S Plaid

View attachment 815036

The intervening year has been a blast with this car--I have loved every minute of ownership. I did a 6 month post, so I am going to focus on what has changed in the last six months in the update.

The basics:​

  • Birthday: May 25 2021 7:44:45
  • 9,122 miles
  • Running 2022.12.2.20 (FSD beta build)
  • Lifetime efficiency: 336 Wh/mi
  • Pack 6% degradation -- I am OK with this as it happened in the first six months and it has stayed flat since then. I have the same experience with my prior S, where it lost a chunk of capacity in the first year then lost <1% per year after that until the great nerfing of 2019, maybe it is an 18650 thing 🤷‍♂️

Performance:​

A few folks wondered if the performance held up--this powertrain continues to amaze on a daily basis both on the track and on the streets:
  • My best 1/4 mile time dropped a tenth to 9.473 @ 151.53 -- on all season tires :p
  • My 0-60 time is consistn--just did a run this morning to confirm and came in at 2.13 sec (w/ rollout) -- my best is 2.11 sec so I'd say the car has not lost anything
View attachment 815046

Service:​

No real updates on the two open issues from my 6-month update--they still have tape on the 2nd row latches to deal with the rattle and the side mirrors still do not flip down properly when I shift into reverse.

I do have two new issues:
  • I was having issues with the DashCam ("USB drive unplugged") and mobile service figured out the USB cable from the glovebox to the "USB hub" had come lose
  • I just stated getting intermittent "Safety restraint system fault" (RCM2_a196) messages. The tech had me check there was nothing jammed under either front seat (there was not) so it is going into the shop next week
I have been lucky and avoided some of the issues, like the low-speed rumble, that other folks are seeing.

Body and interior:​

  • Car is still as tight as the day I picked it up. No new squeaks or rattles, sound floor is still low and the active noise reduction only helped that
  • White interior is still pristine--survived many passengers and one of my German shepherds
  • The wood trim looks like it dried out a bit--I have applied a light coat of Liquid Gold a couple of times which help adore it to its original sheen. I will say it is kinda fragile, it is prone to nicking, so a touch-up stick is a must (link in the 6-month post). I like the open pore, textured finish over the hyper-shellacked look in some cars, but this is the price you pay.
  • Paint is looking great (I do not have PPF installed). There is one sub-mm chip in the hood (which was my stupidity not road debris). I know a few folks had concerns about road rash on the front of the rear wheel arches--mine are minimal chipping (a couple of tiny chips in front of the right arch). Of course this is California so I don't have cinders and the like to deal with. I only hand wash, so the paint is still swirl-free.
  • Miss the pano roof, but I do appreciate the quiet and rigidity the fixed roof brings
  • I have to once again call out the great job Tesla did with lowering the noise floor, then adding high-resolution audio with Tidal was 🤯

AP and FSD​

There are still a couple of quirks/annoyances that persist since day 1
  • Still cannot set following-distance (quirk)
  • The car absolutely struggles with proper following distance--when actual speed is lower than set speed, if a car in front of me accelerates or changes lanes, my car seems to forget that it can go faster now. I have to goose the accelerator and then the car picks up speed (annoyance)
  • Car takes forever to come up to speed when it changes lanes into a faster lanes-I have timed it and it takes 8-10 sec to accelerate to match flow, which is dangerous
  • I have not missed the radar being turned off--nothing got worse and seem to improve phantom braking (the hard braking at high speed)

Software​

This is my only area of disappointment with the car. Most of you got v11 with the holiday update, but I've been running the same SW for a year know and the pace of updates and fixes seems glacial. I mean, one year later, why is this still a thing:

View attachment 815056

Beyond the UI/UX fails of the button itself, why is it covering the repeater camera views precisely when they are most needed--it should never have been released like this, but in the last year, it should have occurred to someone that this kinds sucks and should be fixed. For me, the biggest feature update was the availability of Tidal. Tidal is great in the it really shows of the quality of the sound system, but overall, things are kinda underwhelming (the implementation of blind spot camera comes to mind). It seems like the SW team is starved for resources, which is a shame. What happened to the games that were shown at release? What is supposed to happen with the rear seat monitor, because the current set of features don't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think Tesla has the best modern UI out there right now, but given all the computing horsepower and displays available, it seems to be under-delivering on both features that are commonplace on other cars (i.e. cross-traffic and 360 views) and unique things only Tesla could pull off that show off the power of their HW+SW platform. RIvian is doing a great job showing the flexibility and fungibility of a software defined platform and Apple's vision for CarPlay is certainly throwing down the gauntlet for UI and extensibility.

Yoke​

Continue to be a yoke fan--would not go back to a wheel even if Elon came over to install it. I love the yoke+stalkless control scheme. I have driven everything from city streets, to freeway to winding coastal roads and switchbacks and the yoke has always been great--the only thing I have not done is high-speed track driving with the yoke, so cannot comment on that. The caveat is the yoke requires some re-learning of how to steer--some folks will will be cool with that while others won't. I am not trying to convince anyone of anything other than to give it a honest try for a week or so.

Random​

  • I got one of the pirate CCS chargers from South Korea -- works great
  • I still have about half of the Tequila left :)

Bottom line:​

I love this car, it is fast, fun and gorgeous and, given a choice, I'd buy it all over again.

View attachment 815066
Nice review! I’m surprised you’re sticking with FSD beta, rather than giving it up and getting “normal” firmware updates that solve some of the UI issues.
 

omarsultan

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 22, 2013
4,453
16,579
Northern California
Hi Omar,
good right-up. As I remember you were disappointed with no energy screen. I have learned the voice command ‘energy’ brings it up, but I haven’t seen this posted on the forum. Maybe I’m blind, but it’s nice to have it back.
Thx.

So the interesting thing is the FSD beta build is several releases behind the production release when it comes to features. I just got access to the energy app via voice commands with the last FSD beta release. You are correct, its not available as an app icon yet.
 

omarsultan

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 22, 2013
4,453
16,579
Northern California
Nice review! I’m surprised you’re sticking with FSD beta, rather than giving it up and getting “normal” firmware updates that solve some of the UI issues.
I have to admit, the whole safety score pursuit an the FSD beta testing has took some of fun out of owning the car. I would periodically turn off FSD ( particularly bad be a release, etc) and be pleasantly be reminded how much fun my car is to drive manually. :)

Its a trade-off. It is fun being a geek on the cutting edge of AV SW but there is downside that comes with it.
 
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WilliamG

Hinge Fanatic
Apr 20, 2019
5,978
9,724
Seattle, WA
Kinda of hard to believe, but one year ago today, I was one of the lucky few to take delivery of one of the first Tesla Model S Plaid

View attachment 815036

The intervening year has been a blast with this car--I have loved every minute of ownership. I did a 6 month post, so I am going to focus on what has changed in the last six months in the update.

The basics:​

  • Birthday: May 25 2021 7:44:45
  • 9,122 miles
  • Running 2022.12.2.20 (FSD beta build)
  • Lifetime efficiency: 336 Wh/mi
  • Pack 6% degradation -- I am OK with this as it happened in the first six months and it has stayed flat since then. I have the same experience with my prior S, where it lost a chunk of capacity in the first year then lost <1% per year after that until the great nerfing of 2019, maybe it is an 18650 thing 🤷‍♂️

Performance:​

A few folks wondered if the performance held up--this powertrain continues to amaze on a daily basis both on the track and on the streets:
  • My best 1/4 mile time dropped a tenth to 9.473 @ 151.53 -- on all season tires :p
  • My 0-60 time is consistn--just did a run this morning to confirm and came in at 2.13 sec (w/ rollout) -- my best is 2.11 sec so I'd say the car has not lost anything
View attachment 815046

Service:​

No real updates on the two open issues from my 6-month update--they still have tape on the 2nd row latches to deal with the rattle and the side mirrors still do not flip down properly when I shift into reverse.

I do have two new issues:
  • I was having issues with the DashCam ("USB drive unplugged") and mobile service figured out the USB cable from the glovebox to the "USB hub" had come lose
  • I just stated getting intermittent "Safety restraint system fault" (RCM2_a196) messages. The tech had me check there was nothing jammed under either front seat (there was not) so it is going into the shop next week
I have been lucky and avoided some of the issues, like the low-speed rumble, that other folks are seeing.

Body and interior:​

  • Car is still as tight as the day I picked it up. No new squeaks or rattles, sound floor is still low and the active noise reduction only helped that
  • White interior is still pristine--survived many passengers and one of my German shepherds
  • The wood trim looks like it dried out a bit--I have applied a light coat of Liquid Gold a couple of times which help adore it to its original sheen. I will say it is kinda fragile, it is prone to nicking, so a touch-up stick is a must (link in the 6-month post). I like the open pore, textured finish over the hyper-shellacked look in some cars, but this is the price you pay.
  • Paint is looking great (I do not have PPF installed). There is one sub-mm chip in the hood (which was my stupidity not road debris). I know a few folks had concerns about road rash on the front of the rear wheel arches--mine are minimal chipping (a couple of tiny chips in front of the right arch). Of course this is California so I don't have cinders and the like to deal with. I only hand wash, so the paint is still swirl-free.
  • Miss the pano roof, but I do appreciate the quiet and rigidity the fixed roof brings
  • I have to once again call out the great job Tesla did with lowering the noise floor, then adding high-resolution audio with Tidal was 🤯

AP and FSD​

There are still a couple of quirks/annoyances that persist since day 1
  • Still cannot set following-distance (quirk)
  • The car absolutely struggles with proper following distance--when actual speed is lower than set speed, if a car in front of me accelerates or changes lanes, my car seems to forget that it can go faster now. I have to goose the accelerator and then the car picks up speed (annoyance)
  • Car takes forever to come up to speed when it changes lanes into a faster lanes-I have timed it and it takes 8-10 sec to accelerate to match flow, which is dangerous
  • I have not missed the radar being turned off--nothing got worse and seem to improve phantom braking (the hard braking at high speed)

Software​

This is my only area of disappointment with the car. Most of you got v11 with the holiday update, but I've been running the same SW for a year know and the pace of updates and fixes seems glacial. I mean, one year later, why is this still a thing:

View attachment 815056

Beyond the UI/UX fails of the button itself, why is it covering the repeater camera views precisely when they are most needed--it should never have been released like this, but in the last year, it should have occurred to someone that this kinds sucks and should be fixed. For me, the biggest feature update was the availability of Tidal. Tidal is great in the it really shows of the quality of the sound system, but overall, things are kinda underwhelming (the implementation of blind spot camera comes to mind). It seems like the SW team is starved for resources, which is a shame. What happened to the games that were shown at release? What is supposed to happen with the rear seat monitor, because the current set of features don't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think Tesla has the best modern UI out there right now, but given all the computing horsepower and displays available, it seems to be under-delivering on both features that are commonplace on other cars (i.e. cross-traffic and 360 views) and unique things only Tesla could pull off that show off the power of their HW+SW platform. RIvian is doing a great job showing the flexibility and fungibility of a software defined platform and Apple's vision for CarPlay is certainly throwing down the gauntlet for UI and extensibility.

Yoke​

Continue to be a yoke fan--would not go back to a wheel even if Elon came over to install it. I love the yoke+stalkless control scheme. I have driven everything from city streets, to freeway to winding coastal roads and switchbacks and the yoke has always been great--the only thing I have not done is high-speed track driving with the yoke, so cannot comment on that. The caveat is the yoke requires some re-learning of how to steer--some folks will will be cool with that while others won't. I am not trying to convince anyone of anything other than to give it a honest try for a week or so.

Random​

  • I got one of the pirate CCS chargers from South Korea -- works great
  • I still have about half of the Tequila left :)

Bottom line:​

I love this car, it is fast, fun and gorgeous and, given a choice, I'd buy it all over again.

View attachment 815066
The HomeLink button covering the repeaters is one of the most inane things I've ever seen. The maddening thing is that it could SO EASILY be shrunk to fit in between the repeater camera and that would be a perfect solution.
 
The HomeLink button covering the repeaters is one of the most inane things I've ever seen. The maddening thing is that it could SO EASILY be shrunk to fit in between the repeater camera and that would be a perfect solution.
Yes, the current set up is absurdly stupid. The massively large Homelink button pops up EXACTLY where the repeaters show what you’re about to scrape the side of your Tesla with.

It’s as if the people that write the code don’t actually drive the damn car. Do they never back out of a garage, EVER?!?

Crazy that this set up has gone on as long as it has.

ELON: please fix this BS code STAT.

THX.
 

WilliamG

Hinge Fanatic
Apr 20, 2019
5,978
9,724
Seattle, WA
Yes, the current set up is absurdly stupid. The massively large Homelink button pops up EXACTLY where the repeaters show what you’re about to scrape the side of your Tesla with.

It’s as if the people that write the code don’t actually drive the damn car. Do they never back out of a garage, EVER?!?

Crazy that this set up has gone on as long as it has.

ELON: please fix this BS code STAT.

THX.
It really is the most glaringly stupid interface. Come on, Tesla.
 
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omarsultan

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 22, 2013
4,453
16,579
Northern California
What UI improvements are there between non-beta and beta branches? Besides the beta visualizations, pretty sure all of the same crappy UI choices are the same.
You are right, the UI is the same, but new features like Tidal, track mode take a while to show up on the FSD release train.
 
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