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Model S Updates

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Kevin Harney, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    OK this is going to a fairly long post so grab a cup of coffee and sit back. Hopefully all of the info will be worth reading.

    I had several nice long chats with Elon, Franz, Dirumund and Joe Powers (East Coast Sales Manager) at the April 1st event and the following is a combination of things that were said by some or all of them. I will say that for the most part when I asked the same questions to different people that the answers were in general the same. So either the talking points for TM are very well rehearsed or they are actually accurate.

    First The White Model S and the Silver one. Neither one is considered to be an EP. The White one was not at all what I expected. It is simply a model or "rolling " model of the car. It has absolutely NO interior at all. When I was there early for the event I saw them taking a wheel off the car to do something but I was on the wrong side to see what was behind the wheel. I did not really see the inside of the car until later and it made me wish I had walked around to see what was back there. The inside was simply black cardboard or foam. Asked several people if they considered the Silver one to be an EP. The answers varied in response but the overall answer was emphatically NO. It is what they are calling an Early Prototype. I learned several things about this car that I found interesting. First and foremost the structure of the car is not really completed properly. The supports necessary for rigidity are not really in place is the best way I can describe it. When these supports are finally in place the interior of the car will be "much larger" than the current version. The interior will be 4 " wider and 1" taller. In actuality the floor pan will be lowered 1" and the doors will be narrower to gain the increased space.

    In connection with the floor pan being dropped 1" lies the plan to implement the rear facing seat. Two things are going to happen here that will make the seat possible. First the lowering of the floor pan and second the battery pack will stop at the rear axle. So all of the space behind the rear axle can be used for leg room. At this point, they are relatively confident that the rear seat will be available from the beginning with the Signature Series. As an aside I got the impression that this is kind of a pet project for Elon - kinda like the door sills in the Roadster. So I a m pretty confident it will happen. Nobody flat out said that it was just the impression that I got from the way conversations went.

    It seems from all of my conversations that all of the features that they have listed WILL be availble from the beginning and car #1 EXCEPT AWD. AWD is seeming to be a priority for MY #2 or #3. They have not started working on any of the technical parts of AWD yet. However, they did say that it would be done by adding a motor to the front of the car that would use the current battery and PEM. They are not planning on using 4 motors one at each wheel and they are not planning on adding a drive shaft connection between the front and rear axle.

    They do not have a list of the Standard and Optional Equipment for any of the levels of cars yet.

    It appears that the Signature Series will in fact be different from the Standard Series. The plan is currently slightly different from the Raodster Signature Series. Of course the plan might change but currently they are planning on the Signature Series to have unique badging and they believe that the Signature Series will have some features and options available that the Standard Series will not have. Carbon Fibre Accents on the inside of the car was the only thing mentioned. The main difference from the Roadster SS is going to be that all of the Model S SS will be totally loaded with options. In a sense the only options on the Signature Series will in fact be DOWNGRADES not upgrades.

    Pack swapping will be available from car #1 and will be available for all 3 pack sizes.

    Quick Charging will be available from car #1 and on all 3 pack sizes.

    The 300 mile pack will be available from Car #1 and will probably be standard equipment on the Signature Series - in conjuction with being fully loaded.

    No blue prints or CAD drawings are made available at this point in time.

    The Silver car has the battery located in the floor pan of the car already.

    520 models S' had been sold as of the afternoon of April 1.

    On an interesting side note. When I arrived at the event early I had a chance to look inside the Silver model S very closely and I took particular notice that the dash looked IDENTICAL to the screen shots I saw of it from the unveiling party. 241 miles and 85% charge etc. This led me to believe that it was a static display. However, later (during my test ride) when I looked at the car all of the numbers had changed and the GPS display in the center of the car was of Washington DC. And the Speedometer appeared to be working as we drove around the track. So either they have put a lot of attention into making the appearance that it is sort of working or at least some of it is functioning.

    The chassis on the current car is not the one they plan on using. Right now the plan is to develop their own chassis using Aluminium. I think Franz said that it would be "bonded aluminium" or "laminated aluminium" but I can not remember exactly what he said. Development of that chassis is currently in progress.

    I am quite sure that I will remember other things to add here but for now that is all I can think of. If I missed anything from your questions please let me know because I really tried to get all of the answers. There was no information on any EU pricing.

    OH yeah - some other stuff. First they think that they are going to expand the Signature Series to 2000 cars instead of 1000 and they did say that the EU cars and the US cars would be intermixed in that 1000 or 2000. There would not be a specific 500 or 1000 for the US and an additional 500 or 1000 for EU

    Enough rambling for now I am sure I will add more later. I do have to say that I like the car MUCH better in person than I did in the pictures and videos released from the unveiling. The front grill is not any where near as bad as I thought it would be. The proportions are correct for the car. In general I was very pleased with what I saw and heard. I am still probably going to wait until they get the govt loans before I put down a deposit.
     
  2. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    One other thing that I wanted to add. It was said by SEVERAL people that once the Govt loan is approved and the money starts rolling in from that it will be 26 months until the first car rolls off the assembly line. Also they did say that the location for the factory is down to 2 brownfield sites in So. Ca.
     
  3. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    That's what I said. When I first saw the Volt at a car show in Ontario CA. it was like this. Imagine the interoir of the car was filled with liquid up to the center of the dash and then the surface of the liquid was changed to black cardboard.


    Early Prototype =EP (!) How about; Pre-Prototype? Rolling Prototype? Working Prototype?


    It makes sense from a "Shows what you can do with and electric car drivetrain" Highlight a feature in a very obvious way. I noticed Franz was calling it a Skateboard. Does he know that's been taken?


    Great reporting Kevin.
     
  4. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Nice write up Kevin - much appreciated.

    BTW, are you sure the screens said those numbers? In the other pic it is 243 miles and 81%. (The sat nav in the older shots is at Paris, btw.)
     
  5. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    #5 Palpatine, Apr 2, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
    Great job Kevin. Thanks for the details.

    The weight of that battery will surely have a negative impact on performance for 0-60 or give the car heavier handling.

    In fact, since most people drive less than 50 miles per day, it almost seems like a waste of be dragging that weight around every day. As long as I know I can rent a 300 mile battery from Tesla when it is needed, why would I want that standard?

    I know I will likely repeat this many time over the next two or three years. 230 miles of range is more than enough. 160 miles of range is probably enough for a daily driver.

    For me, the distance from Seattle to Portland (south) is 180 miles. The distance from Seattle to Vancouver BC (north) is 135 miles. I really just don't anticipate needing anything else but the 230 mile range option.
     
  6. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Thanks a lot Kevin for many good answers.

    I like that pack swapping and quick charge is available. I doubt it will be something I'll use much but it's good to have and very good when describing the car to other people :)

    Cobos
     
  7. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    From what has been discussed so far, the latter is the case. The battery pack will be quite heavy, around 1000lbs for the two bigger ones. I don't think customers will be able to swap the pack at their home. It think the plan for the swappable batteries is have the second pack leased/rented for longer trips, while the store keeps your pack until you return the leased/rented pack. If the base pack comes reasonably close to the 160 miles I think it'll be relatively rare to have to swap the pack for a bigger one.
     
  8. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    I think it is more likely to be the model of you dropping by your Tesla store to rent the long range battery for your vacation trip.

    Or maybe if Project Better Place becomes standard, they would be a Tesla partner and carry Model S batteries for swapping in 5-10 minutes.

    I don't think this is something you would have in your garage as a second battery. There is really no need for that. You start each day with a full 100% battery. Do you really think you will arrive home with an empty battery after 160 miles and need to leave right away for another long range trip? That is not how most people operate on a regular basis. It would make more sense just to have a HPC to do a fast charge instead of having a second battery at home.
     
  9. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    OH I did think of one other thing about the car that is going to change. Right now the windows do not roll down because the doors are missing structural pieces and the windows are framed windows. It is their intent to have unframed windows in the final production vehicle. And hopefully they will roll up and down as well. LOL :biggrin:
     
  10. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    #10 WarpedOne, Apr 2, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
    Unframed windows in a 5-door saloon?
    Rear doors with unframed windows?

    Hum, anyone have an example of such a car?
     
  11. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    #11 Kevin Harney, Apr 2, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
    This did not seem that unusual to me I thought there were plenty of 4 door cars with unframed windows ...... perhaps I am mistaken ....:confused: - not about what was said but about the unframed windows.
     
  12. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    Is this supposed to be a link ?
     
  13. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Nah, sorry, just a typoo. I've corrected it.
     
  14. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    Did you mean TYPO LOL :biggrin:
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Thanks, Kevin, for asking all those specific questions and posting the responses here.

    I think these were the most important ones you got "from the horses mouth":
    Now I need to go edit the specs page and make those "official" for the first year, not "rumored to be coming later".
     
  16. action7981

    action7981 Member

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    #16 action7981, Apr 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2009
    I don't know how common it is. I personally haven't seen a 4 door car with unframed windows, only sporty 2 doors, but apparently the Rapide has them.

    3407007235_8075d2bbfa_o.jpg
    3407007523_acf21d179d.jpg

    It looks really nice, the only thing I would be concerned about is the wind noise. A stiff cross wind and there is considerable wind noise in my ZX2.

    OT: Not that Tesla needs it to sell cars, but a set of legs like that showing how easy it is to get into the back seat or take something out of the trunk of the Model S couldn't hurt sales :biggrin:
     
  17. GSP

    GSP Member

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    4 door hardtops used to be popular in the US. Here is an example:

    Buick Wildcat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    They not only had unframed windows, but they also didn't have B-pillars. These cars were also available as convertibles. In place of the cloth top, the steel top just kept the rain out. These days stronger stiffer structures are preferred for the "body in white."

    I appreciate the many advantages of modern cars, but I kind of liked the open feeling these old cars had.

    GSP
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Hmmm... One reason to want frameless windows would be to get ready for a convertible version!

    Like this:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Was thinking the same thing re: convertable version.
     
  20. Albern

    Albern Member

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