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Project: Additonal Cup Holder For Driver

I've lived with my S now for nearly 2 months and have logged 4k+ miles on it so far. One design feature I am really beginning to appreciate is the open area between the seats; I am finding I really don't need a lot of storage space. However, as others have observed in various threads, the factory placement of the cup holders ergonomically doesn't work well and unfortunately it doesn't work well for me either. Hence my search for a third cup holder placement that really functions as a replacement for the existing driver's side cup holder.

I found an in-dash retractable cup holder used on the Audi that I have mounted in the cubby below the 17" screen. It's inconspicuous when retracted and to my eyes, blends in well with the rest of the dash and does not look out of place in the car. Also, there is enough room under the cup holder that I can fit my gate transponder there as well. No lost useable space.

Fairly simple install, the unit mounts to the upper underside of the cubby just below the 17" screen using industrial strength Velcro. The only modification to the cup holder was removal of the LED module on the back(will fit with it attached but wanted the module for another project) and sanding flat the ridges used in the molding process. (sanding also helps with adhesion of the Velcro).

The Velcro comes in 2" wide strips. I used the hook side for the cup holder and placed the strips lengthwise on the top of the cup holder body. There will be overhang on one side which can be trimmed with a razor blade. I suggest mounting the full 2" width of the two "fur" strips on the cubby rather than trying to match up with the exact footprint of the cup holder body. This is because the cup holder in order to be parallel with the screen bevel is slightly canted toward the driver. I didn't sand the cubby but did wipe both with rubbing alcohol prior to sticking the velcro on. (3M recommends a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol on their self stick tapes)

I choose to mount the cup holder on the passenger side of the cubby primarily because 1.) all the bottom screen functions were still available to use from the driver's position with the exception of the volume control (have steering wheel control) and passenger's heated seat button. 2.) corner placement still allowed for usable storage space to the left of the mount. 3.) my knee would hit the cup holder when extended due to the left cant of the mount if mounted on the left side. The screen volume control and passenger's heated seat button are assessable from the passenger seat.

With Velcro in place, accurate mounting of the cup holder requires the cup holder be in the extended position. The back of the cup holder body will be against the right side of the cubby; the front of the cup holder will be parallel to the screen bevel and the cup holder part that the cup actually sits in will be between 1/8" and 3/16" from the bevel when in place. Placing a cup in the holder will permit you to get the spot just right. I have mine where the cup touches the bevel just so slightly.

If you need to readjust the position, use a putty knife, credit card, etc to slide between the two velcro pieces. If you try and separate by pulling without doing this the cubby can pull out of its front clips. Which is why I would place no more than 16-20oz in the holder, NO BIG GULPS. Also, a sleeved cup will fit but it's a pain to get the cup to drop into the opening reliably. Use two cups to provide the insulation if you drink your coffee that hot. Lastly, you will notice the drink holder itself when open is nearly level even though the cubby has a definite downward pitch to it. That is our good fortune indeed.

I've posted the supplier I used. The unit is stamped made in Germany, though the unit shipped from Hong Kong. Prices vary a lot from a low of $30 to $85 when I was checking.

Parts used:

Industrial Strength Velcro: Velcro Industrial Strength 4 ft. x 2 in. Tape 90593 at The Home Depot
Audi A6 Front Dash Interior Cup Holder: OEM Genuine Front Dash Interior Cup Holder For Audi A6 C5 and Allroad : Amazon.com : Automotive

An alternate to Velcro would be 3M Dual Lock which claims to be three times stronger.

Here's my photos of install:

Parts Used.jpg
Cup holder top view.jpg
Cup holder closed.jpg
Slope of cup holder.jpg
Cup holder with drink.jpg
Cup holder gap when open.jpg

Cup holder with transponder under it.jpg
Cup holder open at nite.jpg
 
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ElSupreme

Model S 03182
Moderator
Jan 13, 2012
4,303
105
Atlanta, GA
No coffee, coke, or other spill-able beverages will ever see the inside of my Model S. I think a have a special gene for major spills, so for me the risk is too great:)

I made it almost 3 days before I brought some iced tea back from lunch, in a cup with no lid. :eek:

My last car made it almost a full year before my mom just brought a diet coke in without asking. I have become more tolerant of wear thank I used to. But I am going to try to keep open food, and sugary beverages from my car. I hate sticky.

And from the south I do drink sweet tea, but I also drink the regular stuff.
 

araxara

S-P85#3,218 X-LR M3AWD
May 11, 2012
1,036
406
Tucson, AZ
Dual In-Dash Cup Holder Idea

I've been looking at something similar along those lines. But I wanted something that would mount under the storage cubby. One thing I found that would work OK, although it's not the most aesthetic thing is a dual in-dash cup holder from a 1998-2001 VW Passat. The cup holder swings out to the side and you can pull out 1 or 2 of the cup holders. It has to be mounted so it sticks out a bit from the cubby, so that one of the drinks can clear the screen. Also the maximum width item that can be held is limited to about the size of a soda can.

The in-dash cup holder has some metal tabs on the side. With a little trimming, it could be mounted inside the cubby, although it would still need to stick out a bit to get full size drinks in the first cup holder position. Another option would be to mount it a few inches below the cubby, creating a second storage shelf. Here it is mounted (temporarily using double sided automotive tape) to the bottom of the cubby:
2013-01-31 17.29.58.jpg
2013-01-31 17.30.15.jpg
2013-01-31 17.34.19.jpg
 
***BUMP*** Resurrecting an old post

About 7 months have past since posting this mod. I got asked by a few owners at the recent OC Tesla meet up how I did the install and based on their interest thought the thread needed to be bumped. It's a simple solution for those just wanting a more convenient place to put their coffee cup. 8 months, 23,000 miles and 400 cups of coffee later (and no spills) still happy I did the mod. I am the OP so mod is on first page.
 

4SUPER9

2022 Model S
Jun 6, 2013
3,278
3,205
So Cal
Thanks Tommy. I purchased this holder last month, and I did not receive my MS until today. I am even thinking about getting a second one to go next to/near the first. I intend to run to the hardware store tomorrow to pick up the velcro.

Question: why did you install it inside the cubby, instead of immediately under it? Ooops. I just saw your explanation above. I haven't read this thread in a couple of months.
 
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There is another post that shows this also, but thought I would ass dome photos of mine.. It works for short water bottles. Cans of soda, short coffee cups. I think it is from a Jetta .. they are on ebay for $35. Velcro'd on. Looks much less noticable in person. I used a flash so it is easy to see.
cup3.jpg
cup1.jpg
cup2.jpg
 

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