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Tesla = Apollo Program

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Cattledog, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    OK before y'all lacerate me, read me out. And no, there are absolutely no Space-X puns coming.

    We have had our Model S for exactly two weeks. The reception we've received is unbelievable. The public's fascination with this car is beyond comprehension.

    I have been trying to figure out why. People have a crush on this car, complete infatuation. OK, it's beautiful on the outside, superbly simple on the inside, quiet, crazy fast, unexpected. All those are OK, and unexpected starts to get close to it.

    I think it's this.

    I think everyone approaches the Model S with one essential thought - NO WAY. Not as in a good, "I don't believe it," but as in a really skeptical, "I don't believe it." They are in the womb of automotive expectedness - the ICE world of the last few decades - and in a span of about 60 seconds (approach car, beautiful, handles extend, OMG, get in, stunning, flat screen stares at them, panoroof slider bar, foot on break, speedometer flips over, roll away silently, first straightaway punch it, memories of first rollercoaster ride, fat-ass grins all over faces) they are shot out the birth canal into the bright light of a new, awesome world (sorry for the graphic overlay, but it's like that.)

    And then they think, NO WAY, as in no way has this freaking out-of-nowhere company kicked sand in the face of 100 years of automaking. NO WAY have they done it, NO WAY is it American, NO WAY is it 8,000 laptop batteries flipped back and forth in the right kool-aid. NO WAY did you buy another one from that super-sized iPad, NO WAY did I just laugh my head off driving in a 3/4 mile loop around a neighborhood (seriously, there's NOTHING inherently compelling about that).

    When did you hear about Tesla? How long has it been reserved? How many are there in San Antonio? Is it really all electric? Where do they make it? Who makes it? WHO MAKES IT?

    My wife's been chased down in the school parking lot, our kids friends want to keep going for rides. I've been blocakeded in my driveway, thumbs up from freeway passers-by, blank stares from Maserati owners, people on cell phones talking about it (you can tell by the gestures).

    Our neighbor was leaving for the airport this morning, her driver (towncar) was parked out front. I parked in front of him, got out and went to the door to get their daughter to take to school. "Sir, excuse me sir, is that your car?" "Yes." "Sir, that is the nicest car in San Antonio!" "Thank you, well, there are a lot of nic..." "SIR - THAT is the nicest car in San Antonio." "Thank you."

    It's our Apollo Program.

    People are proud of it. Of the balls to try it. Of the audacity to pull it off. People we don't even know are proud of us for buying it! They feel like they've bought it by seeing it. No one is lukewarm about it. Is this how Columbus felt?

    I think everyone's pumped than someone can still kick ass and take names, without going to war to do it.

    It's sort of indescribable.

    I'll add insulation and solar panels if I want to feel greener.

    This is way beyond that. Let them make one for you.
     
  2. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Those batteries need some of this Kool-aid, Cattledog ;) Great write-up, seemingly straight from the heart!

    I was telling dsm363 offline the other day: "It's an unbelievable experience driving this car!! Other cars on the road just seem silly in comparison with all their huffing and puffing and noise.

    The car's perfect for me already; I wouldn't even mind driving it in its current form for a long time. Yeah, there'll always be little nice-to-haves here and there but, I've never seen a better version 1.0 of anything!"
     
  3. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    My wife and I swapped today as I had to visit a jobsite (architect). It's a BMW 525i. No lie, it felt like I was driving a tuna can. I admit, the first couple days the Model S felt a bit large and unwieldly, but no longer. But man, when I got home and my wife asked how I like being back in the BMW, I didn't want to make her feel bad as she's going to mostly drive it until her Model X comes.

    I agree on the best version 1.0. It's crazy insane this car is this good out the gate.
     
  4. wstuff

    wstuff Junior Member

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    Great read Cattledog, I felt the ENTHUSIASM.
     
  5. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Bravo, Cattledog!

    It is indeed a moon shot. Against incredibly difficult odds, American ingenuity and engineering pulled off the seemingly impossible.

    The Model S is truly a technical marvel and I feel privileged and honored to own one.
     
  6. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    Thanks for this post Cattledog.

    I just signed my pre-MVPA and I'm still kind of in shock that I just agreed to purchase a vehicle that costs as much as a starter home in parts of the country. But you're right- this car and the company that makes it are something really special. Through lots of hard work and a bit of luck I can afford it. And your enthusiasm after owning the car for two weeks makes me feel a little better about taking the plunge.
     
  7. rlpm

    rlpm S P85 | Sig X _P90D_

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    Thankfully, while reading this, I wasn't drinking anything, or it would have just come out my nose!

    And I have to agree with your fishy comparison.

    Monday, a friend graciously let me test drive his P85. It was amazing. I thought I knew what to expect. I punched it and it handily plastered the Tesla Grin on my face, dripping with expletives. I had a similar reaction the first time I rode the "V2: Vertical Velocity" electromagnetic linear motor driven roller coaster at Six Flags.
    Today, I drove a car share (hourly rental) SmartCar. I felt like I was driving a sardine can. While pressing the gas pedal, every time the automatic transmission shifted, the car actually decelerated, lurching my head forward.

    My P85 can't arrive soon enough! Hopefully tomorrow it will be my turn to finalize.
     
  8. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I'll say this: I drive a pretty nice ICE car while I wait for my S, and most days don't even think about its drivetrain. But both times after having had a Model S test drive I could really notice the ICE's huffing and puffing and gear changing. The ICE felt like I was pulling an anchor behind the car after the S. The S's drivetrain really is a sea change from anything that's come before.
     
  9. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    mknox - I can't wait for you to get the car. You know how sometimes when you discover something, you want it to be a secret so you're unique? Not this time. I can't wait for everyone to get on board.
     
  10. johnnyS

    johnnyS Member

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    Cattledog: There is something appealing about the car to a broad cross section of people. I have had people pull up next to me at a signal, roll down their window and say it is the most beautiful car they have seen. They are stunned to learn it is manufactured in California and zero emissions. Zero emissions usually means zero fun---some dorky 3 wheeled glorified golf cart. I tell them yes it is expensive, more than I would normally spend on a car, but I no longer buy gas so eventually the math will even out. If gas prices go up it will be that much sooner.
     
  11. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    Johnny - I agree, this is twice the cost of our last car. Haven't missed a cent!
     
  12. jd3

    jd3 Member

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    This is a very fun post and I completely agree with all points made...after >3000 miles on my MSPerf I couldn't feel happier that I made the investment. A couple points I would add...

    It's amazing how quickly I DON'T think about Gas Stations anymore.
    I also DON'T think about checking the OIL, Coolant, Transmission, etc. fluids anymore.

    I DO have to allow for Tesla time whenever I'm near the car. Adds Fun to my day!
    I DO plug in at home every (ok, almost every) night and have a "full tank" the next morning. So cool!
    And, I DO wonder why it has taken something like an Apollo Program mentality of folks who never built a car to get here!

    And, I do think about the thousands of folks around Detroit who could have been building this car years ago...there is absolutely NOTHING in the Model S that required California Sunshine to create. Or maybe there is???
     
  13. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    ++++1
     
  14. William13

    William13 Member

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    I believe that the Model S could not be done in Detroit. Paradigm shifts are seldom done by established companies. SanFran was required to have the right mind set.
    Aptera died when they hired an establishment CEO. People have trouble seeing new solutions. They think, why not just modify this old solution a little? They have very little upside potential and lots of downside potential. Two billion increase in GM market capitalization is tiny. Lose 2 billion and you lose your job. Selling 20,000 cars a year can't be done at a profit by GM. They would drop the car after one or two years and never make the X or do the firmware updates for us.
     
  15. Alpha

    Alpha Member

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    Love it! Apollo program is appropriate -- having a Model S is like having your own personal rocket. I drove one for the first time last week and was completely wowed like everyone else -- can't wait to receive mine!
     
  16. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    My paperwork says Mar/Apr so it won't be long (it'll just seem like it) :smile:
     
  17. StephenM

    StephenM Active Member

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    Great thread Cattledog! I definitely feel the enthusiasm! :biggrin:
    I live off of these kinds of posts as I wait for mine to arrive, hopefully sooner than later.
     
  18. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Me too. You da man Cdog! I vote for you to write the Super Bowl commercial. :smile: Just a fantasy and I'm partially glad since I'd probably get emotional and we all know; There's no crying at the Super Bowl party! Since I'm a pathetic retired guy I can picture myself actually "trolling" for Tesla time when I get my S. I may even give some random test drives to folks I don't even know after I feel comfortable in the car. Hmm. Possible new thread? Random Test Drives. Has to be someone you've never met before. Pics not required if it really happened. :wink:
     
  19. bosgig

    bosgig Member

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    Great summary. I agree completely. And to think the Apollo program cost $200B! (in today's dollars, of course)

    Speaking of space analogies, I saw a BMW EV in the wild for the first time yesterday (presumably driven by an "electronaut"), and I couldn't help but think that beating Ford and GM is one thing, but beating BMW is another matter. All the more impressive an accomplishment.
     
  20. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    bosgig - You'd better trademark 'electronaut', that ROCKS!

    Al - I have some goofy commercial ideas, having a hard time convincing my kids to film them with me, they think I'm nuts.
     

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