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The 483 Mile Report: Two Days With My New 2020 Model S LR+

tinm

2020 Model S LR+ Owner
May 3, 2015
2,463
11,890
New Mexico, USA
So I took possession of my second S on Friday in Littleton CO, during an 800-mile same-day round-trip from New Mexico.

Here it is Sunday. The car had 15 miles on it when I picked it up. It has 483 now. Some random observations:

  • Went to charge the car yesterday at the Santa Fe supercharger. It went up to 137kw and 553mi/hr for a while, then dropped down. Still, charging was pretty fast. It is nice to past ChargeGate in my old S and the agonizingly slow charges that ruined any hope for driving long distance in that thing. The new S will be a North America machine I am sure!
  • HOWEVER, I did not get 402 miles of range. Doesn't look that way anyway. I set the charge to 90%, and when the charging finally stopped, I was at 354 miles of range. Which is about 393 miles at 100%. The car was advertised at 391 miles range. So the question is.... WTF, Elon? Why didn't I get more range? A 90% charge should've been more like 361 or 362. I know, not a big difference, but considering the 402-mile hype recently, a pretty big difference. Any other S LR+ owners finding you're not getting the range you expected?
  • The fumes from the seats are overwhelming and probably will be for a while. Garage absolutely reeks. Car reeks when driving it. Clothes reek of the smell afterwards. Just amazingly strong fumes from those white seats. The curse of the petroleum industry no doubt. I'd rather have leather seats from a cow that people used for meat than have the seats poison me with their polyurethane fumes.
  • I just noticed the first chip in the windshield. Two days and there's already a tiny pit in the glass! Aaarrgrhhhh.
  • The doors sound sooo much better than the 2013 S. More solid. More Rolls Royce sounding, I'm imagining. Nice improvement when you open and close them.
  • I am astounded Tesla has done nothing in 7 years to improve the buttons for side mirror controls. Dumb then, dumb now.
  • The sheer POWER on this thing compared to my old S85 is breathtaking. I took it out on the road today, got to a lonely stretch of road, and punched it -- wow. BUT I also notice the rear of the car wiggles, the computers clearly fighting a fishtailing effect in the first second of flooring the accelerator. It's like the car has so much power it can't handle it and you feel it's about to lose control.
  • The old Model S had much better cruise control in the sense that it was totally blind, no cameras getting in the way, no brain, nothin, and if you set the speed at 50 on a winding two lane country road, car said ok no prob, and did 50. The new S, you set cruise control to 50, and the computers are constantly getting in the way, with sudden jolts if it doesn recognize what to do for a half-second, and then it resumes once it "sees" where the road is leading. Even on the interstate, where around here the speeds are 75mph, the new S's cruise control hesitates, the car lurching as it tries to slow down suddenly because it THINKS there is something in the road when in fact all there is is a slightly different road surface color up ahead, or a slight rise in incline of the road up ahead... I've had about 10-15 incidents so far, in just two days of ownership, where the cruise control suddenly slowed down thinking there was some hazard up ahead when there wasn't. Meh.
  • In my old S, I didn't have a console between driver and front passenger seats, so lots more room for my right leg. In the new S I find my leg is now rubbing against the console all the time.
  • I love the new seats, compared to the old so-so seats from 2013. BUT, I don't like how Tesla tried to save money and integrate the head-rests right into the seat all as one, rather than making independent, separate, adjustable head-rests.
  • No AM radio!?!?!??!?!?!!?? Grrr.
  • No sunroof!?!?!?!?!?!? Grrr.
  • The ride is much smoother in the new S. Maybe it's the air suspension? Just smoother for sure. And NO rattles. The first S had so many squeaks and rattles it took several visits to service center to get them all fixed. I have no complaints in the new S.
  • I suspect there are some panel gap issues in the new S, but whatever, I don't care, it looks good enough to me, so no complaints.
  • Also I could find no paint issues, then again, when it came time for me to inspect the car in Littleton, a rain storm started. But I couldn't find anything noticeable. Looks good.
  • Oooh: nice surprise, car comes standard with the rear shelf thingie. Always wanted one of those.
  • I don't like the way the headrests in the rear seats block the view outside the rear-view mirror. Esp the middle rear seat headrest. I may start knockin' down the rear seat row to get a better view.
  • Speaking of rear-view mirror, it's way smaller than my old S. Kinda weird.
  • I really like the new sun visors in the S. I know they've been in the car for a while, but the 2013 had notoriously skimpy sunvisors that didn't block much sun if it was coming in the driver's door window. The new visors do that job fine.
  • I still have no idea how to do this wireless charging for phones. Is that a built-in thing or something I'd have to buy? I have not investigated.
Well that's about it for now. If I think of more I'll add replies to this.
 

Battpower

Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2019
1,992
1,953
Uk
That's a great perspective to have. Nice to have that objectivity and experience of early S too.

As a MS R LR owner I am especially interested in your charging performance and real range.

Also, you are clearly not all starry-eyed about Tesla given your previous car, so your comments seem pretty realistic. I can only compare with the loaners I have had, but pretty much share your positives & negatives.

What wheels / tires have you got?

Are you into detailed logging like Scan My Tesla? It would be nice to see more data from latest S's.
 
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tinm

2020 Model S LR+ Owner
May 3, 2015
2,463
11,890
New Mexico, USA
979E0457-0CBA-4BF6-9E35-658CECE9C655.jpeg
That's a great perspective to have. Nice to have that objectivity and experience of early S too.

As a MS R LR owner I am especially interested in your charging performance and real range.

Also, you are clearly not all starry-eyed about Tesla given your previous car, so your comments seem pretty realistic. I can only compare with the loaners I have had, but pretty much share your positives & negatives.

What wheels / tires have you got?

Are you into detailed logging like Scan My Tesla? It would be nice to see more data from latest S's.

I added a photo of the car above.

I got the 19” Goodyear tires and Tempest wheels. I like the wheels 85% of the time. :) As I approached the car in a shopping center parking lot this morning, it struck me that they looked dorky like the Model 3’s Aero wheels (no offense to 3 owners). But hey if Tempest wheels really give a boost to battery range I’m all for them.

One other observation: did Tesla dramatically reduce the weight of the doors? That must be why they sound different. This new S’s doors feel like Model X doors: as if made out of aluminum. Feels half as heavy as my 2013 S’s doors.

Finally, thanks for mentioning Scan My Tesla. I never did any data collection on my old S, but would love to with this S. I use an iPhone not Android if that matters. Is there a kit I can buy? I’ve ignored all the geeky threads on data collection over the years and would love some pointers on where to begin.
 
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Battpower

Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2019
1,992
1,953
Uk
I'm sure many others will have more to add, but here are some starting points.

No order, just what I know about / comes to mind.

There are several online logging services (Teslafi is common) that involve you car's data being pulled from Tesla using a security 'key' generated by you entering your Tesla account user / password. Not everyone comfortable with that.

Some route planning software allows you to plan routes on your phone, transfer route to your Tesla, integrate non-tesla charges and also save some data relating to range and charging. A Better Route Planner is one I use sometimes. Still involves setting up a security key etc.

TeslerLogger logs data from the car but stores it on a Raspberry Pi computer (about the size of a cigarette pack) on your home network. They sell pre configured kits that pretty much plug in and work if you don't want to get your hands dirty. Data still comes to you from Tesla via an intermediary, but is not stored by the intermediary.

Scan My Tesla is a phone app that connects to the hardware of your car directly via an ODB connector that plugs in with an adapter lead under the MCU screen. It gives massive amounts of information about loads of your car' s systems down to invidual cell voltages and the state of balance of your battery pack. It's probably worth getting this data from as early in your car's life. If nothing else, it helps you appreciate so much more about the inner workings, and is possibly the most secure in that data stays local and no security keys needed.

Scan My Tesla can also link in to TeslerLogger so you get route info, syetems info, degradation patterns all stored on a Raspberry Pi.

Tesla Mate is another 'self hosted' logging device for Raspberry Pi. A couple of Tmc members have made easy-install files to help set it up without too much hassle. It is based on Tesla Logger from what I can see, but does not have the Scan My Tesla integration.

If you want general high level info about what's going on with your car, and are OK with a pretty secure and widely used Web security key process then one of the online systems is probably fine.

Simple self hosted with a bit of extra 'fun' finding out about Pi's then Teslamate is good. Need Pi 3b or newer & power adapter.

More advanced / more expensive pre configured Tesla Logger kit.

Scan My Tesla needs phone app, ODB adapter and cable.

Several threads here go into more detail, but they are all different and worthwhile for different reasons / users.
 
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Jabbahop

Member
May 11, 2017
38
16
Vermont
Thanks for sharing your experience. As a 2014 S owner I’d love hear more about your supercharging times vs your 2013. We just finished out 2600 mile trip across the country and charging takes an annoying amount of time so I am considering a 2020 primarily for the charging times. I care much more about range in 20-30 minutes than peak rate. We recently got a peak of 103 on a V3 supercharger but lasted maybe a second - who cares!
 

tinm

2020 Model S LR+ Owner
May 3, 2015
2,463
11,890
New Mexico, USA
Oh there’s no comparison. The charging speed on my old 2013 S clearly suffered from the rate-limiting of ChargeGate, and so charge times were very long (1-2 hrs). I gave up hope of driving out of New Mexico in that car—too many supercharger stops, and too long to charge at each.

And yet I had to trade it in and so drove to Tesla’s nearest store, 391 miles away in Littleton, Colorado. I left at 3:00am. Got there for a noon appt at 11:51am. Nearly a 9 hour trip thanks to long supercharging at Las Vegas NM, Trinidad, CO, and Colorado Springs, CO.

Contrast with drive home in 2020 S LR+:
Left Littleton with 313mi on battery. Stopped for about 35min at Trinidad. Then drove home. Nonstop. Got home with 83mi to spare. Fast, easy, fantastic range. Saved tons of time. So glad I got a new S!
 

tinm

2020 Model S LR+ Owner
May 3, 2015
2,463
11,890
New Mexico, USA
Another observation:

Why does the 2020 S LR+ have no “MODEL S” badging on the rear of the car?

It just says “DUAL MOTOR” in small letters on the right. Another time/money-saving measure by Tesla at the factory?
 

VT_EE

Active Member
Apr 22, 2017
2,026
2,423
Maryland
Another observation:

Why does the 2020 S LR+ have no “MODEL S” badging on the rear of the car?

It just says “DUAL MOTOR” in small letters on the right. Another time/money-saving measure by Tesla at the factory?
I saw a Model X with the same today, just "Dual Motor". Interesting.
 

Zaxxon

Supporting Member
Dec 11, 2012
4,660
21,445
Colorado
Congrats. I've followed your escapades for awhile, and it's nice to see you have an uneventful and positive experience given your distance from Littleton (which is 5 miles from me).
 
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Galve2000

Active Member
May 20, 2013
1,031
298
NYC
i'm so sad about the sunroof. I keep hoping it will make a comeback. I have used it constantly since mid-May.

I ca't fathom giving it up.. even for more range and all the other bells and whistles... :confused:
 
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tinm

2020 Model S LR+ Owner
May 3, 2015
2,463
11,890
New Mexico, USA
i'm so sad about the sunroof. I keep hoping it will make a comeback. I have used it constantly since mid-May.

I ca't fathom giving it up.. even for more range and all the other bells and whistles... :confused:

That’s another thing. The all glass roof? Can’t see *sugar* through that glass . Used to love watching things thru the pano sunroof in my 2013 S (I’ve owned multiple convertibles in years past.)

Like driving thru the redwood trees on tiny twisty roads in NorCal with the sunroof open. I was very surprised to find the all glass roof on the 2020 S is so frickin’ dark it might as well be solid metal.
 

tonybelding

Active Member
Aug 17, 2006
1,477
792
Hamilton, Texas
I had the same reaction to the glass roof. Man, it’s really dark! It’s so dark that I wondered what is even the point of having a glass roof. However… Even though I can’t actually see much through it, I believe that sunlight filtering through does help brighten the interior of the car, especially in conjunction with the Ultra White interior.

Also, there are some times when sun-lit clouds shine through and are kind of nice.

Reflections of the passenger-side white seat and the white door panel are highly visible in the glass when I look upward. If I ever go sightseeing in the mountains and forests, I might try using a dark seat cover (like this → Seat Hoodie for Tesla Owners) and some kind of cover for that door panel. But even at that, the roof tint is so dark that I’m not sure if it would be worth the effort.
 
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LN1_Casey

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus
Mar 6, 2019
2,018
10,026
Oahu, Hawaii
I'm interested in the wireless charging feature you mentioned last at the first post. If it's already installed, you would just place your phone on the holder that's there in the console. Assuming your phone has the ability, it should begin charging.
 

DBV1

Member
May 11, 2020
193
104
Amherst, OH
Great write up. It is unbelievable to me that there are no AM radios on Teslas. That should be a no brainer feature, especially if you like sports, talk radio and drive through some remote areas of the country. Crazy!
 
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2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,517
1,335
USA
Great write up. It is unbelievable to me that there are no AM radios on Teslas. That should be a no brainer feature, especially if you like sports, talk radio and drive through some remote areas of the country. Crazy!
I've found that the TuneIn app on the Tesla, really works well re: getting thousands of radio stations around the globe.
admittedly I have not used it in very remote areas
 

DBV1

Member
May 11, 2020
193
104
Amherst, OH
I've found that the TuneIn app on the Tesla, really works well re: getting thousands of radio stations around the globe.
admittedly I have not used it in very remote areas

It works well, but any live sports and even some talk radio is blacked out. So, you need AM radio for that and sometimes Sirius will work for live sports depending on the package. I travel a lot and it is good to have AM radio as a backup. :)
 

tinm

2020 Model S LR+ Owner
May 3, 2015
2,463
11,890
New Mexico, USA
It works well, but any live sports and even some talk radio is blacked out. So, you need AM radio for that and sometimes Sirius will work for live sports depending on the package. I travel a lot and it is good to have AM radio as a backup. :)

Agree. Not only that but there are occasional times when on a long trip, say, and you see a road sign with flashing lights say "WHEN LIGHTS FLASHING TUNE TO 1530AM FOR INFORMATION" and you can't because . . . Elon doesn't like AM radio.
 

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