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Washington DC Auto Show 2009

Discussion in 'News' started by doug, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #1 doug, Feb 4, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
    Both Tesla and Fisker are supposed to be at the DC auto show, going on now.



    .
     
  2. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    #2 Kevin Harney, Feb 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2009
    OH BOY !!!! Bing Bing Bing - make note to go to auto show this year !!!!! :biggrin:
     
  3. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    I guess that I have plans for the weekend now. It opened today and closes the 8th.
     
  4. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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  5. donauker

    donauker Member

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    Looks like my Saturday schedule just got filled! :smile:
     
  6. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  7. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  8. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    I will be going as well....

    Anyone have any questions that you would like me to ask while I am there ...
     
  9. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Where are the WMDs?
     
  10. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    Those of us that are in DC already know the answer to that. But we can't tell you or we would have to shoot you ....:eek:
     
  11. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    I'll be there Saturday morning. Just made an appointment for a test drive as well. My first one.
     
  12. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    Need a passenger :biggrin:
     
  13. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  14. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  15. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    I spent a few hours at the booth this morning just absorbing the beauty of the car, sitting in it to experience the fit, and taking lots of photos. I was supposed to go on a test drive in the morning, but the test drive car had a flat tire so I had to wait over 2 hours for it to be fixed and ready. No problem, more time to examine the car. My impressions:

    The car is striking. The curves and lines are more beautiful in person. And so is Radiant Red. I was leaning towards that color. Now I'm certain.

    Interior ergonomics:

    I was definitely relieved. I'm 6'2" and was concerned about how well I'd fit. Well I fit just fine. Head room was plentiful for me. I easily had another 2-3 inches between my head and the soft top. I was a tighter fit in my old '93 RX-7 than in the Tesla. Thank you Tesla for designing for tall people. Up to 6'4" people will have no problem with head room. It's leg room that gets a bit tight for us 6'2"+ people. But not having to operate a clutch pedal or do heal-and-toe footwork makes the leg room not too much an issue. Foot room is a bit cramped, though, especially my left foot. If there were a clutch pedal it would be a problem. You do need to figure out where exactly to put your left foot in order for it all to work down there in the foot well. Others have mentioned the too narrow dead pedal, and I agree.

    I'm going to miss having no right arm rest. The left one on the door was perfect, though. Elbow room is tight between driver and passenger. Shoulder room was fine. Seating position was almost perfect. I was concerned I wouldn't like the seat back angle, seeing that it's not adjustable. It's not as reclined as I had feared.

    Hey Tesla: The seat forward-back adjustment has the most rearward click stop almost an inch from the most rearward travel of the seat on the rails. Fix that, please! ... so I can click lock the seat all the way back, and not have to sacrifice the final 3/4 of an inch behind the seat just because there's no way to lock it back that far that last little bit! My little bit of leg room difficulty would go away if I could get access to that extra 3/4 inch of seat travel and use it for leg room.

    Visibility was ok. I'll want to remove the sun visors. They're thin little ones anyway and won't serve much purpose. I removed the driver one for the test drive and appreciated the extra upward visibility to see stop lights. I thought the blind spots I had read about would be a problem, but they weren't. Turning to the right I could see out the rear window and over the side of the car to the blind spot. As low as the Tesla is there's no way a car could hide there without me seeing it. To the left I could see out the side window and to the rear when I looked. Rear view mirror visibility is a bit narrow though. Despite what I've read from other tall drivers, I actually could see the top of the gauge cluster, just barely, but just fine.

    Getting in and out was easy enough. Getting in is not a problem. Getting out will require a bit more practice to figure out the best way. It's not so much the high door sill. I didn't have a problem with that. It's more just that the seat is quite low to the ground and it's a long way up to a standing position.

    The doors close with just a slight bit of rattle. There's not that deep solid door closing sound I would have liked. Maybe current production cars are better now. I like the large aluminum door hinge. The electronic pressure sensitive button to open the door from the outside seems like it will wear out or break and be an item needing servicing during the life of the car, maybe even a couple times. It's got a rubber boot covering it that may not last continual use.

    Closing the trunk is not a problem at all. You just have to learn how. You can't slam it in any way. You have to gently set it down almost closed, then press down on the right side then the left side and it clicks shut. Easy every time once you know what to do.

    The test drive:

    Silence is golden. Enough has been written about that, so I'll skip saying anything more. Although there is a not insignificant amount of wind noise with the soft top at highway speeds. I've never even driven a convertible car before, so I have nothing to compare it to.

    Acceleration at lower speeds is stunning. And it's always available. That's such an amazing thing. You're always in the right gear. There's no downshifting in anticipation of a pass. However, punch it when you're already going 80, and there's not the super car power jolt that I'd like. You can floor it at 50 and get a nice response. Do that at 20 or 30 mph and it's awe inspiring. At 80, not so much, about like regular sport sedan acceleration from that speed on up.

    Regen: What a great new aspect of driving. Not having to use the brake is cool. The regen amount at less than 25 mph is nice and strong. Brings a new aspect to city driving using exclusively regen to slow down. Regen amount from 25-50 was still moderately strong and useful. Regen at highway speed left me wanting more, much more. It's as if they made the regen a constant amount at all speeds, and it shouldn't be. They need to ramp up the regen amount at higher speeds. When I came up on slower traffic while I was going 70-80, I still had to use the actual brakes. Regen wasn't enough.

    When going through the somewhat dark tunnel under the Capital, I lifted off the accelerator and watched when the third brake light came on. It came on even before I had fully lifted. Too soon I think. I'll bet my brake lights will be coming on a lot during my highway commute as I lift somewhat when traffic speeds adjust. Those behind me will think I'm hitting the brakes too much. I always notice that about other cars on the highway that hit the brakes too much rather than simply engine braking to slow down. They're going to think I don't know how to drive properly and laugh at me. No one driving a Tesla should be laughed at. :) Maybe if they increased the highway speed regen, the whole brake lights on while still on the accelerator would be about right. Oh well.

    Steering has no power assist. I'm going to like that once I get more used to it. When cornering hard on an on ramp, it takes a bit of muscle power to hold the car from straightening.

    Suspension: Hmm, how do I say this. I love the tight feel, but either something was wrong with the test car, or there's fairly loud clunking noises that come from the suspension on bumpy uneven road transitions. Now I want to drive another car to compare. I haven't read anyone else mention this, so I'm confused, and a little concerned.

    Re-reading what I've already written so far makes it sound like I didn't like the car. On the contrary. I love the car. It's thrilling, beautiful, ergonomic, and even practical for daily use. But my purpose for the visit and the drive was to notice every little thing that may not be quite right, or not quite right for me. So I'm passing on and posting all those things I noticed. I'm an engineer by trade, so I think I'm just naturally tuned in to such things. This is a paradigm shift in the automotive industry. This technology is indeed ready for prime time. I can't wait to get mine.
     
  16. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Thanks for the write-up, Dave.

    I hope they improved this in production. I think it was a bit of a "sore spot" with the design. One of the Roadsters I saw at Pebble Beach a couple years back had the button sunk down into the door.
     
  17. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    Two things I learned from the Tesla reps working the show:

    1) The Model S intro on March 5 will be delayed. It won't be ready by then.

    2) They don't know when production will cut over to the newly designed interior. Early 2009 cars may not get it.
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I almost got a test drive on a DT1.5 car once. I was in MP and they said they would let me take VP11 out, but when it came back in the sales guy said "no more test drives" because others were complaining of a clunking from the rear suspension. They said it had to be sent back to HQ for adjustment. There must be something that can get noisy when not adjusted right. Again, they may have solved this on production cars already.
     
  19. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    THAT SUCKS !!!

    I am an early 2009 model and part of the reason I took the delay for the Sport model was to get the newly designed interior.
     
  20. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    :confused:
    Sounds like the driver needs a redesign ! :tongue: (Or the floor)

    I wonder if the car would "work" with lifting doors?

    Another argument for keyless entry. There are aftermarket versions but don't know if they are any good.

    I'm sorry but I see this as a flaw. There are many available designs to close a trunk without getting handprints all over it.

    That seems to be a common theme among owners. I drove the Ebox with it's regen on a slider. It was the most fun part of that car.

    Thanks for sharing TD.
    Was not quite sure if you had the top on for the drive and getting in and out.
     

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