Tesla Model S refresh: finally…

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I have always been a fan of the Tesla Model S. And, as I was mentioning just a little while ago, I think the design is still fresh. But, like most people, I always thought the interior was quite a letdown for a luxury sedan.
Lately, the Model S has become a pretty good deal as a luxury sedan. With a range of over 400 miles. The “base” model is now loaded with high-end stereo, air suspension, etc… For $69 000.
Today, we finally see an all-new interior for the Model S (Even though Elon Musk lied and denied it was coming)
And I am quite puzzled…
Sure, it’s new. And its’ got more wood because that’s what people think is luxurious. But the whole thing still doesn’t seem like a high-end car. And that steering wheel looks like a joke. A video game accessory, not something that should be in a car.
At least they finally added an armrest in the back. Cooling seats, and an even better stereo with 22 speakers. And the range is now 412 miles. But the car is also about $10 000 more than it was last week!
$10 000!!!

Outside, things are actually worse. I think the mandatory chrome delete is horrible. Especially on an $80 000 car. You should at least have a choice.
With the aero wheel covers, black handles, it really looks like a base model $25 000 sedan now…
While the interior is all-new and has tons of wood trim. I don’t think it looks more upscale. And that steering wheel will probably turn many people away from getting one.
What do you think? Does it have what it takes to go against Lucid Air?


Conversation 10 comments

  1. Interior looks much better (glad they kept the driver's display), but HOW DO YOU TURN with that yoke steering wheel? Looks horrible. Also no turn signal stalk?

  2. That steering wheel isn’t street legal. Also missing a turn signal stalk. Clearly this is a preview but not the actual production interior.

  3. That steering wheel it’s a joke. He can’t be serious. I agree with the chrome delete. I like a little tasteful chrome.

  4. He can’t be serious with that steering wheel. I’m also a fan of a little tasteful chrome. I don’t appreciate the mandatory chrome delete here.

  5. Honest question: Are there regulations concerning steering wheels like there are for lighting size/placement, etc.? Since driver education has always been standardized with the ol' 10:00 and 2:00 hand positions and hand-over-hand turning, it would seem most people would have no idea how to control a car like this?

    I would think special training would be necessary so drivers don't react badly in panic situations?

  6. exterior: you'd need to be a Tesla fan to recognize the changes, that chin cooling intake jutting from under the "bumper"… I agree with Vince, the car looks cheap with the chrome delete. If anything, they should have done a black chrome version … the wheel covers on the white car look cheap. For better designs, they should have been "inspired" by the Porsche 935 or 956 race cars…

    the interior.. Scandinavian design especially with the light colored wood. A weird combo of little screen in front of the driver and big screen in the middle. They are in different planes, so you'll constantly focus and re-focus going back and forth between them. Seems distracting. Still no heads up display? that would be essential for speed, GPS, why bother with the screen in front when you can have this all in your line of sight. My G70 has it.

    I also find it weird that they chose to display a Netflix-like screen, why the heck would you have that in the car? It would have been WAY better to see a map *AND* apple car play integration in a portion of the screen.

    What's in the big space under the screen? Storage? Wireless phone charger? The seats look like the "standard" model S seats. Are they heated and cooled or just heated?

    and finally, the steering yoke… I tend to drive with my hands at 9 & 3 so it probably won't bother me. Those who drive with left hand at 12 and right hand on the shifter… will take some adjusting. I know plenty of adults that hold the wheel but the bottom, holding it like a purse… they'll struggle as well . Wondering if there's a variable ratio steering rack to go along with this setup, most race cars have 1-1 turn lock-to-lock.. road cars tend to be 3-1 or so.. how do you turn this thing around that many times ?

    and to answer Vince's last question… the Lucid Air pictures we've seen so far make their car look far more modern and upscale than the Tesla. I can see people

  7. Too bad about the wood but otherwise the interior looks great. Every other luxury interior looks the same; only Tesla has a modern vibe. And the steering wheel? Love, love, love it. Elon totally gets his customers: they don’t want boring, which is what everyone else is peddling.

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