The NAIAS wasn't as accommodating as Alan hoped, but sometimes e-mail can fit the bill.
A few of us on the forum had a number of questions that we collected and hoped to get answered at the NAIAS forum, but the forum member that attended didn't get useful answers. I figure it's worth giving it a shot through the official channels.
1. Interior - When do we expect to see an unveiling of interior updates? More specifically, the latest that I've seen is the Betas from October and am hoping for some newer pictures or videos on the progress. Even some sketches indicating the types of changes expected relative to the Beta would be greatly appreciated.
2. Active Air Suspension - When should we expect more formal information to be published about the height settings available, and so forth. The information has been somewhat vague on these points thus far. "Does the air suspension keep the car level with hard cornering?"The most likely time for pictures of the interior will be when we release the final Design Studio. This should happen this quarter.
3. Seat adjustments - Which dimensions are adjustable for 8-way and 12-way?Dynamics on how the active air suspense will handle when corning is to be announced, but I can expand upon the height levels. Manual Adjustments are as follows:
- Normal height = 6”
- High Level 1 = 0.90” taller; When the vehicle accelerates above 19 mph, the clearance adjusts back to Normal height.
- High level 2 = 1.3” above Standard and can be used for ascending a steep driveway or fording deep snow. Clearance reverts to High Level 1 above 10 mph.
- Low Level = 0.79” under Standard; Active Air Suspension will automatically lower the vehicle for highway driving to improve aerodynamics. Low Level is also accessible from the touchscreen for loading/unloading of passengers. When the vehicle begins driving the clearance adjusts back to Normal height.
- The suspension will also self-level the car. For example if you load a lot of weight in the trunk the vehicle will remain level.
4. Battery upgrades - Is Tesla planning to offer these to customers, or working with a 3rd party (specification process, etc.)? Should we expect that only warranty-replacement batteries will be available until 2014 (or later)? Will a vehicle purchased with a 40 kWh battery be upgradable to an 85 kWh battery in a few years, and will the performance (0-60) improve as a result? When the technology advances will larger batteries (170 kWh) be compatible with the Model S?The 8-way seats with include: forward/backward, height adjustment up/down, reclining backwards/forwards and forward/backward angle of the seat. The 12-way adjustable seat will add lumbar support lower/higher and in/out. Upgrading to the Nappa leather with 12-way will also add memory functions and seat heaters
6. Phone app - What kind of data package is needed to let the iPhone app show you the car's condition? Or can it be done by having the car hook into your WiFi network at home? Will a Windows Phone 7 application be offered? Android?Currently the website has the most up to date information on the battery warranty – 8 years and 100,000, 125,000 or unlimited miles. The specifics of the battery warranty will be rolled out in the coming months, along with the vehicle warranty. Ranger fees will all be on a case by case basis.
7. Navigation - Will the car be able to store maps you download at home for later use? If yes, is this part of the Tech Package or in the base offering?All Model S will have Wi-Fi, so if your car is parked at home and linked to a Wi-Fi you can stream information. We are currently negotiating our mobile connectivity packages. We are currently working on the iPhone app.
8. Design Studio - When is the full reveal of Model S Design Studio scheduled? Some believe February 9th in conjunction with the Model X introduction.With the Tech package maps will be stored on the vehicle hard drive. Without the tech package Model S will utilize Google maps. There will be some caching available to temporarily store information.
9. Width - Is the Options & Pricing page width dimension accurate? The width is significantly less than previously published, and some of curious why.When the time is right, we will put it online.
10. Battery Degradation - "Is the life of the battery pack pretty much the same for all versions - approximately 10 years - or will the 300 pack last 15 years compared to say 10 years for the 40 pack?" (The original question was pretty vague so perhaps adding "for typical use" or "for 30-60% daily battery use" would help narrow the question.)Our options and pricing page is accurate. As Model S went from a concept prototype to alpha and beta there were many changes, including the dimensions. The options and pricing page should be considered the most up-to date information available.
11. Front license plate - For states that require front license plates, some of us are concerned. We don't want to drill ugly holes into the front of our beautiful new vehicles. We don't want to sacrifice the aerodynamics or the aesthetics either. Will there be a recommended / supported way of addressing this concern? Will there be tow points available (many of the no-drill offerings for other vehicles make use of the tow points)? For those of us that want to discuss the topic with our state officials, can Tesla offer any specifics on the aerodynamic cost/impact of mounting the front license plate?For best long term life of a battery pack, shallow discharges will have less wear and tear. With the same commute, the 40 kW battery will have a deeper discharge than the larger packs. In addition, an 85 kWh battery driven 100,000 will need less total charging than a 40 kWh battery. With the exact same driving conditions, a 85 kWh battery should have a longer life than the 60 kWh and 40 kWh. This is reflected in the different warranties for each battery. 40 kWh is 8 years 100,000 miles, 60 kWh is 8 years 125,000 miles, and the 85 kWh battery is 8 years unlimited miles.
12. Electrical protection - "Would like to know if there is any protection from power spikes or lightning as the Leaf does [video @ http://www.nissan-zeroemission.com/E.../quality.html].Tesla will have a front license plate solution for Model S. Aerodynamic impacts of a front license plate should be minimal.
13. Tires - Tire manufacturers and model numbers would be appreciated. Will we have options to choose from or just 1 choice for each of the four wheel choices?Model S is intended to be the safest vehicle in the world. Multiple subsystems, beginning at the cell of level of the battery and extending to the connector cables will protect Model S from unexpected power spikes or lightning. We are dedicated to having the safest electric car every built.
14. Wheels - What is the difference between the 21" and the 21" Performance wheels? The latter looks darker in the picture, but there's no documentation of the difference.Tire suppliers will be publically announced as we get closer to launch. The 19” and 21” tires have different characteristics so they will naturally use a different tire. The 19” wheel will have an all-season tire rated for mud and snow. We do not have a snow tire option, but are using a standard sized wheel that can be outfitted with a commercial tire.
15. Extra wheels - What is the cost of an extra set of wheels? (Some of us are considering getting a set for winter tires.) Presumably it's some base price + extra for Aero or 21", but it's unclear what that base price will be.Physically, they are the same wheel, the difference is aesthetic. Performance wheel will have a darker hue.
16. Downgrading Sig - When "downgrading" from 21" to 19", choosing non-Multicoat, etc. the current "Options & Pricing" shows there's no credit for the downgrade. Is that firm, or is Tesla still considering this detail?Tesla is aware that many of our customers may need an extra set of wheels for different driving conditions. Pricing for accessories such as wheels, additional connector cables will be announced soon.
17. Tech - Blind Spot Notification. Adaptive Speed Control. Heads up display. Etc. There are a number of technologies like this that are available on some competitor luxury models. I'm presuming none of these are available on the Model S produced in 2012. Nonetheless, when should we expect more details on what is standard (like perhaps "regular" cruise control, for example)?The Signature Series is a unique vehicle with a unique configuration. Information on the Pricing and Options page referring to the 19” wheels and paint selections being a “No Cost Option” is the most up to date information for pricing.
Model S will not have these options. We are compiling a list of standard features that will included. Rest assured, things like standard cruise control, power locks and power windows will all be included.Thank for the obvious enthusiasm in Model S! With so much excitement surrounding the vehicle, I know it can be frustrating to not have specific details on some of the questions. We are in the last stretch of development, and while it feels like a long time, more in-depth answers to your questions will be coming very soon.
Edit: I always forget something...
Much thanks to Walter Franck (Ownership Experience Advocate) for his content rich response.