I asked for some ideas on the teslamotors.com site a while back, got some good feedback there imho.
Ideas for *that* center space | Forums | Tesla Motors
We'll use this thread to consolidate?
Edit: after skimming the post, I note that Soflauthor had some great full console designs in there.
A number of you have referenced my rudimentary line sketch (post # 126) of a full center console insert (CCI) and expressed some interest in something like it. I took a 2 - hour break from real work this afternoon to draw a more detailed (if still a bit sloppy) annotated sketch in the hope that TM might provide a professionally designed version of this modular option as part of the "opportunity console." Consider this a more refined recommendation, TM.
The CCI design is self-contained. It can be press-fit and inserted into the existing central floor channels or fastened to the channel base using a very simple fastening system. The darkened area is the press fit portion of the CCI shaped to the exact contour of the channel interior walls and floor. The press-fit portion sits below the top of the channels (unseen by occupants). The CCI can be inserted directly, without the need to remove any existing hardware or interior elements. The top of the CCI will be just a bit below the top of the front seat surfaces, so it maintains a low profile.
The CCI contains three storage boxes. All storage box have 'smooth-glide' flip-up covers and the entire central surface is covered in accessory trim (in my case, lacewood). The main storage box is 5" deep and allows for 'insertable' specialty modules—e.g., a self-contained cup-holder (to manage spillage) that is pressed into place inside the box (it can be removed for cleaning). The sides of the CCI are leather (to match) and the top surface of the CCI is recessed about an inch, allowing the driver to place a purse or small leather case and not have it slide off during cornering.
I would argue that the CCI I propose is simple to build and very simple to install. In fact, if done properly, it could be installed by the owner with no problem.
My guess is that more complete CAD drawing can be generated in a few days (if one has the accurate dimensions of the central interior space and channels), a prototype can be built in less than two weeks, and fabrication drawings and specs can be implemented within another week.
IMO, a full CCI like this should be available in August +/-, or very shortly thereafter. Speaking only for myself, if that doesn't happen, I'll build a prototype immediately after I take delivery and then try to find a fabricator that can realize my design asap. I suspect that this might be a small business opportunity, if TM decides not to provide a full CCI (an error, IMO). In any event, I'll have a full CCI my car -- it's just that I'd prefer not to have to go it alone, but I will.
I want to add that my confidence is slightly shaken by the fact that they missed the boat so badly on this subject up until recently. The pole above shows that 85% of us are not happy with the open space as it is so I'd say that's almost a fail by definition. For a company that seems to have absolutely nailed it on so many fine details, they sure missed this big easy change up over the middle of the plate. Luckily this is the kind of detail that can be fixed. This is literally the only thing that shakes my confidence to date.
Last edited by SigGuy; 2012-06-27 at 03:35 PM.
Tesla, George, I really like Soflauthor's design. It gives me everything I need storage-wise to hold just the things I need. It also keeps Telsa's style/look of the low profile nicely. With this design, you get more/better storage than most sedans, while still having a much lower profile, keeping most of the space open. It shows how Model S can be the best of both worlds!
I'll re-reference the Honda Ridgeline design I posted here earlier. It keeps enough of the floor open for a bag or purse, and so meets Tesla's design goals of emphasizing open space, no driveshaft tunnel, as well as being practical for your bag/purse. It also has compartments and cupholders.
The proposed by Tesla console also keeps much of the open space, and adds some storage near the dash. This is good, but not enough. Now, I think what's needed to to add storage to the existing center console, which only has two cup holders. This is a real waste of space. It should have at a minimum a flip up top for wallets, cellphones, coins, etc. I'd prefer that it also have storage underneath, like the Ridgeline. Now, maybe Tesla's got some stuff (air ducts?) there and that space isn't available for us.
Right now my biggest concern - and I expect to get serious flak for this statement - is that the populist vote for filling up the whole space with compartments and such will wreck the original intention of the design, much like the addition of sunshades to the panoramic roof greatly enlarged the center bar, wrecking the whole advantage of having a panoramic sunroof. Let's not go overboard on the storage such that it wrecks the original design intent.
Solflauthor, thanks for the details! Please consider placing the cup holder module in a separate dedicated bin rather than including it as a module in the storage bin under the flip up lids. If the cup holders are under the flip up lids, the lids must remain open and the storage bin will be exposed whenever there is a beverage in a cup holder. This means we cannot leave the car with a beverage in a cup holder without exposing everything in that storage bin. Most of us leave water bottles, etc. in our cup holders when parking the car to run errands. Including the cup holders in the same storage module under the flip up lids is an invitation for thieves to steal what's in that storage bin. If you agree with this iteration it would be great to see it incorporated if you do another sketch for Tesla. IMO your proposal looks just fantastic otherwise for those wishing to trade off the open space for a more traditional, larger console. Thanks so much for the time you spent on this. Hopefully Tesla will offer something very similar as an option.
I think I have an easy and pretty cool solution, but I have no time to redraw it today. Frankly, I'd like to see what, if anything, TM has in mind for a full CCI. If they're against a full CCI on ideological grounds (i.e., "a minimalist interior is what everyone should have," then I wasting my time and theirs). I don't think it's asking too much for a conceptual reveal beyond what George B. mentioned. It would be hard to believe that the full opportunity console concept hasn't been fleshed out -- even if only one person at TM is working on it part-time. Anyhow, your recommendation vis a vis the cup holder is noted and will be addressed.
I know just enough about product design, engineering, and marketing to be dangerous, and it seems to me that we're in an era of customizable products. In fact, a well-conceived opportunity console—one that provides real, not half-hearted options— could be yet another differentiator for TM. You have every right to state your opinion, but it's hard to understand why you would want those who don't agree with your opinion to accept an interior design that we clearly don't like.
IMO, a CCI would be a design win for TM and for those who'd like a more substantial center console.
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