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Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
5/14/19 10:48 p.m.

Ms Ransom and I have gotten to the point in pondering the Mini replacement (not sure how imminent) that we're trying on the notion of a Tesla.

We're not sure how we feel about it. We keep asking each other how weird it would be if we got one.

It just dawned on me that I'd love to know what the staff of GRM think of them, and was surprised to find nothing in the articles/reviews searches with Tesla as the make... The Model 3 is really the only one we're looking at, but any Tesla experience would be interesting.

And of course I'm curious about the forum's take as well. I was just surprised there were no GRM reviews. Honestly, I don't read them much, as most new cars don't interest me much. But we do tend to keep one on hand, and I wind up interested in the candidates.

RealMiniNoMore
RealMiniNoMore PowerDork
5/14/19 11:31 p.m.

My buddy has a Model S. It's stupid quick. The technology in it is amazing. He's traveled from Nashville to Milwaukee with it, so charging away from home isn't a problem. 

From a construction standpoint, I noticed a few fit & finish misses, though. I think he's had to have a couple things fixed, that just "fell apart". Was it a door handle? I can't remember. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/15/19 12:20 a.m.

GRM gets a really weird collection of cars to test. Even their latest Miata test is an automatic. I'm pretty sure they have no say whatsoever in what staggers into the lot - if they do, the decisions are difficult to anticipate.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
5/15/19 2:07 a.m.

All I know is that a Model3 and P100D both finished all the events of OneLap this year; and the Model3 was faster.... to the tune of almost 10% over the course of the week in cumulative time on track.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/15/19 5:03 a.m.

In reply to RealMiniNoMore :

Door handles on Model Ss are notorious for breaking.

Teslas are not that DIY friendly, spare parts can be an issue and they have build quality issues. Most people I know who own them have a love/hate relationship with their cars.

Check out “Rich Rebuilds” on YouTube for some insight on what they’ve like to work on. 

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
5/15/19 6:20 a.m.

I’ve driven a couple. The model X left me queasy after 30 mins of 0-60-0. Outstanding performance. The model C in autonomous mode was freaky. The trouble is the fit and finish would have been panned on anything from the big three 30 years ago it was so bad. Also I hated the lack of any buttons in the Model C. You had to go through the tombstone tablet in the dash to do everything. It was a major pia.  I get it, buttons are expensive, but to have to look at the screen to change or alter anything is difficult and very distracting. Ok can’t build up muscle and touch memory for a spot on a screen at arms length. Never been in an S though so I can’t comment on those. 

RealMiniNoMore
RealMiniNoMore PowerDork
5/15/19 6:43 a.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson :

The S has a tablet as well. 

But for my Apple fanboi buddy, it's not a problem. surprise

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler PowerDork
5/15/19 7:43 a.m.

My buddy can't stop raving about the Model 3 he bought a few months ago. I have yet to drive it, but I am curious.

chaparral
chaparral Dork
5/15/19 8:27 a.m.

I've had a Model 3 LR RWD for six months.

It's still startlingly good to drive and I haven't gotten used to it - makes my CRX and Integra GSR feel sluggish and completely obsolete. The weight distribution alone is a huge improvement over anything with a front engine. The visibility is the first fishbowl since those old Hondas. 

I may eventually go back to an ICEV or HEV but will never accept a gasoline engine in front of me in a passenger car again.

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
5/15/19 8:53 a.m.

I drove my FIL's Model S 75D last Christmas.  Wow does that thing move, and it was the lowest end model!  There really isn't a comparison on the combustion engine side, except maybe a Corvette @ 4k RPM so when you mash the pedal it just scoots without any lag whatsoever.  Seems like the performance of the 3 is similar enough (or better, if you get a faster model vs. the base Model S).

The fit and finish was not an issue for the S that was built late last year, so hopefully they've resolved the issues on the 3 that they experienced when the car was introduced.  I'm itching to get one as well in the near future for the wife.  

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/15/19 9:04 a.m.

Last time I checked, no Teslas in the press fleet. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
5/15/19 9:24 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Last time I checked, no Teslas in the press fleet. 

This is correct. Tesla maintains no press fleet. If you see a Tesla being tested by a magazine or reviewer, It's a privately owned car.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
5/15/19 9:37 a.m.

Bummer Tesla has no press fleet; thanks for that info, and to everybody else with a little insight. It's all more than I had before...

I know that at least at the moment they're selling them as fast as they can build them (which appears to be a distinct limitation), but it still seems odd that they wouldn't make them available to press. How many cars does it take to have a useful press fleet?

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
5/15/19 9:45 a.m.

And to reference a couple of points above:

I'm not too worried about DIY. The household New Car is the one I don't touch. I certainly am concerned about reliability, though. And I'm a vitriolic lapsed Apple fanboi, so I certainly am edgy about closed systems with all the focus on controlling the "user experience."

It definitely gave me the willies that the glovebox release was in the touchscreen. I can reconcile myself with the notion that anything actuated electrically may just as well be controlled from the tablet as from a button since odds are the button's telling a BCM what it wants, but for something that could/should have been the simplest of mechanisms... Erg.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
5/15/19 9:47 a.m.

I'm suddenly reminded of Neil Stephenson's essay "In The Beginning Was The Command Line."

It's substantially about computer interfaces, but there's a great bit where he paints an imaginary picture of an intersection where there are car dealerships representing the OSes. I need to reread it, but as I recall it the Apple dealership sounds a lot like Tesla...

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
5/15/19 9:50 a.m.

^^^ What JG and David said. Tesla doesn't do press fleet stuff, which is annoying.

I did, however, get to drive a Model S P90D a few years ago. It was a coworker's car. My thoughts:

-It felt like driving some sort of experimental test vehicle. Fit and finish was ok, but felt "off" compared to most OEM's, especially the typical luxury marques. To put it this way: it didn't feel like a auto manufacturer made the car. 

-It was more cramped than I thought it would be for a "midsized" sedan. That said, it was easy enough to get comfortable once you are in there.

-The tech is everything with these cars, and it's completely insane. The giant center screen dominates your view, but the S has a regular gauge cluster as well. I didn't like the touch controls, but I don't like those in any car, so YMMV. The center stack gives all sorts of info, stats, and more, which is cool.

-It drives like a heavy full-sized sports sedan in a midsize wrapper. Steering feel is heavy and tight, and it handles pretty well. The silence while driving is very odd. This one was AWD, so it gripped as you would expect. Pedal feel is odd compared to a gas vehicle and takes some getting used to.

-I've driven some fast cars in my day, but the Tesla is still the fastest I've driven acceleration-wise. When you mash the pedal, it melts your brain! You feel weightless and you just have to hang on while it nearly instantly gets you to 60mph or more. It's full torque instantly, and so, so awesome. By far my favorite part of the driving experience.

-Autopilot is freaky and strange, but cool. We let the car drive us around for a bit on some back roads. It took corners, regulated speed, and stopped when it needed to. It was so odd, yet cool to see from a technological standpoint. The coworker said he would set it on the highway, read the news on the center screen, and have breakfast while the car would chauffeur him to the exit on the highway for our office. It worked better than the system I sampled on a newer Mercedes earlier this year.

My verdict:

They are cool cars, and if the situation is right and you have the money to plunk down for one, it's an interesting option. If your commute is short, and your office/train station has chargers on premises, they might make sense for you. They don't feel like any other car from any other OEM, and not by a longshot. It's a cutting edge, sporty sedan that will get up and go like nothing else you've driven, and the tech loaded into them is astounding. That said, they aren't for everyone. I don't see myself ever getting into one for various reasons (my commute, price, etc), but I can see why many people like them.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
5/15/19 9:55 a.m.

We had a customer bring his lease Model X into our dealership to have the tires replaced before he had to turn it back in. The owner said they had an option to buy out the lease but him and his wife turned it down because they were pretty unimpressed with the build quality (he said it was worse than his Chevy Traverse), reliability, parts supply and customer service. He let us take it for a quick rip and it did indeed hustle right along, but the interior was definitely chintzy feeling and the body panel gaps were horrendous, particularly for the $100k price tag.

Bubbal
Bubbal New Reader
5/15/19 10:06 a.m.

Regarding fit & finish at time of delivery -

My Intercity Lines driver in December 2018 delivers a lot of Tesla's. He said fit and finish problems exist on most of the cars he picks up - Model S, X and 3.  He takes photos of every car he loads to prove the parts falling off the cars happened at the factory, not on his truck.

Dislikes picking up at plant in Fremont as they are disorganized and always delay him.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/15/19 10:17 a.m.
Ransom said:

And to reference a couple of points above:

I'm not too worried about DIY. The household New Car is the one I don't touch. I certainly am concerned about reliability, though. And I'm a vitriolic lapsed Apple fanboi, so I certainly am edgy about closed systems with all the focus on controlling the "user experience."

It's not only DIY. At least until very recently there are issues with spares availability, too. I think The Fast Lane guys (another YouTube channel) are just going through that with theirs as they had a slight mishap and now have to wait for parts. Fortunately their car is still drivable.

Another problem that has recently come to light is that there's some flash memory on the MCU (the big screen in the center) that'll eventually get overwritten often enough to crap out, and then Tesla will sell you a new MCU instead of fixing the flash chip.

At least with the older cars there are people working around these issues and offering fixes (same goes for the Model S door handles) but it does concern me from a long-term ownership perspective.

wspohn
wspohn Dork
5/15/19 12:01 p.m.

Teslas aren't a car that attracts much enthusiast comment.

If they ahd a modern version of the original Lotus bodied Tesla sports car, we'd probably be all over it - if the prices had dropped enough, I might even have one sharing garage space with my fossil fuel burners.  But maybe not - Jeremy Clarkson reviewed the then-new Tesla Roadster and portrayed it as a barely-running science experiment that couldn't survive a full day at the Top Gear track.  See  https://www.tesla.com/blog/tesla-vs-top-gear

Maybe after next year when the Tesla Roadster comes out things will pick up (though at $300K a copy, maybe not sales....)

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
5/15/19 12:12 p.m.

I think it's high time one of you Tesla fans ponied up the money for a new Tesla and drove it to Grassroots Motorsports World Headquarters, dropped the keys into the hands of one David S. Wallens on the condition that he drives the beegeebers out of it and writes a review.

Then come back a week later to pick it up.

Win, win! 

chaparral
chaparral Dork
5/15/19 2:20 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

I own one, and if any of them are in Detroit they should give me a call to borrow it.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
5/15/19 2:32 p.m.

Interesting tangential comment.  I was at a networking event for people in my situation, recently downsized from the auto industry, this morning after posting in this thread.  I met a guy there who worked for Varroc Lighting systems.  He and many others were recently let go, the main driver?  Tesla recently halved their orders for headlamps.  I'm not sure if that's just to do with their impossible ramp up schedules, or lowering expectations, but it was interesting. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/15/19 2:56 p.m.
1988RedT2 said:

I think it's high time one of you Tesla fans ponied up the money for a new Tesla and drove it to Grassroots Motorsports World Headquarters, dropped the keys into the hands of one David S. Wallens on the condition that he drives the beegeebers out of it and writes a review.

Then come back a week later to pick it up.

Win, win! 

Tesla gives you a week and 1000 miles to test drive a new one. If GRM wanted to test one, it wouldn’t be hard. But why?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
5/15/19 3:13 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Because it would appear that the masses are requesting a GRM Tesla review?  Hey, it's nothing to me.  I'm not gonna buy one.  Just trying to help. smiley

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