Saturday, July 24, 2021

Drag Times: Visiting The Lamborghini Dealer With a Plaid Model S

Brooks Visits 

The Lamborghini Dealer

With a Plaid Model S

Friday, July 23, 2021

MKBHD Reviews His Plaid Model S

MKBHD Reviews His Plaid Model S

"The Plaid linear acceleration is like a missile"

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Thoughts on Tesla Plaid & Long Range Model S 2021 Refresh with Historical Context...

September 5th, 2021 Update: I just published my detailed video review of the new Tesla Model S which you can watch below:

I originally published this article back on July 14th, 2021, but it keeps evolving so I decided to separate it into different parts to make it easier to read.

The first article I split offers my Tesla background with driving a Model P85D since I bought it new in 2015. I highly recommend reading this article to learn how and why I switched from the Lexus LS 460 to the Tesla P85D and how my next car will be a Long Range Tesla Model S. Also, in my linked above article I go into detail on how significantly the Model S has evolved throughout its history. One thing is for certain when you examine the evolution of my rides as seen below is how consistent I am with my color choice of blue :-0

The second article I split off is named "Tesla. The Safest Cars Every Made" which goes into great details on what makes the Tesla Model S, X, 3 and Y the safest cars ever made. I also highly recommend exploring this article as it offers amazing insight into the unprecedented safety Tesla models offer.

I am Turing this article into a detailed review and when I am done updating this article and I feel it is complete, I will remove this notice :-)

Plaid Test Driver all I can say is:

 Go Speed Racer, Go Speed Racer, Go!!!

"Before Tesla Plaid, no production car has EVER done 0-60 in under 2 seconds. This is a 4 door car that seats 5 adults. This thing can move...This is what I call 'limit of physics engineering.' 

Physics is the law and everything else is a recommendation ...In addition to crazy performance it has around a 400 miles range, and it can gain a 185 miles of range at a Supercharger in 15 minutes. It's hard to tell if its a space ship or a car".

—Elon Musk

Elon Musk Plaid Model S photo appears courtesy of

Thoughts On The All-New

Plaid Model S 

The Second Coming of Model S

This article covers Tesla's introduction of the all-new Model S Plaid as well as the Long Range Model S. I believe the Tesla Model S is the best car ever made and this story goes into detail on how I came to this conclusion. Whether you are already very knowledgable about the Tesla Model S, or completely unfamiliar with Tesla, I am certain you will enjoy this article.

So what 'objectively' makes a car the 'best' ever made you ask? It's a combination of things. Not just 0-60MPH timing, but much more which I cover in this article. If you are confused about whether to purchase a Plaid Tesla Model S or the new Long Range model you are going to LOVE this article! I will skip straight to my conclusion and say:

I believe the new Tesla Long Range Model S is the best car EVER made. That being said, I am A THOUSAND TIMES more excited for the Long Range Tesla Model S, than the Plaid as I believe the Plaid upgrade is a COMPLETELY nonsensical waste of money

This article is far different in detail and analysis than ANY other article you will read on the Model S Refresh! Why? I have been driving a Model S P85D for seven years and in that time have gained a tremendous amount of understanding and invaluable insight I will share in this article. I also have a lot of experience with driving the Model X and 3, and I am very familiar with the Model Y as well. 

All New 2021 Plaid Model S Tesla Released in June is Pictured Above

Plaid Model S 


Franz von Holzhausen Plaid Model S Event photo appears courtesy of

Last month introduced the all-new Tesla Model S Plaid along with the new Long Range Model S and they are AMAZING!!!!! If you haven't already watched Elon's Plaid Model S Introduction Keynote be sure to check it out:

Everybody who attended the PLAID launch even received one of these special edition posters that shows the conceptual Tesla artwork featuring the all-new Model S interior along with the mirrorless body which appears somewhat more modern than the Plaid exterior.

Radical New Interior 

The Power of Simplicity

There is really something to be said for the power of simplicity. Socrates said "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" and it's profoundly true. As as designer, with 4 decades of work product and experience I would say the single greatest challenge I have faced is the quest to make products that are simple. This follows Einstein's famous notion: "Everything should be made as simple as possible, not simpler...Out of complexity, simplicity, and if you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."

So let's take look at the all new interior, which is by far and away the coolest looking car interior I have ever seen in my life!!! I must point out the interior refresh on the Model S was long, long overdue as the old interior was getting pretty stale. That being said—as you can clearly see—the all new Model S interior is busting out with everlasting freshness!!! Whoever designed this radical minimalist masterpiece interior is one talented person or group of people...

The Shape of Things To Come

It is really interesting and kind of bizarre when you realize Tesla finally figured out how to eliminate almost every single old-fashioned knob or stalk element with this beautifully sparse and simply ultra-clean looking all-new interior. I will admit when I first got my Tesla Model S P85D back in early 2015 I thought perhaps Tesla had gone overboard with digitizing everything, but in retrospect I now realize it was brilliant, and as we see the all-new Model S takes radical simplicity to a whole new level. 

So where did Detroit, Stuttgart and Japan not figure this out? Perhaps is all began back in the 1960 when they took direction from the original Star Trek, and in the photo below of Lieutenant Uhura we see her swimming in a sea of buttons and knobs. It's funny how life mimics art but as our world moves at warp speed into the digital age unnecessary complexity no longer reigns supreme. It's also fascinating to compare and contrast some of the sci-fi technology from the original Star Trek to today, in the sense an iPhone today completely destroys any technological communicator or device they put forth as being 23rd Century technology today largely looks more like early 20th Century tech.

My good friend Paul carefully studied the new Plaid Model S and described sitting in the new Model S as: 

"Extremely comfortable, with perfectly laid out ergonomics. Basically, sitting in the new Model S is otherworldly."

Blacked Out

The all-new Model S comes standard with the chrome delete. In other words, all prior Tesla Model S came with polished chrome door handles and windows trim. The new Model has zero silver chrome on the vehicle with the exception of the Tesla 'T' logo on the front of the car. For some reason, the Scorpions song 'Blackout' keeps playing through my head when I look at the blacked out trim which comes standard on the all-new Model S.

On which which I have been publishing for 14 years straight, I am known for writing super-detailed, thorough, long-form, in-depth stories. My goal as the world's leading Rolex historian is to perfectly contextualize stories so when you are done exploring them you walk away with a complete understanding of the people and subject matter. In other words, you develop an unusually deep connection and understanding of the content. 

My goal with this article is to create and share the ultimate, single most comprehensive review of the all-new 2021 Tesla Model S & X vehicles. An article where if you read it and watch all the videos, then if you were to get in the new Tesla it would feel like and old friend and you have been driving for years, and would require no instruction manual—like a well worn pair of favorite slippers. I am naturally curious and equally passionate about amazing things and people as you will discover in this article. 

Otherworldly Minimalist Masterpiece

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend some quality time studying the new Tesla Model S, and I gave it the once-over. Let me begin by saying when I first sat in the Plaid Model S, I knew what to expect but I must admit my design brain exploded at first glance of the new dash in what I can only describe as a design braingasm euphoria

Zen & The Art of Tesla Model S

I spent a minute or so in absolute shock and complete Zen awe, mostly looking and touching the screen to which I only have two things to say: 

1. My eyes have seen the glory of the second coming of the Model S, OMG, OMG, OMG!!!! 

2. I am 1000% certain it is game-set-match for every other car manufacturer on earth. I have thought since Elon's Keynote Debut of the CyberTruck Tesla has the entire auto industry in check-mate, and as Eddie Murphy back in the 1980s: "You dead! You may as well lay down cause your dead...I will moonwalk all up and down your ass, motherfucker." 

The brand new Model S interior layout is beyond flawless in a highly organic digital way, which at first may sound like an oxymoronic statement, but this new configuration is light-years beyond anything else in the world. I will point out despite the car having a 17 inch landscape screen in the center, just like the old one, which was in portrait, that is where the similarity starts and ends as there is almost no other similarity. The speed and performance of the new screen feels just like an iPad Pro as it is instantaneously precise. The built-in web browser is now actually useable and super fast like on an iPad, which is a significant game-changer. You can't pinch and zoom and there are some limitations to the browser, but by-and-large it really flies...

The prior Model S model was and elixir that showed the world what a top-of-the-line electric car had the potential to be. The all-new 2021 Model S refresh at long last largely delivers on that promise. That being said, I still think there is room for improvement, but the baseline feature set has not been met. How could this car be better? 

If it had a real-world rated range of 1000 miles range anxiety would be gone, and would significantly ease the burden on the Suprcharger network. Do I think in the future we will see a Tesla, that has a 1000 miles range? Absolutely. When? I would guess we will hit that ideal in about 5 years or so. There are several small details that I will discuss that could take the design beyond perfection, but none of them are deal-breakers. I will start by saying, Bravo Tesla, you have turned what used to be the ceiling into the new floor by constantly iterating. You are what Toyota once pretended to be with their Lexus brand which had the slogan, 'The Passionate Pursuit of Perfection.' Toyota and Lexus rested on their laurels and failed to innovate, which is a terrible shame as they could and should have. Now they are a lame duck that is dead in the water.

Tan Interior

I was pleasantly surprised with how beautiful the new tan interior turned out in the refreshed Tesla Model S interior.

The real world photo below shows the great Tan color combination which I like as much as the all black interior...decisions, decisions!?!!

The image below is from and shows the seat style without the contrast stitching running around the perimeter of the seat which we see in the real world photo above.

My only constructive criticism of the center armrest is I question why Tesla put unnecessary stitching on the sides of the center armrest since when occupants naked arms will inevitably rub against them and NOT be comfortable. If I designed this feature I would have simply eliminated the goofy and unnecessary stitching. The padding on the center armrest and door armrest is much better than in previous models but is still not padded and luxurious enough. I know because my old Lexus LS 460 was perfect in this sense which I go into depth on in My Tesla Background article.

Door Pockets!!!!

This may sound strange, but one of the most important things for me that I was very curious about was if I could fit my 24 Ounce ThermoFlask water bottle in the center console, as well as in the front and rear door pockets and I am very happy to report it fits perfectly. 

The 24 Ounce ThermoFlask Double Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bootle is my absolute favorite water bottle and I should know as I have tested so many different water bottles. I drink a lot of water and I use my ThermoFlask probably about 90% of the time, even when I have meals at home. The only time I don't use it is when I am in a restaurant.

I can't emphasize how important this detail is me. The photo below show a generic spill proof cup in the Model S cupholder.

When I put my ThermoFlask bottle in the front center cupholder it held if perfectly, with zero extra space so it won't rattle or make any noise. The positioning could NOT be better, although if I could design it I would have made the cupholder an inch or so deeper to accommodate taller water bottles like mine. I assume they leave it shallow to accommodate a can of soda to make ingress, and regress comfortable, but I would love to see them innovate so the driver could make them up to an inch or two deeper to accommodate taller water bottles. Come to think of it, it would be cool if Tesla partnered with ThermoFlask to make a really cool water bottle that would ideally fit all Tesla models.

I am the designer and owner of which designs and makes the best Apple Accessories including the SAFE WALLET which is the absolute best minimalist wallet case money can buy. The ONLY limitation in the new Tesla Model S, is the built-in QI smartphone charger is not strong enough to charge my iPhone while it is in the SAFE WALLET, but I came up with a brilliant work around. It takes a quick second to remove the naked iPhone from the SAFE WALLET. 

So in the photo above which I took with my iPhone, I left my SAFE WALLET on the right side of the charging cubby area which would be a great place to keep it when not in use while I am driving, then I can simply pop it back in when I get out of the car. Obviously in the photo above I could not take a photo with my iPhone on the left side of the cubby, but you get the idea. 

Historically the Tesla Model S lacked any kind of door pockets up until the recent refresh which was BEYOND lame, but now, thank god!!! it finally has this long overdue detail and they are great! In this first image I am showing my 24 Ounce ThermoFlask Water Bottle with the straw lid inserted in the all-new drivers side door pocket.

In the next image I am showing what ingress, egress or regress is like. So basically you could use your left hand to grab the water bottle, lift it up to your mouth, take a sip and place it back in the upright storage position. 

This pocket door design is somewhat similar to the one on the Model X, but it is narrower and less long, but you could easily keep a hand sanitizer or tissue behind the bottom of the water bottle.

This photo below shows my 24 Ounce ThermoFlask water bottle in the rear passenger side door pocket which is able to hold it. So you might be asking why anybody would want to keep their water bottle in the side pockets, when there are cup holders in the front and back of the Model S? When you go on a long drive it is great to have plenty of water so you can store extra water bottles or drinks in the side doors.

Center Console

A Place for Everything 

& Everything in its Place

The center console in the outgoing Model S was a complete mess and offered terrible storage capacity. The great news is the all-new center-console appears to be the best designed one I have ever seen which you can check out in this video I put together.

In this set of 4 images below we see the center console front storage options and in the first image see it with the cover in the completely closed position, and of course the smartphone cubby with built-in QI chargers is beyond brilliant!

This next image shows what happens when the center console cover is slid forward all the way to expose a perfectly positioned set of cup holders, along with another shallow storage compartment that is perfect for holding sunglasses and reading glasses. Also, you can slide the garage top lid back only half way, so it JUST exposes the cup holders (not shown).

The next image below show what occurs when you slide the sunglasses drawer forward away from you to expose an even deeper storage compartment underneath.

This last image (below) shows the fact you can optionally slide back the dual cup holder to access the space underneath or to just create a very large storage area. 

Also, the leather covered center armrest in hinged on its back and features another deep storage compartment underneath it (not shown). 

With all these really intelligent storage options it ensures that the owner will NEVER run out of space for storing all the important items that are great to have in a car. The area under the center armrest could be used for storing tissue or even as a garbage can for the car. So for instance, if you are driving and you have a used wrapper or ziplock bag or empty bottle or can you can hide it out of site until you have a chance to empty the garbage. It appears Tesla went from the back of the storage class straight to the front!!!

My friend Paul who has spent time carefully studying the new Model S Plaid said: 

"The new center arm rest and door arm rests are EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE HOLY SHIT!!!! It's actually kind of amazing....Tesla brought back the ventilated seats and did it properly, and they are VERY COLD as they pump AC through them now, and NOT just a fan."

Hatchback Trunk

The significantly updated trunk is beyond perfection in every way with the exception of the fact there are still no down facing lights on the bottom of the hatchback to light the trunk area from above. 

Rear Armrest

Design Defect

The fold-down center armrest in the back has two QI chargers and two great drink holders. It is
 a work of art, and is very comfortable, with one REALLY BIZARRE design oversight!?!! For some reason the wide rear armrest has sharp square corners so if you spread your legs at all, it jabs the side of your leg in a REALY uncomfortable way that unfortunately makes the back seat feel unnecessarily claustrophobic. If you watch my video review of this design defect below you will notice the right door handle is properly designed for ergonomics with a radius, but the center console has a right angle corner which is a blunders oversight if you as me as a designer. My question is did ANYBODY sit in the back of this car as a passenger for more than 5 minutes, because if they did I am certain that unless they were a little kid the would not have sat with their legs next to each other. Tesla, if you are listening please fix this by simply putting a good radiuses edge on the two front corners of the rear armrest!?!!

Yoked Steering

Reinventing The Wheel

The new Yoke steering wheel which first came from the upcoming Tesla Roadster and CyberTruck preview prototypes is standard in the new Model S which looks totally Star Wars Land Speeder / Fighter Pilot Cockpit / KITT / Alien Technology. The new Yoke steering wheel has several profound benefits.

  • Offers unobstructed view of drivers side screen.
  • Lacks ANY stalks which are now buttons on yoke. In other words, the shifting and turning signal stalks are gone as is the windshield wiper stalk and the cruise control stalk as well as the wheel height/depth adjusting stalk.
  • Looks totally Batmobile/GQ/Formula 1 magnificent minimalist masterpiece RAD!!!! I mean look at this cockpit which is a complete work of art!!!!

If The Batmobile was real its interior couldn't be more of a magnificent minimalist masterpiece than the all-new 2021 Tesla Model S

My initial personal interior color preference was all-black with black carbon fiber accents as it makes the cockpit look and feel like a stealth fighter cockpit. It turns out the carbon fiber accent is only available on the Plaid and NOT on the Long Range, which pushes me closer toward getting the tan interior as I don't like the black interior with dark brown wood combination. The white has WAY too much unnecessary and distracting contrast—like a flat screen TV with a silver bezel v. a matte black bezel. That being said, I know many people like the white interior, it's just not for me. Also, as previously mentioned I was really surprised by how much I like the tan interior.

There has been a lot of controversy not only regarding the yoke steering wheel as well as the auto shifting. Below is a photo of manual touch controls that are located at the bottom of the smartphone cubby. The way the user makes the usually invisible shifting controls appear is by lightly pressing both scrolling wheels on the yoke steering wheel at the same time, or by touching anywhere on the hazard strip which will make the Parking, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive options appear. My understanding is they are capacitive, meaning you tap on them like on a smartphone screen. I also understand if the cars computer reboots these stay active as a secondary method for shifting gears. This is super-slick and impressive minimalist design!!

If the user covers all 4 buttons on the ride side of the steering wheel with their palm it will sound the horn despite the yoke having a dedicated physical horn button. 

The new center console is MUCH more ergonomic and super-clean looking with an intelligent place for everything.

In the image below we see the size of the front trunk in the updated Model S which is commonly referred to as the FRUNK. The size is good for keeping a backpack or transporting a pick-up/take-out meal for the family or some groceries.

Phone Key

Reinventing The Car Key

My absolute favorite new James-Bond-like-feature in the new Model S and X is the incorporation of the keyless/fobless entry and driving by simply using your bluetooth enabled smartphone or a physical key card to drive. In the image below we see the PHONE KEY option running in the Tesla app on an iPhone in progress. That's right, just walk up to the car, open the door, sit down, and violà!!! Drive as if you have a key fob, or key card in your pocket with ONLY your smartphone...It literally could not be any easier than this...

The phone key not only allows you to unlock the doors, but also to drive the car!!! Elon promised this Bluetooth Key feature 3 years ago for the Model S & X and said it would come soon in an update, but it never did, which frustrated me to no end :-(  

Thank God it is no longer vapor-ware and finally is a working feature as it will eliminate having to carry around a fat, goofy, unnecessarily bulky key fob which is one less thing I have to worry about! As cliché as is may sound—better late than never...

The new PHONE KEY option can auto present the all the door handles as an option or you can have it set so you need to touch the drivers door handle for it to extend out to the open position which is what is occurring in the image above. Smart Phone FINALLY achieves parity with a Smart Car!!!!

I am the designer at BulletTrain and we make the SAFE WALLET which will allow you to leave the house without any keys, so long as you have a keyless home entry system with just your iPhone. This is the ultimate in minimalist everyday carry if you ask me ;-)

Ironically, I bought a Tesla Model 3 when it first came out which benefited from the keyless feature and I really, really, really miss it!!! Granted the Model S and X have always had an iPhone app that could open and start your car, but it relies on the cellular network as a relay and it has always been really flaky at best

For instance, it would not typically work in underground parking lots or anyplace with poor cellular reception. Even when it does work, it often is frustrating as you have to wait a long time for the phone to connect to the Tesla over the cellular network which always drives me nuts—especially in my garage where often times it would be faster to just go and get the key fob. I NEVER trusted it after I experienced getting stranded when the Tesla network failed to connect to the car which was parked outdoors on a public street. With the new bluetooth feature, you completely bypass this Schmegegge...

The new Model S system uses low-energy Bluetooth which is relatively bulletproof...In other words, if you were in an underground parking garage your phone or key card can now talk to and control your Tesla via short range pier-to-pier low energy Bluetooth, so it is the same as having a key fob without having to carry or worry about losing or misplacing your key fob. If you REALLY want to take-a-belt-and-suspenders approach, if you have our SAFE WALLET (iPhone case pictured above) you could also keep the Tesla keycard in the hollow-core wallet door which would ensure that even if your iPhone batter died you could still enter and drive your refreshed 2021 Tesla Model S or X.

Need for Speed

While 0-60MPH performance is not everything in a car, it is the first statistic I look at when evaluating ANY car. The 0-60MPH performance of the PLAID and Long Range Tesla Model S of between 2-3.4 seconds for me definitely puts it in the Goldilocks zone!!! I would go so far as to say that the Long Range doing 0-60MPH in 3.1 seconds is all anybody could ever really want or desire. 

Tesla lists the Plaid as being able to do 0-60MPH in under two seconds at 1.99 seconds which seems to be a little misleading in the real world, and they list the Long Range being able to do 0-60MPH in 3.1 seconds. The video below offers the first real-world test of 0-60MPH in the Long range using the 'Draggy' GPS Based Performance Meter and as we see he appears to be accelerating from 0-60 in about 3.3 seconds. Even 3.5 seconds would be still great in my opinion...

Why is 0-60MPH performance so critical in my mind? When I drove a Lexus LS 460 that had 8 cylinders it did 0-60MPH in about 5.4 seconds. I remember if I was driving on the freeway and I wanted to pass somebody, it's like I would press the accelerator pedal down all the way and it was like the Lexus would respond and say 'Oh!?!! You want to pass the person on your left? OK. Let's do it', then it would take off. 

In other words, there was ALWAYS this delay between hitting the gas petal and the car taking off. My Tesla P85D Model S, which does 0-60MPH in 3.2 seconds is INSTANTANEOUS!!!! I mean, you hit the accelerator and the car instantly leaps with perfect highway passing power, almost like when the Millennium Falcon makes the jump to light speed in Star Wars. Ironically, the reason I LOVE the superb 0-60MPH is not so I can race people or drive like a jackass, but for the instantly responsive highway passing power which in many ways in a pinch can be more of a defensive safety feature than offensive.

Best Value?

Below is a fascinating value comparison I put together which in my opinion illustrates that the Long Range Model S by-far-and-away represents the MUCH better value proposition and here is why: In my opinion the Long Range with the 19 inch rims are a much better choice as the 21 inch wheels cost $5000 extra (including sales tax). The 21 inch wheels give a firmer ride (Bad), look worse, last half as long as the 19 inch tires, while costing more than twice as much to replace. I highly recommend closely examining the following value comparison illustration. Pay close attention to EVERYTHING I outlined in RED.

As illustrated above, the Long Range Model S with 19 inch rims offers 405 miles or range, whereas the Plaid with 21 inch rims ONLY gets 348 miles of range—yet it costs approximately $55,000 more!?!! Personally I would prefer to have the extra 57 miles of range while saving $55K!!!! (Seems like a no-brainer to me :-) 

In my opinion the 19 inch rims look much better than the 21 inch rims. I know some people will disagree with me and point out the 19 inch rims feature plastic hubcaps to make them more aerodynamic, but I like the way they look much better. Also, Tesla used to have red brake calipers on the Performance Model S, but they changed them to black on which means you no longer see them with the 21 inch rims.

Plaid 0-60MPH v. Long Range?

Motor Trend Magazine completed extensive testing of the Model S Plaid and drew some really insightful and fascinating discoveries:

"For those who are wondering what the Tesla Model S Plaid's 0-60 time is on unprepped asphalt, without the 1-foot rollout, without drag mode, without launch control, without pedal overlap—so, just "slap-n-go"—the unadulterated 0-60 time is 2.45 seconds."

So we see the real-world difference in 0-60 MPH acceleration when Long Range Tesla Model S and Plaid are both in their fastest standard modes is 3.1 seconds for the Long Range v. 2.45 Seconds for the Plaid.

This essentially means you are paying almost an extra $10,000 per 1/10th of a second of acceleration for the Plaid Model S which you will never even notice or benefit from in any useful way!?!! In other words, the Plaid is just for goofy bragging rights...

My Tesla Model S P85D I have driven for 7 years does 0-60MPH in 3.2 seconds which is a tenth of a second SLOWER than the new Long Range Model S (0-60MPH in 3.1 seconds) has NEVER made me feel like I needed any more acceleration. Basically, Tesla's high performance P85D Model S from 2014 is now their base model, when it comes to 0-60 acceleration and performance.

The supreme irony is if somebody kept switching you back and forth between a Long Range and Plaid Model S—blindfolding you every time they switched you randomly between cars so you could not tell which car you were in—and you did a pedal-to-the-metal acceleration test, you very likely would NOT be able to sense the difference in models, and the interior would be identical in every way. 

As a matter of fact the only exterior visual cues are the Plaid features a small rear carbon fiber spoiler (which I like) and a goofy Plaid badge which I would remove from the car. The Plaid also has glossy black brake calipers which you MIGHT notice only if the Plaid model is equipped with 21 inch wheels. 

Motor Trend Plaid Model S 0-60MPH Testing

Just to be crystal-clear, the Plaid Model S does 0-60 in around 2.45 seconds in its fastest STANDARD PLAID acceleration mode according to Motor Trend.

Ironically, Motor Trend got the Plaid to do 0-60 in 1.98 on highly specialized race track (pictured above) that was covered with special non-slip material, and they had to put it in a special DRAG STRIP mode which takes 8-15 MINUTES for pre-conditioning the batteries, powertrain and Motors. Then you have to engage LAUNCH MODE and put it into CHEETAH STANCE which takes another 8 seconds to lower the front of the Model S, which in the real world is useless and an absurd hack which is very Rube Goldberg-like process. In design nomenclature this is referred to as a false economy of motion

Model S Plaid Launch Mode with Cheetah Stance is ridiculously complex & largely defeats its own purpose like this Rube Goldberg illustration from the 1920s.

Also, Motor Trend incorporated 'ROLLOUT' which means the first foot of rollout is NOT included in the measurement, and the Model S accelerates to 6MPH in the first foot, thus the reality is the measurement is REALLY NOT 0-60MPH, but 6-60MPH. Granted Rollout is a standard of the Drag Racing community, but it is slightly misleading in the real world. The bottom line is Tesla has done EVERYTHING they could to get a 0-60 score in under 2 seconds for the Plaid model for bragging rights, and rightfully understandable.

In the real-world the Plaid is really symbolism-over-substance. Don't get me wrong, I love Tesla and think the Plaid is really cool, but personally I would rather purchase a Long Range Model S, and with the $55,000 savings buy a CyberTruck and have both—which is my cunning plan ;-) Or, if you invest the $55,000 savings in Tesla Stock, and finance the Long Range S, it is possible the appreciation in Tesla stock price over the length of the financing could potentially more than pay for Long Range Model S itself!?!!

Another irony that crosses my mind is for somebody who is experienced with the driving characteristics of a Model S Long Range, they could race against somebody 0-60MPH who is driving a Plaid and beat them—especially in the turns.

July 8, 2021: Update on Long Range 0-60MPH. I have to point out I just discovered that the Long Range Model S also features "DragStrip Mode" and "Cheetah Mode"!?!! This is hyper-confusing as Tesla does NOT communicate how these modes effect performance on the Long Range Model S? Also, the all-new Model S Long Range has 3 performance options: 

1. Chill
2. Regular
3. Insane 

So the great unanswered question in my mind is 'how does DragStrip and Cheetah modes effect 0-60 MPH performance on the Long Range Model S?' In other words, if you just drive the Long Range Model S in Insane mode, without engaging DragStrip or Cheetah modes, what is the 0-60MPH time?

Here is a List of improvements I have noticed on the new refreshed interior Model S:

  • Finally added 4 long overdue Door Map Pockets.
  • Added wireless QI phone charger cubby section in front and in center rear armrests.
  • Added ventilated air cooled seats, which keeps your back dry on long drives.
  • Improved new dual layer sound deadening windows using acoustic glass feature with significant noise reduction coupled with increased thermal properties so in winter the cabin stays warmer and in summer it remains cooler.
  • Noise Cancelling seat speakers act like AirPod Max or Bose Headset as illustrated below.

My friend Paul who has spent a lot of time studying the new Plaid Model S said:

"So the main feature I keep talking to everyone about is the new windows which are a COMPLETE game changer and I mean COMPLETE in the sense they make the cabin so much quieter that it's hard to quantify. The new Plaid Model S is such an improvement over the P100D I have been driving it's honestly hard to explain. The interior is crazy and feels like you're in a spaceship."

New Horizontal 17" Screen

Special thanks to DÆrik for sharing the images below which are from their excellent Model S Plaid video review at the end of this story. Tesla kept the 17 inch screen size for the center console but rotated it from Portrait to landscape which offers MANY benefits. The image below shows the new UI for the Main Controls.

I remember when first got my Tesla Model S seven years ago, kinda tripping on the center screen that digitized and replaced almost every old-fashioned analog button. I remember thinking Tesla almost went overboard, but as time went by I grew to love it. The all-new 2021 Model S takes this digitization to a whole new level even by replacing things like the physical button for opening and locking the glove compartment.

Essentially, Tesla has hidden most of the technology, and this includes things like hiding the air vents and their directional knobs which have been successfully replaced by the UI on the center screen. When I really stop and think about it—it's almost bizarre how Tesla has managed to radically simplify everything in the new Model S and X, as the essence of life should always be simplicity, which is never easy to achieve.

The images below show the climate control screen that allows the user to control the invisible ventilation alone with controlling features like turning on and off the heated steering wheel.

Tesla incorporated the invisible vent system into the Model S that debuted in the Model 3 and Model Y. Below is the page from the new Model S Instruction manual that shows exactly where the invisible vents are positioned. 

In the photo we see how HUGE the live view is when the Model S is backing up which is super immersive!!

I put together a Pro/Con list for upgrading my P85D to the 2021 Model S Refresh I though I would share with you:

Pros for Upgrading to Long Range Model S

  • iPhone Key: This means no more FOB!!! So I don't have to carry around or worry about losing or misplacing the goofy Tesla Key Fob. Now I can go totally keyless and just carry my BulletTrain SAFE WALLET everywhere I go!
  • Ventilated air-conditioned seats.
  • Huge Map/Door Pockets in front and rear seats can hold water bottle, tissue, garbage, hand sanitizer, and masks. 
  • New 17 inch Screen 16x9 UI on screen looks AMAZING!!!!  Should be great for watching video and playing games while Supercharging. Screens should be very high performance like an iPad Pro with zero lag. (No more slow-motion graphics or swiping like it's drunk).
  • 4 Year Warranty zero repair cost guarantee (peace of mind)
  • 19 inch Wheels will give a much better ride + Quieter wheels, and half as much to replace, half as often. 
  • Phone charging position is very cool in front seats: Can I use with a lighting cable in with SAFE WALLET?
  • Amazing Audio System with 22 Speakers! 
  • Back seat armrest with drink holders and chargers.
  • 400+ Mile Range is great! (500 would be better)
  • 0-60MPH same as P85D, which is all I need. Plaid is $50K extra to shave off .55 seconds on 0-60. Savings invested in Stock could pay for new Model S.
  • Great value for $.
  • Black trim. 
  • Autonomous (really).
  • Super Fresh looking!!!
  • Radically simplified all-new UI.
  • Tesla Bioweapon Defense Mode HEPA Filter is super legit.
  • New H-Vac System is Octovalve and Heat Pump offers 30% better cold weather range + requires 50% less energy for cabin heating and freezing conditions. Should have much warmer floor heat, and use far less electricity + much better cold weather performance. Octovalve new heat pump, with 30% better cold weather range and 50% less energy required in very cold weather.
  • Much faster computer uses same AMD Chip in Sony Play Station 5 and X-Box. 
  • Super Clean new dash with no visible vents.
  • Stalkless steering wheen is super clean looking
  • Ultra-modern vibe...
  • New updated pencil-thin-mustache nose as apposed to old goofy-looking cone nose.
  • New auto shift feature seems cool.
  • Wider body in rear looks cooler. 
  • New Suspension Dampening for great luxury drive.
  • More luxurious well designed interior.
  • Bose noise reduction/cancelation technology.
  • Supports new faster supercharging which adds 200 Miles of range in just over 15 minutes and will get even faster as Tesla Superchargers evolve to 300 and 350kWh Superchargers.
  • Most aerodynamic car on earth @ 0.208 (Probably only in Cheetah Launch Mode).
  • Safest car on earth. 
  • More legroom in back seat. 
  • Invisible vent system in front and back seats.
  • All new UI looks super-clean and intuitive.
  • Acoustic Glass for sound deadening and much quieter interior.
  • Front and Rear seat door pockets .
  • Heated Yoke steering wheel.
  • Air-Conditioned cooling seats.
  • Has dual USB-C 36 watt charing ports in back under screen you could use for charging if you can't charge in center console and they can charge an iPad or MacBook. 


I don't have many Cons—just concerns. Keep in mind 100% of my criticism is purely constructive. I have heard many people complain about the terrible fit and finish on Tesla vehicles and I have experienced this myself. For me I was always willing to overlook these as the rest of the car was so AMAZING in an MVP kind off way! From the early reviews the new interior is light years ahead of the old one and features many improved details like more luxurious and thicker carpet. Here are a list of concerns I have:

SEAT BELT HEIGHT TENSIONER CONTROL: The Model S has always had a fixed seat belt which always cut my neck just the wrong way. This was fixed in the Model X by adding a height adjustable seat belt tensioner, but unfortunately the new Model Slacks this useful feature. When I sat in the new 2021 Plaid Model S it appears they repositioned the seat belt hight tensioner to make it more comfortable. I will report back on this when I have had more real world driving time.

UNCOMFORTABLE INTERIOR DOOR HANDLE POSITIONING: I had a Tesla Model 3 which I sold because there were two features that drove me nuts. One was the drivers interior door handle was placed in the worst position so if you wanted to rest your left leg against the door on long drives the hard plastic was REALLY uncomfortable. I Noticed they fixed this on the Model Y, but I am a little concerned as one of the great features of the older Model S is that there is so much horizontal room to spread your legs on a long drive. I will report back once I test this out.

WINDSHEILD WIPERS: The windshield wipers in my P85D always worked well. In the Model 3 they were the WORST windshield wipers I have ever experienced!?!! Elon got this bright idea to use the front facing camera to automatically sense and see rain, but it didn't work at all. I would be driving in pouring rain and the AUTO windshield wipers would NOT engage. I pray they left the older more reliable proven windshield wipers in the new Model S. The following video offers a superb overview of the Yoke steering wheel features, and at 6:55 into the video he demonstrates all the windshield wiper functions which have a super-slick UI experience:

The image below taken from the video above shows how the brilliant windshield wiper UI works. On the right side of the Yoke there is an icon just above and to the right of the scroll wheel that has a windshield wiper icon on it. If you press the windshield wiper button it will pop-up the windshield wiper control selector which you can see on the left side of the binnacle display with the blue highlight.

Once the user pops up the UI with the right scroll wheel, the left scroll wheel is used to scroll up and down through the 6 choices (as seen below) to select your choice. 

This is an amazing piece of UI. The close-up image below (from Motor Trend) of the all-new Tesla Model S Yoke steering wheel shows the controls for the windshield wipers and washers. Just to be crystal-clear the first icon is the horn which is a pushable button and as I understand it if you cup your palm and place it over all of the buttons on the right side of the steering wheel it will also honk the horn. 

The second from the left icon is the control for engaging Autopilot which can be customized to turn on either with one tap or two taps, and also permits the user to increase or decrease the speed by scrolling up or down. The third button from the left, with the windshield wiper icon engages the 4 speeds of the windshield wipers including 2 intermittent modes and and two constant modes as well as 'Auto" and 'Off'. The fourth button in a microphone for speaking to the car like with voice commands. Think "Hey Siri", or "Alexa", but you can use it for all kinds of interesting things like tell it to take you to the gym, or work, or home or Trader Joes. You can also use it for controlling the car, with everything like turning on the windshield wipers or fog lights. From what I have heard this voice activation feature works really well.

Below is the page in the all-new Tesla Model S Instruction Manual for the all-new Long Range and PLAID model Windshield Wipers and Washers. There are really only two options here. Either Tesla has the old-fashioned bulletproof reliable AUTO rain sensor (hopefully), or they are using the front facing camera which would likely be a travesty. The good news from what I can tell is that they appear to have at least kept all 4 of the manual modes, which would be better than not. Once again, time will tell on this one. 

Update on Windshield Wiper Sensor 

I had the chance to spend time studying a Plaid Model S in great detail and I took a photo of the top center of the windshield and if you look closely you see what appears to be three front facing cameras as well as a rain-sensor located in the upper left hand corner about a 2 inches above the 3 cameras. Assuming this is correct, that is awesome!!!

REAR INFOTAINMENT SCREEN AKWARD POSITION: Tesla intelligently utilized the back of the center console to add a small-tablet-like screen for controlling things like the vents and heated seats in the back of the car. If you look closely you will also notice two USB C ports located just under the new Infotainment screen which are really useful and cannot only charge a smartphone but also a laptop like a MacBook. The new Infotainment screen can also be used by back seat occupants for watching video and playing video games if you pair a bluetooth game controller. The challenge for me is if I were in the backseat of the Model S on a long drive, I would NOT want to sit with my neck bent facing down for long periods of time.

The simple way to avoid this would be to attach an iPhone or iPad to the back of each seat at eye level which is where many car companies place infotainment screens. I like how Tesla utilized this space intelligently but would much prefer an additional option that would locate screens on the backs of the front seats at eye level. A potential solution is to attache magnetic mounts to the back of the seats at eye level than you can attach an iPhone to.

LACK OF OVERHEAD LIGHTS IN FRUNK AND TRUNK: The LED lights in my Model S Trunk and Frunk were so dim in my P85D I replaced them with aftermarket lights that were much, much brighter. That being said, I was shocked that Tesla did not feature an overhead light in the Frunk? In other words, the light was easily covered as it is placed on the front of the frunk bay so if you have anything in front of the light it blocks the light. If Tesla installed an overhead light on the bottom of the frunk hood it would be 1000% more effective. Same with the lights in the hatchback. I think the new interior is excellent in many ways, but could see how there would be room for serious improvement with the lighting systems.

CABIN LIGHTING: The cabin lighting was always lacking in the Model S and of poor quality.

4G OR 5G NETWORK?: I am wondering if the new Model S and X use the 4G or 5G network?

CENTER CONSOLE ARMRESTS: It looks like they finally put in a much more comfortable center armrest, although I think they should have wrapped it in such a way that there is ZERO exposed stitching which is uncomfortable when your arm rubs against it if you are wearing a short sleeve T-Shirt.

DASH PANELS FIT AND FINISH: The photos below are of a Plaid Model S I spent an hour studying. I don't mean to nitpick, but as we see in the four following images there is a lot of sloppy construction. Once again, I want to point out I am completely blown away by the interior design and build-quality, but Tesla obviously needs to get these dash details dialed in if they are going to be a world-class luxury brand. In the first image we see gaps that really stand out located on the far left side of the dash where it intersects the side drivers door.

In the next photo below we see the exact same fit and finish issue occurring on the far right side of the dash where it kisses the front passenger side door.

The next image shows many sloppy dash details, of not only fit but of finish and defective looking panels that look like they are of poor quality.

This last image gives us a close up of the mismatched edges, and the lower arrow points to the black valance panel which looks strange to me. Maybe I am wrong but it strikes me there is likely a better way to achieve this in a way that would look much better.

SIDE DOOR FABRIC: I am NOT a fan of the carpet like material panel on the side of the door which looks cheap industrial dark grey carpet. I would prefer to see this in faux leather, but who knows, maybe the fabric deadens sound? After some research I think these are speaker grills which now kind of makes sense.

NO MORE FREE SUPERCHARGING?: One of the benefits my P85D came with was free lifetime supercharging. The new Model S no longer comes with free supercharging, but to a large extent free supercharging was a bit of a gimmick, at least for me as I rarely use the supercharger network since it is so much more convenient to charge at home. Also, by having increased range you can now travel longer distances without having to visit a Tesla SuperCharger.

REAR FOLD DOWN CENTER ARMREST: Rear fold down Center Armrest front corners have bad geometry. Video coming soon on this one.

RANGE ANXIETY: The Long Range Model S features 405 miles or range which is good. 500 Miles of Range would be awesome...1000 miles would be perfect and would largely eliminate the need for Supercharger network.

LACK OF RED BRAKE CALIPERS: Tesla replaced the red brake calipers that came standard on the high-performance P100D, but did NOT come on the less expensive models. On the refreshed models the Plaid now comes with glossy black painted calipers which would not be visible with the 19 Inch wheels anyway. The press photo below from Tesla shows the new Plaid Model S WITH Red brake calipers which I think looks much cooler, and I am not the only person who thinks red would look much better than black, so Tesla if you are listening please bring back that beautiful touch-of-red with the brake calipers. If you are really hellbent on having red brake calipers you can do it aftermarket with powder-coating but that is an expensive pain.

DRIVERS SIDE DOOR ARMREST: This has always been a complete unergonomic, uncomfortable mess and I am sad to report that while they made it more padded, they also make it way too shallow so your arm keeps sliding off it. This would be an easy fix so Tesla if you are listening talk to me and I will show you how to fix it and make it the way it always should have been!

WHEN TO BUY?: I think it is a good idea to wait at least 6 months before upgrading. That way Tesla can work out any hardware or software kinks as I don't really want to be a beta tester. Then when I get the car it will be closer to being fully functional with features like the seat sound reduction system and the autonomous driving should be much, much better.

Future Feature Requests

4 WHEEL STEERING: I Always wished Tesla would offer 4 wheel steering on the all their models. The tremendous benefit of this feature is that the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels, significantly decreasing the turning radius, which makes U-Turns much easier and efficient. Elon Musk recently announced that the CyberTruck will offer this feature and I hope future Tesla models include this extremely beneficial feature. All wheel steering has been around for many decades and works well. If you drive a car with this feature it can throw you off, especially when backing up so I imagine it might be turned off by default with an On/Off option in the settings.

AUTOMATIC DOOR CLOSING: The Tesla Model X doors are terrible. Elon Musk himself admitted that the falcon-wing doors were his greatest blunder to date and I agree. I don't know why Tesla hasn't removed them yet, and the automatically opening driver and front passenger doors also suck, but the have a feature long found in high-end luxury cars like the Lexus LS which will automatically grab and close the door if you don't shut it all the way. In other words, if a child tries to close the door and gets it within an inch of being closed, the door will auto-close on its own. Ironically the Tesla Model X has this feature and I would LOVE to see it added to the Model S.

LACK OF PANORAMIC SUNROOF: Tesla discontinued their Panoramic Sunroof in 2018 so it is unfortunately no longer an option. When I reflect back I realize I never really used the sunroof that much and the new Panoramic all glass sunroof probably gives the car a cleaner look. That being said, I think Tesla should still offer the Panoramic Sunroof Option.

SHIATSU SEAT MASSAGERS: I believe the Tesla Model S is fundamentally a luxury car and I think it would be great if Tesla could incorporate shiatsu massagers in the seats, like a Mercedes S Class offers.

FRUNK CLOSURE MECHANISM: The frunk requires manual opening and closing which always seemed very primitive (Think Flintstones) to me. The frunk should power open and close like the hatchback (Think Jetson's).

Video Reviews

I am including several videos I watched below that go into detail with people who already have a Plaid Model S. Once I get a chance to test drive and study the new Model S I will update this story with ALL my findings.

Magnetic Smart Phone Mount

The video review above from Shannon Wong is excellent and in particular he figured out how to very intelligently mount his iPhone using a magnet mount made by Scosche, which he mentions he purchased at Best Buy. I also noticed his Plaid has black carbon-fiber accents which I don't see currently listed on Tesla's Model S configurator page as they only show it offered with dark brown wood? I wonder if it is an off-the-menu ordering option?

So you might be asking why a person would want to mount their iPhone on the left hand of the steering wheel, when there is such a brilliantly designed wireless QI charging cubby located below the center screen? Because if the iPhone is closer to eye level you can use your phone as a backup for navigation, and you can also see text messages easier (when not driving), as well as making selections for music. My idea is to run a black Lightning cable over to the left area so my phone can also be plugged in to charge. I use a BulletTrain SAFE WALLET which does not usually allow wireless QI Charging thought the case, but does support being held in portrait or landscape with magnetic mounts which is totally Batmobile...

California Dreaming

Some would say Tesla is an American Car, but sadly it is not. Tesla is a Silicon Valley car, born out of a Northern California mindset. This is a fact.

I have a confession to make as a designer. I deeply despise EVERYTHING about American cars and the ENTIRE automotive industry in general. The design is garbage, the cardboard build-quality or lack thereof in American cars is junk, the dealership model with cheeseball haggling salesmen is beyond abhorrent. The high-maintenance planned-obsolescence engineering is disgusting, and most importantly there has been a major failure to innovate. Speaking of high-maintenance Chris Rock once said:

"When it comes to women there are high-maintenance women and low-maintenance women...What I wan't is NO maintenance!"

And No maintenance is what EXACTLY what you get with a Tesla. I don't think most people understand how terrible Internal Combustion Engine vehicles (ICE) are? Tesla vehicles are 100% electric and require no oil-changes, tune-ups, or transmission fluid. Just top off the windshield washer fluid every once in a while, and replace tires when they wear out. That is pretty much it.

The average ICE vehicle has more than 2000 moving parts, where the average Tesla has less than 20 moving parts, and 4 of those are window lifts, folding mirrors, and in the case of the Model S it has 4 door handles that move in and out, as well as 4 moving wheels, and windshield wipers, along with 2 or 3 motors, and that is pretty much it, which explains why the cars are so low in maintenance. Basically if you do the math, it's because all things mechanical eventually fail, and Tesla's on average have only 1% of the number of moving parts as ICE vehicles do. The brakes go forever since Tesla Vehicles use regenerative braking, which recharges the batteries by slowing down the car, this brakes are not utilized nearly as much as in a traditional functionally obsolete ICE vehicle. 

Speaking of ICE vehicles, there nothing more disgusting that when you are driving with your window open and you end up behind an old cheesy car that has not been well maintained—and should NOT still be on the road—and the exhaust smells like hell. How this toxic nightmare is legal is beyond me, and it never ceases to amaze me that the people who drive these dinosaurs lack the self-awareness to understand they are killing the environment as well as peoples lungs including their own. In the United States one of the absolute worst violators of this is the United States Postal Service delivery vans which smell so poisonous and toxic, not to mention the terrible sound pollution with their ear-crushing Diesel engines.

One Way Street

The Unscrupulous Nature of The Entire

Automotive Industry EXCLUDING TESLA

For a subtitle I used the perfectly on-point metaphor of "One Way Street" which is what the consumer basically experiences with the entire Automotive industry. This includes the manufactures, service centers and the entire oil industry which are also equally horrible and treacherous. New time you drive by a gas station look at the price-board and you will see the most treacherous deceptive marketing techniques. Specifically, you will notice that a gallon of gas is NOT $4.00, but 3.99 and 99/100!?!! Could you imagine if you went to the grocery store and they unnecessarily added 99/100 of a penny to price of EVERY product!?!! 

I mean who in their right mind would break-down pricing to 99/100ths of a penny? And for that matter, if they are so concerned with accurate pricing, why does EVERY single gas station have 99/100 and not say, 54/100? I will tell you. It's because just like the unscrupulous and dishonest automobile manufactures and dealership service center they ONLY car about money. The don't care about the environment or their customers. For the record, if you use the Tesla Supercharger network they DON'T use that 99/100 tacked on to the price because they are honest and have integrity. 

Speaking of automotive service centers, they basically take advantage of their customers and rape them by often selling them things the customer does NOT need. They do this by incentivizing the service reps by paying them a commission on everything they sell, regardless of whether it is njssasary or not. Tesla is the EXACT Opposite in the sense they ONLY repair things that need to be repaired.

/end of rant :-0

Speaking of DREAMING: I think the all-new cockpit on the refreshed 2021 Tesla Model S very much resembles a super modern Fighter-Pilot Cockpit, and I can't stop thinking about how cool it is, and I can't wait to take delivery of mine! I remember there was once a keynote given by the head of marketing for VW who profoundly said, 'Our goal is to create vehicles that people love so much they go to sleep dreaming about one day owning it. That is success in marketing." 

Then he told a story about how his daughter got the new Retro VW Bug just after it was launched in 1998—during the Bill Clinton Presidential ERA—and he said, 'My daughter is so in love with here new VW Beetle, if she could figure out a way to get it in her bedroom to sleep next to she would!' After all, isn't that why many super high-end houses have exhibition garages to show of their car collection? For me, I love the new Model S & X, and can't wait to get my CyberTruck, and these are the ONLY cars I want to see in my garage...

I think some of the Ferrari models look REALLY cool on the outside, and perform well, but the interior is cramped, uncomfortable and sugar coated with unnecessary buttons and knobs all over the place, not to mention they are not electric nor capable of self driving. If somebody offered me ANY Ferrari, or for that matter ANY car for free, but said I could not sell it, and had to only drive it once a week, I would pass as I love the Tesla models that much!!!! And speaking of dreaming, I do keep thinking about the new Model S before I go to sleep at night!


The overall build-quality of the new interior is night and day compared to the old Model S. You notice this in unexpected places like with the way the glove compartment feels when it opens and closes. Speaking of which, inside the glove new glove compartment is a special USB port for the dash cam recorder, and Tesla now includes a USB stick with each car which allows the user to record video from all the cameras on the vehicle. So for instance it you were to get into an accident, and you honk the horn, the built-in Tesla dashcam system will automatically store the past 10 minutes of video for later review.

In my opinion the new Model S is by far and away the closest humanity has ever come to perfection. I would say it is 98% of the way to perfection, and the things that keep it from being perfect could EASILY be fixed by Tesla. Tesla, if you are listening, please don't make use wait 8 years to fix these details. After all, there is something to be said for things that are unequivocal.

What can competition do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I believe all brands including Mercedes, Toyota, BMW, Ford, Volvo, GM, Hundai, Range Rover, are all dead in the water and probably don't realize it YET. I would say that this moment in history would be akin to the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. At the time the key players were Nokia, Sony-Ericson, Motorola, Palm which have all been significantly marginalized at best. These former dominant brands are mere shadows of what they used to be, and I predict Tesla will experience the iPhone sea change effect.