Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5

by admin on 25 November 2010

Displays and controls

Instrument Cluster

At first glance the Roadsters instrument cluster looks much like that of a traditional car, two dials, a collection of indicators and a numeric display.  But look closer and you'll see the real differences.  The speedo reads both speed and RPM, as the Roadster has a single speed gearbox the speed of the motor is directly tied to speed, and as you can see at 125 mph that motor will be spinning at just over 14,000 RPM.  On the right is the power gauge, it indicates how much electricity (in kW) you are currently using (or regenerating).  As you will note the most you can regen is 40 kW, however the most you can draw from the batteries (under very hard acceleration) is 200 kW (the actual limit is around 215 kW). The numerical display below the speedo shows the battery SOC (state of charge), estimated range and total miles (odometer or trip).  The only other indicator which may be of interest is the 'Power Limit' lamp which will come on only if the car needs to limit the amount of power available in the event of overheating or very low SOC.  (Image above courtesy of Tesla, click here for a photo of a 'real life' instrument cluster - in kilometers)

In the middle of the dashboard is the new Alpine AV system which provides satellite navigation, music (USB, radio, etc.) and a reversing camera.  Mounted in the same position laterally but down at the same level as the transmission selector buttons is the vehicle information touch-screen.  As good as the Alpine AV system and vehicle information touch-screens are it would have been much nicer (especially at this price point) to have a single integrated screen which performs all functions from vehicle control to navigation and music.  The current solution while workable does feel a little 'disconnected', having two screens (especially when the smallest is the most important) does let down the otherwise clean, functional design of the Roadster's interior.

Vehicle information touch-screen menus

When parked (with the handbrake on) the vehicle information touch-screen shows a status diagram (doors open warnings, etc.), time, battery status icon and ideal range, it also has buttons to access the information menu, settings menu and valet mode.  The settings menu is also accessible in drive mode (see example screens below).

Information menu

Vehicle model
  • Model (2010 Tesla Roadster Sport)
  • Assembly date
  • Assembly location
Tires TPMS information
Fuel saved Fuel saved by driving electric
  • Kilometers / miles driven
  • Gallons of gasoline
  • Barrels of oil
  • Parameters
Service information
  • Next service (km & days)
  • Odometer
  • VIN
Energy history Net energy used
  • Today kWh
  • Month kWh
Regenerated (we saw typically 20-30%)
  • Today kWh
  • Month kWh
Charge history Table showing
  • End of session (date & time)
  • Energy used (kWh)
  • Duration (hh:mm)
  • Mode (Std / Rng / Per)
Memorial A dedication to the staff who were killed in the plane crash in Feb 2010.

Settings menu

  • Mode: Storage / Standard / Range / Performance
  • Timing: Charge on plug-in / Chart at hh:mm (per location)
  • Current: User limit charging in amps (per location)
  • Cost: Cost / kWh
Drive screens Toggle the six drive screens on or off:
  • Standard
  • Energy
  • Trip
  • Performance
  • Clock
  • Temperatures
Clock Set the clock, 24 hours or GMT
Tire monitor Monitor recommended pressures:
  • Standard: 30 / 40 psi (F / R)
  • Comfort: 25 / 36 psi (F / R)
Security PIN Set up a PIN for valet mode
Key fob Customize the third key fob button (by default trunk release)
  • Temperature: °C / °F
  • Distance: km / miles
  • Elevation: m / ft
  • Range: Ideal / Estimated
Touch screen
  • Contrast
  • Touch calibration
Tow mode Place the car in tow mode where regeneration is disabled at the car can free wheel
GSM Enable or disable the car's "phone home" feature where detailed diagnostics are regularly sent back to Tesla via GSM (excl. Japan)
New tires Recalibrate the TPMS system for new tires

Vehicle information touch-screen in parked mode (examples)

Below are a selection of the screens available in parked mode (apologies for the quality of these screen-grabs).

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Default parked display indicating basic car status, battery status and ideal range Settings screen 1 Settings screen 2
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Settings screen 3 Settings sub-menu: Charge settings Settings sub-menu: Set Units

Vehicle information touch-screen in driving mode (examples)

Below are a selection of the screens available in driving mode (apologies for the quality of these screen-grabs).  The drive screens available can be chosen in the settings menu (see menus table, above).

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Default driving display, includes SOC, ideal range and current speed, tap the battery icon to change drive mode (Standard, Max Range, Performance).  Tap 'Range' to switch between Ideal and Estimated range display. Live readout of torque, horsepower and g-force.
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Power usage history graph in Wh/km, (average on left, current on right) the x-axis scale can be toggled through three levels (in km; 10 km, 25 km or 50 km) Current temperatures display for the Motor, Power Electronics Module and Battery