A YouTube user snuck a video of the upcoming Tesla Roadster electric supercar, revealing details of its interior amenities, technologies, and luxuries.
Hamid Shojaee documented in the video his attempts to open the Tesla and recorded as much of the car's interior as possible. As depicted in the footage, opening the door takes a swipe of a touchpad aft of the window, one that seems to be direction-sensitive. Twice, Shojaee swipes his finger up, getting no reaction from the Tesla, but on his third swipe downward, the vehicle triggers the unlock mechanism.
Twitter users have questioned this design decision, pointing out that first responders may not know how to open the Roadster's doors in an emergency, as occurred with a fiery Model S crash in February that claimed a driver's life.
Given Autopilot's record of incapability to prevent fatal accidents on its own, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk's promises that the Roadster "will be the fastest sports car on every dimension," it'll be only a matter of time before emergency services have to respond to and extricate passengers from a wrecked Roadster.
Additional criticism has been aimed at the $200,000 Tesla Roadster's interior, which comes across as plain in comparison to many cars in its price range. Its minimalistic dashboard is constructed from what appears to be a single plane of matte composite material, likely carbon fiber, and like other Tesla products, many of its functions have been aggregated into the large, high-resolution central infotainment system.
Its steering wheel is an oblong, racing-style wheel, with ergonomics atypical for the type. This could hint at variable steering ratios or a lightning-quick fixed ratio, like those seen on racing karts. It also features plus and minus symbols alongside one another on its right side, and up and down arrows to its left, both likely used for a combination of infotainment system and Autopilot control.
In limited footage of the rear seats, no apparent headrests are visible, though this does not preclude the Tesla Roadster from having them; automakers sometimes remove easily stolen components from vehicles before putting them on display. Lighting in the video isn't good enough to determine how much leg room there will be, though it appears to be at best adequate, as is often problematic in two-plus-two coupes.
Tesla doesn't plan to launch its second-generation Roadster until 2020, meaning the interior as seen is at best pre-production, and is liable to change before the car's planned launch. That's if Tesla even survives the year, as The Drive's Mike Guy predicts bankruptcy to be in Tesla's tea leaves for 2019.