Rich interior
Rich interior

Our first glimpse of the car was the top-of-the-line Model Signature Series, shown here. The interior is trimmed in rich-looking wood and brushed metal. There are no gauges or knobs here. Both the instrument panel and the so-called "center stack" -- the place where you normally find climate and entertainment controls -- have been replaced by computer screens.

The center screen is, almost literally, a built-in iPad. With it, the driver can, of course, control the car's stereo and air conditioning. (In homage to the movie "Spinal Tap," the stereo volume can be turned up to 11.) But the driver can also check email and surf the Web. And, yes, the driver can do that while driving.

Sophisticated voice controls should keep the driver from needing to look down at the screen, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, but there's nothing preventing it either.

"We believe in leaving it to people's discretion as to what they want to do when," he said.

However, there are some legal restrictions on placing video screens within view of the driver. That means some functions -- like the ability to watch "Annoying Orange" while on the freeway -- may need to be blocked, whether Musk likes it or not.

Last updated November 02 2011: 5:37 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Find Your Next Car

Get the latest car news:

Most Popular

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.