Tesla Motors' first Australian showroom, in Artarmon on Sydney's north shore, is about to throw open its doors to the public. Ahead of its official opening, we got the chance to take a look inside and snap some photos.
(56K and mobile warning: heaps of images inside!)
The showroom is on the corner of Herbert and Frederick streets in Artarmon, occupying a dealership that previously housed Holden and Mitsubishi — you can still see the old dealership in the Google Maps street view photos. It's next door to the headquarters of SBS, our favourite (and only) national multicultural broadcaster.
Step up to the huge expansive glass walls and you can see just how big the entire showroom is; that's only the top level. The bottom level is Tesla's currently-under-construction service centre.
Walk into the Tesla Motors showroom and the first thing you see is the reception area and foyer:
Then, immediately to your right, is the public showroom gallery. At the time of our tour it was occupied by two and a half Model S sedans:
The star of the showroom has to be the 'skateboard', the rolling Tesla Motors Model S chassis that actually houses every single suspension and electric drivetrain component — there's just no passenger safety cell, seats, roof, dashboard, steering wheel...
Honestly, the skateboard is a thing of beauty, so I'll devote another post entirely to explaining precisely what it is and what goes where.
Moving around the showroom, you'll see the Tesla Motors design studio — that's where all potential customers can go to configure their Model S, choosing from seven paint finishes, three headliners, four seat fabrics, and four interior trim options. Four different wheel types, from 19-inch to 21-inch, are available depending on the spec.
Beyond the design studio, the red Model S and the skateboard, there's Tesla's range of merchandise on display. (I actually already have some Tesla swag from when I visited the gallery in Texas last year — the t-shirt is really comfy.)
There's a hell of a lot of space in the showroom — Tesla says it's one of the biggest that it owns worldwide — and that's all to show off the cars inside.
Turn directly to your right from where that last photo was taken and you'll see the second Model S. This one is silver, and it's hooked up to the standard wall charger that every Model S owner gets (for free!) when they purchase the car. When we arrived, this car was charging:
Around the back of the main area, there's a giant customer waiting lounge — where you might sit down with a salesperson to talk specs, to hear about the car's features or to arrange a test drive. When you're ready to actually buy, there's a specific area for that too.
The showroom is chock-full of Tesla art, too, with huge canvases of Model S press photos and engineering blueprints.
Out the front of the showroom, there's parking for plenty of cars, including dedicated spaces for Model S owners.
Tesla Motors' first Aussie showroom is beautiful — it's classy, clean, and packed to the brim with high-tech cars. It feels just as much an art gallery as it does a car dealership — or maybe some kind of amazing engineering museum where you can see the inner workings of a fascinating piece of technology.
I strongly recommend you visit when it opens to the general public. There are more showrooms on the way for Australia, too, as well as some special announcements coming later tonight, so stay tuned! [Tesla Motors]