December 2018 Daily Driver updates

…not related to the GT40, but still automotive!             

1)      Downsized the Minivan to a Tesla Model 3.  Elon promised that if you ordered a Model 3 by the end of November, you’d get delivery in December…just in time to get the whole $7,500 federal tax break; and he delivered on Dec 26th!  We got a mid-range (smallest available at this time) battery, which brought the final price to ~$40K after tax incentives; while still a pricey buy, it’s equivalent to a BMW 3 series…and the Tesla comes standard with leather, glass roof, navigation, and a host of safety functions.   It’s my wife’s car…but I find myself driving it far more than I expected. Here’s a few thoughts that I didn’t read about before buying:

a.       Quick Errands: I’ve found that for a quick errand, it’s really nice to jump in a car that doesn’t need to be warmed up.  No waiting for the engine to heat up, heater works instantly,…

b.      99% of User functionality is through the 1 main screen: while this is frustrating as it can take several taps to get to some basic items (ie. changing the side mirrors), it’s also really neat as any change is an easy SW update.  It’s a whole new paradigm as SW updates seem pretty regular…in the 1 month we’ve had it, we’ve already had 2 updates. 

c.       Tesla Vertical Integration: Tesla not only designs/manufactures many of the sub-components, they also tightly control the aftermarket; they are the sole source…while we haven’t had a need for any parts, I’ve read many people having long wait time for replacement body panels after a fender-bender. 

d.      Auto-Pilot: the main screen shows the car & what the car sensors see…it’ll show the lane lines, other cars,…and importantly it also shows when it doesn’t see anything.  This has really helped to understand how good AutoPilot is, and also the shortcomings.

The kids were sad to see this go…we had just hit 100,000 miles with no issues…but I’m glad it’s gone, as it barely fit on the 4-post lift (tire changes had to be done under the lift).
The new rides…including our girls power wheels (modified from a standard 12V battery to my 18V power tools batteries!)

2) I traded my ND Miata for my Dad’s F80 M3…I joined my dad when he did a European delivery 3 years ago and when he started talking about selling it, there wasn’t a chance I’d let anyone else buy it!  The timing was also right…as when we traded the minivan for an EV, we wanted an IC car that could carry the whole family, which the M3 is perfect for!

My trusty ND Miata…great car (once you do some suspension work), but always tight on space.
We drove the M3 back from California…it’s a perfect family car that can do everything.
New shoes for the M3…Seattle’s winters don’t always have snow, but we always hit sub-freezing, so I almost always run a dedicated snow set-up.