I am extremely selective about colors and always struggle with color choices with large and small purchases. With the Roadster, the color choices were not very difficult because there was a large variety of colors and I really liked the Glacier Blue.
The Model S on the other hand has the standard vanilla car colors that every manufacturer has for the most part. Very light colors – two whites and a pale silver, and very dark colors – dark blue, dark green and black. The medium colors are a gray and a red.
To show how dark the dark colors are I spent some time, probably too much time analyzing the colors in a black and white scale. This version is from multiple photos converting the colors to black and white as accurately as possible in the light, not the shade. I compared several different photos along with the swatches from Tesla’s website.
The process would have been faster to simply grab photos from their website, but they are all copyright protected.
A few things to note that completely match my perception. The green and blue do appear to be shades of black both in this representation and in real life. The brown, grey and red are the most mid range colors. I was actually surprised how dark the red turned out and checked it several times. I think this is a case of the eye being very sensitive to red. We probably have more color response to red in our eye even if it is dark on the greyscale. The silver appears darker in the black and white version than I perceive it on the car.
I wish all car manufacturers offered more “colors” in mid range tones.
For my car, I have decided to order it in the grey. I like the way the medium grey contrasts with the chrome and the black throughout the car. These black and white photos from the Menlo Park showroom help illustrate that in very mixed lighting situation.