About the front end...from the horses mouth

About the front end...from the horses mouth

There's been a lot of discussion about the not-so-good looking front end in the alpha video. I swung by the Tesla dealership today to check out the Model S prototype and was able to get out a few details from the rep regarding that. Here's what I was told:

- No, the production car will not have that big ugly plastic thing on the front.
- The grill will be wider on the production model (vs. the original prototype) to give increased cooling.
- A lot of the modifications to the front end were made for increased aerodynamic performance.
- The "T" will be moved from the grill to the hood.

Some other things I'd been wondering about:

- The "Signature" series, with all the included options, will run between $75k - $80k
- There are currently approximately 500 "Signature" models already reserved.
- The 300 mile and 230 mile options will eat up some of both the front and rear cargo room. I asked if the 300 mile option would still be able to accommodate the rear facing jumper seats the rep wasn't sure but said he believed so.
- The doors handles use proximity sensors, so you don't have to touch the handle for it to extend out.
- Regarding options, I wasn't able to get specifics, just that all options normally available for cars in this class will be available for the Model S.
- The "beta" should be available for viewing in the Fall

Leofingal | March 12, 2011

Interesting if true. That implies additional battery packs for the extended range options, though this goes against the common speculation.

Douglas3 | March 12, 2011

No that makes sense. Tesla said that the 230 and 300 mile packs would have more cells than the 160 pack, so they will need more volume.

Tim10 | March 13, 2011

Interesting comments thanks for sharing and looking forward to the beta!

Also I believe (hope) the comment about the larger packs taking up front and rear cargo room is a missunderstanding on the part of the sales rep. Based on assumptions and cell counts it seems like ~8000 cells (assumed and stated by Tesla) that make up the 230 and 300 mile pack should fit under the car in the battery we have been shown.

Klaus | March 13, 2011

Exactly Timo, additional battery packs under the hood and in the trunk goes against everything the Tesla engineers have been working on, i.e. a single, easily removeable battery pack. The 160 mile pack just has some dead space whereas the other two completely fill the pack.

Timo | March 13, 2011

I'm not Tim10. That's different person that has a nick that looks like my name. I'm guessing that his name is Tim and that 10 is just something he added to that nick.

Peak Oil bruin | March 13, 2011

Your 500 Signature reservation number is overstated according to other discussion data provided on this site:

S 119/208 (February 28, 2011)*

S 0 (March 10, 2011)**

S 55 (January 18, 2011)***

S = Signature Series (Model S)

Douglas3 | March 13, 2011

I know of at least 4 Canadians who switched to Signature, but none have their reservation numbers yet.

Straight Shooter | March 15, 2011

I'm one of them Canadians that upgraded too. I was told I'd have my Signature number by 12noon EST on Wed Mar 16th.

Douglas3 | March 15, 2011

That's a very specific time! I was told I'd have my number "within 72 hours". Assuming that didn't include the weekend, I should have got mine approximately 22 minutes ago. ;-)

I'll be watching at 12 noon EST tomorrow...

ColinBowern | March 17, 2011

I stepped up to the Signature model and it stuck with the same number with an S in front of it - S #123

zestychicken | March 17, 2011

I sure hope they don't move the T to the hood. The top part of the grill is very unique and cool. It's evocative - like being at the tip of the spear, or at the vanguard:

The flat look (especially with the rubber grill guard) is just very ordinary.

Not that it would change my buying decision...

ColinBowern | March 17, 2011

Other things I learned from Dan at Tesla about the Signature series is that he expected:

- The Signature edition to land somewhere between 80-90k
- It would be well equipment with all of the features everyone can agree on, not some of the more "polarizing" features like a sun roof or sport packages
- For options you can look at the BMW 5 Series to get a sense of what to expect

I'm pretty pumped about it but I'm still not 100% sure I'll end up sticking with the Signature or go for the 230 mile with the options I want. Lots of time though as Dan mentioned that options for production will be chosen summer of 2012.

Brian H | March 17, 2011

Re: the thread title: if you take news about the front end from the horse's mouth, from where will you get your news about the back end?


VolkerP | March 18, 2011

they will come from some kind of... errrm... fruit... that is usually processed by sparrows.

msiano17 | March 20, 2011


I do believe I read in Tesla's most recent newsletter that the T logo would indeed be place on the hood

The black nose will not be a part of the final production car but the T will still be on the hood

Tom A | March 21, 2011

Yeah, I don't buy the battery stuff, either. It's all underneath the floor between the front and rear axles. Anything else runs backwards to Tesla's design goals and related statements.

trevorlsciact | May 4, 2011

That battery comment makes little sense, especially since Tesla have said that the battery can be swapped for a larger size.

Michael S | May 6, 2011

I am signature series res holder #99. I have had my reservsation for a year. I too am REALLY unhappy with the "face" of the Alpha version. I already own a roadster and if they end up 1.) screwing up the front ends looks or 2.) try to charge me more than the $70,000 (after rebate) they told me it would cost, then i might just stick with my Roadster.

As far as batteries, all signature series models will have the full 300 mile battery pack (or so I was told).

Brian H | May 7, 2011

Here's your chance! The Active Topics link, upper right, currently offers a webdialog with von Holzhausen:

MidEngine4Life | May 14, 2011

Glad to hear that big plastic grille cover wont be there. It was one of my biggest complaints about the alpha.

cytek | May 15, 2011

I also think the back end design with tail light looks too much like a Hyundai Genesis Coupe. you can compare the images on Google tonotice similarities. I hope Tesla redesign the back end as well with luxury Euro style clear lens to distinguish itself from mainstream designs like Hyundai. Just a thought and my 2 cents.