Saw a sweet red car on the exit from 280S into Los Gatos. The symbol on the trunk seemed like the Tesla "T". The red color almost hid the tail lights making the car look quite exotic. It wasn't right in front of me so I could be mistaken. Anyone other sightings?

Timo | 2 May 2012

I have tons of sightings, all false alarms. Heart wants the car, head says "not yet, wait for GenIII".

Volker.Berlin | 3 May 2012

This is one of the very few confirmed "sightings in the wild" I have heard of, and that was more than 8 months ago:

The video was there and the Model S test vehicle was for real, but unfortunately the video has meanwhile been pulled. I wonder why.

Another one was confirmed by a very blurry video or photo, just visible enough to clearly identify a Model S in regular traffic on some Californian highway. I can't dig it up right now, but I have not heard of any other sightings since.

If the car you saw was red, IMO it's unlikely that it actually was a Model S. All videos and images showing test vehicles -- the ones mentioned above as well as the official ones on Tesla's blog -- show black cars. I assume they continue to use black test cars because that color is relatively unobtrusive and also hides the actual lines of the car better than a lighter color. They want their test cars to stay "under the radar".

Schlermie | 3 May 2012

There's a black one frequently seen around the Palo Alto area. It doesn't have any badges though.

BruceR | 3 May 2012

Lots of "spy" photos can be found on-line of the various black test vehicles TESLA is working on. Not very useful info IMO. Now if it was an RC version, that would be news!

Volker.Berlin | 3 May 2012

But why is it painted silver while the photos linked by BruceR show a black car? I think they must be two different vehicles, why would someone care to repaint a test mule?

chrissam42 | 4 May 2012

This one from San Francisco last week is pretty sweet.

MandL | 4 May 2012

I wonder if that rig on the back bumper is associated with the machines that do crash testing?

BYT | 4 May 2012

@Volker.Berlin, Good Catch, I didn't notice the back door which does appear indeed to be black while the front panel appeared very grey when I first looked at it.

I don't know anything about that black Beta but I know the one I photographed have over 20k miles on it and was used for a lot of road tests and battery longevity tests.

BruceR | 4 May 2012

@chrissam42 - Same plates as the site I posted from! Same car? Not sure because I believe I see differences. Link to the rear shot from the motorauthority site:
There are about 10 shots of this black car interspersed with stock and Beta unvieling photos on that site. One gets the impression that this car was caught pulled over to the side of the road while they worked on something.

Captain_Zap | 17 November 2012

Model S sightings are not as big of a deal now as it used to be.
But, the exciting thing is that we've seen three different ones in the wild in the last three days here in the NW.

I think they may end up being more common than the Ford Taurus someday soon. At least we can hope so!

(this old thread found courtesy of