Exterior Details

Exterior Details

Elon, Franz and Tesla Designers,

The original prototype of the Model S is beautiful, lean and muscular. The clean lines and sculptural form should dominate the Tesla brand. A few details have been changed in the Betas that need to be reconsidered:
1. A chrome strip running under the doors is superfluous, distracting attention from the sculptural quality above it.
2. The door handles are beautifully designed in their own right, but do they need to be chromed or exposed stainless steel on the outside? On your Gallery page, the 1st, 2nd, and 4th pictures of the black Alpha appear to have matching body color door handles. This allows the lines and sculptural form of the car to dominate. It's true that the chrome around the side windows, the chrome door handles, and the chrome strip under the doors are well balanced in relation to each other, but as a whole they detract from the exquisite form of the Model S. (Look at Lotus or Ferrari. They allow their sensual, sculptural designs to dominate. They have no need of embellishment or gloss. Neither should Tesla.)
3.The original, completely red tail light housing is very well shaped and in simple, clean harmony with the lines of the car, as illustrated in the 5th photograph of the silver Alpha in the Gallery. The latest tail light housings on the Betas are broken into too many sections. The negative space created between the edge of the red tail light and the red door flap that exposes the charge port when open, becomes a visually, shiny distracting shape of no importance. The brake lights and tail lights should be hidden under the harmonious completely red tail light housing, and become exposed or dominant when required.
4. The front grill as represented in the 7th photograph of the Thunder Gray Alpha in the Gallery, has open areas for the air flow to the radiator and condensers above the bumper strip that takes up about 1/3 of the total grill space. This looks superior to the Beta version that has too much black plastic filling the majority of the grill, with only a small section for air flow at the bottom. I assume the new version is to improve aerodynamics and air flow to the condensers, but visually it is less attractive.
Regardless of your final decisions, I am looking forward to my purchase and driving experience of the Model S.
Thanks for your excellent work, and keep it up.

Mycroft | October 20, 2011

1. The chrome strip below the doors doesn't bother me too much. I can take it or leave it.

2. I would like the door handles to be the same color as the exterior paint. Or at least satin chrome.

3. I'm not crazy about the white tail lights either.

4. I agree the nose isn't the best. It would look much better with a couple horizontal strips of chrome in the top section. Still, it's a LOT better than the crummy dog's nose on one of the alphas.

JimmyN | October 20, 2011

I second pretty much all the comments made, but in particular number 4. I love logging in and seeing the white Alpha model and the first thing that catches my eye is the front bumper. The lines are elegant and clean. I am curious as to why it was changed to the new design found in the 1st photo in the gallery. My first thoughts were also of improved air flow to the condensers. Another thought was maybe more downforce on the front or even airflow to cool the brakes.

If there are marginal benefits to the new bumper design – I would love to see it remain as the same Alpha model I see every time I’ve logged on.

I too can't wait for the production models to start rolling out.

ncn | October 20, 2011

Comments #1 through 3 are valid (though I'm not sure all of those chrome strips are really chrome strips... some of them may be something more structural).

Comment #4 is not valid. I think that the new solid black front section provides a good place to put the *FRONT LICENSE PLATE*, which has no reasonable location (reasonable = does not block air flow, does not involve drilling into aluminum, does not horribly mess up the aerodynamics) in the Alpha.

Though I really hope that there is an alternate version of that black plastic nose with a proper built-in license plate mounting.

gjunky | October 21, 2011

I have mentioned it before but I am not a big fan of the current plastic cone front end either. It is an improvement over the Alpha but still a step back from the pre-alpha.

What I would like to see is something more like the grill of the 2012 Ford Focus EV
I think this has a much cleaner front end without the plastic cone.