Model 3 Styling?

Model 3 Styling?

So I think it's safe to say that the design for this car is still in the planning stages, but IF you could choose some design ques from what is currently on the market, what would you like to see in the model 3?

I'm pretty sure it will be a smaller car than the model s, but that worries me. Most smaller electric cars tend to look hideous. Hatchbacks look inherently uglier to my and many other eyes, but the model s solved that problem by making it look more like a sedan. I think it was easier to do this because of the size of the car though, once they shorten the cars... we might get something closer to a chevy bolt in appearance.

Even some of the more inspired looking electric concepts that went nowhere like the hyundai blue will (2009)

can turn ugly once produced in the real world and that blocky looking rear section of a hatchback comes roaring through

So what do you all think would be a nice look for a model 3? I've read somewhere that elon wants to make it stand out, but what could that possibly be without turning it into a leaf?

Red Sage ca us | 29/01/2015

What is this fascination with blue, white, black and silver to designate electric cars from traditional automobile manufacturers?

Gen3Joe | 29/01/2015

I like the rendering that someone made a year or so ago that was blue and basically looked like a shortened Model S. I think it actually looked better than the Model S.

Red Sage ca us | 29/01/2015

That shape would be best as a coupe with falcon wing doors...

Gen3Joe | 30/01/2015


Thanks! That's the one. I know it would be boring for the designers but damn it would look good.

AA_4_Tesla | 30/01/2015

Wasn't there a red version Model III that had a bit of hatchback look?

cliffmccormick | 30/01/2015

Wow! ^^ I hope the production X looks like that.

Red Sage ca us | 30/01/2015

cliffmccormick: Stop by the website. Theophilus Chin is a very talented artist. I can only hope that my own Photoshop skills will someday be as good. But look closer, and you'll realize this image is of a Volkswagen Golf or Honda Fit sized vehicle. Much smaller than a Model X, though it was certainly based on its imagery.

3seeker | 14/02/2015

Would like to see falcon wing doors similar to the GM Ultralite aka the cop car from Demolition Man.

Tstolz | 14/02/2015

Personally I'd like to see Tesla simplify the 3 just a little to keep costs down and reliability up. Maybe mechanical flush door handles and regular doors for starters. Minimize the number of parts. Style wise ... I'm betting people will be disappointed since it has to have mass appeal ... it won't be any wilder than MS ... pretty .. but not exotic would be my guess. Aerodynamics will largely dictate the shape.

Brian H | 14/02/2015

Those are not falcon wing doors; they're gull wing. Falcon wing have an "elbow" hinge allowing them to rise straight up first before spreading. Lock your elbows and swing your hands out: gull wing.
Push elbows back as far as you can, then swing hands out: falcon wing.

3seeker | 14/02/2015

@Brian H
I know. Not many examples out there, unfortunately. What I do like, however, is access to both front & rear seats using 2 doors instead of 4.

carlgo | 14/02/2015

Musk said it would have a radical feature and about the only thing other than exotic materials is falcon doors, the whole side lifting up as noted above.

The basic Bolt shape is expected as a short S would have no leg room. Later there will probably be coupes, roadsters, etc.

Richardson.J.R | 14/02/2015

Haha, I was thinking about that myself a few days ago. While the Model S is spiffy, there wasn't much to it physically that wouldn't also be on a future Model 3. Good point about the door handles, although I expect they will still be flush to the body of the car. They might nix the 3rd row entirely on the 3, and shorten the frunk a bit. Most of the 'features' on the Model S are programming, so it wouldn't make sense to cut those back...

Or perhaps they'll just improve the interior on the Model S to keep it 'nicer' than the 3, since a good chunk of the S budget is currently (Haha, get it? ...Okay, that was bad.) used up on the battery pack.

Or maybe it'll be exactly like the S, but made of plastic (Why everyone always gets angry about plastic cars, I'm not entirely sure. They're kinda nice.) with blacked-out wheels. They might actually design a flashier 'S' Model and go from there.

Haha, it'd be kinda funny to see the S model cycle back to the 3 over and over through the years. |D Kinda like buying a brand-new 5-year-old car.

grega | 14/02/2015

@carlgo said "Musk said it would have a radical feature and about the only thing other than exotic materials is falcon doors, the whole side lifting up as noted above."

Radical is not restricted to falcon doors and exotic materials. :)

But more importantly in this context - in the results call EM played down the radical Model 3 concept. He said they'd get the first car on the new base out without worrying about being more radical, so they could get it on time and work on volumes. The more radical ideas could then follow without being tied to time constraints.

cliffmccormick | 14/02/2015

Here I think is one of those rare exceptions where aesthetic SHOULD trump efficiency. (Thinking about broad appeal/adoption; this is the moment of "inception" for mass market EV's...the thing/paradigm/model that creates and defines the thought, the word.

Tesla is going to set that standard.

I think it imperative that it be; pleasing; inviting a relationship; powerful, trustworthy; true and palpably "other" (great opp. for that "other" quality via "surface interface" (touch screen); you don't toggle a switch to roll the window down, you tap the arm rest and are greeted by a pleasant blue,white light; a touchscreen.

To that end the concept/model that I've seen associated with 3 that most closely approximates what makes "sense" is probably the "blue one" from above; there was one other concept I saw somewhere that I thought could work. But I think; it should be bold; not conventional/expected in "efficiency outlines..prius/volt/i3; and you can sacrifice a touch of efficiency for aesthetic IF necessary (ideally it wouldnt be, but..we're talking about opinions on styling so..intrepidly I speculate)...

I guess I'm trying to say that I think aesthetics will matter. And I think you could convince 90% of folks to buy a car that is 92% efficient re: co-efficient of drag (due to a sexy silhouette) - and that that would be a better choice than attracting 78% of folks with a car that is a 99% efficient wedge with a duck butt.

Hear me?


Though I'm very open to being convinced; it seems the nature of this tech, creates a spookily clear slate to build on.

As Elon has mentioned he COULD build a reduced S. I don't think they should, but...

Yeah; lots to consider/learn.

Good thread.

cliffmccormick | 14/02/2015

Hold on; does the S already feature touchscreen rear passenger controls?

Tstolz | 15/02/2015

It will follow Teslas values of performance, ascetics, and function ... so it won't be lame like the i3, Bolt, or Prius. I'm imagining some definition around the wheels (haunches), a more wedge-like shape with a MS style hatchback for aerodynamics and practicality ... I kinda like the single-falcon door idea if it doesn't hurt safety, cost, and practicality ... lots of people want the ability to use a roofrack afterall. I certainly wouldn't rule falcon doors out ... Tesla is using MS and MX as a learning platform ... so the engineering and experience is in place for that.

Brian H | 15/02/2015

duxe = spam. flagged.

Red Sage ca us | 15/02/2015

Ah... Competition. Yeah.

Red Sage ca us | 15/02/2015

Oops. Let's try that again...

snuups | 15/02/2015

I need a dog compatible car. With large Dogs you always have spacial needs. Like low entrance, Station Wagon Style, cool air in the rear and so on.

carlgo2 | 15/02/2015

One nice thing about starting from scratch is that multiple designs can be done at one time. It is economical and makes for better products as well. Advantage to Tesla.

I would prefer a mid-sized crossover to a sedan, I got used to truck and SUVs and now hate having giant truck tires looming above me. And I like the space and seating and view, but of course opinions vary.

Red Sage ca us | 15/02/2015

carlgo2: I strongly believe that the initial reveal of Model ≡ should be of at least three vehicle configurations. I am certain that one will be a sedan, the other a crossover. The third would most likely be a station wagon, though I hope for a coupe.

If you look closely at the latest spy photos for the Model X, it rides rather low to the ground, instead of having the four, six, or eight inch gap between the top of the tires and the underside of the wheel well you see on SUVs. It also appears to be a vehicle that anyone that stands 5'-10" (1.8m) or more will be able to see over with ease. I think the same would be true of a Model ≡ crossover -- it wouldn't be tall enough to command the road as do more sizable SUVs. But it would be fast as a bat out of [HECK], so you wouldn't have to worry about the other cars -- you'd just leave them standing still.

THRΞΞ | 16/02/2015

Could one configuration be a 3 wheeler like the $6,800 Elio?

grega | 16/02/2015

No, they spoke about the regular version and the later radical version using the same skateboard. So either they're both 3 wheels or neither.

Red Sage ca us | 16/02/2015

Weirdmobile Mk MCMLXVII...?