First potential Gen III sighting?

First potential Gen III sighting?

I was watching the careers video above, and I noticed that they were mocking up a full sized car at the 1:24 mark. First I thought it was a Model S, but at second glance, there are some very distinctive things about the car that made me reconsider, once of which is the much shorter nose of the car as compared to the Model S.

Maybe this was posted before, but just wanted to bring it to other people's attention. There are very clear influences from the Model S, but if this the general shape of the Gen III, sign me up!

Benz | June 30, 2013

Could very well be the case (if the footage is not too old).

It certainly is not a Tesla Model S, instead it looks like another family member of the Tesla Model S. You just might be right, my friend.

farzyness | June 30, 2013

I took a screenshot for convenience.

Tesluthian | June 30, 2013

Looks possibly like a 2 door coup versus a 4 door sedan.

PorfirioR | July 1, 2013

Cross-posting from the teslamotorsclub forum:

This sighting was reported over a year ago. Hopefully, this means that we are ever so closer to seeing it in the wild.

Benz | July 1, 2013

I think that we will see it in 2014 as a prototype model.

farzyness | July 1, 2013

Good observation PorfirioR. The model jives with Elon's descriptions of the Gen III car (smaller by about 20%). This can be easily seen by comparing a picture of the Model S with people standing by it. You can clearly see the clay car pictured earlier is smaller by about that amount.

risingsun | July 1, 2013

Is the current model S, a generation II? How often do they update the model S? Every year?

Benz | July 1, 2013

Tesla Roadster (2008-2012) was generation 1
Tesla Model S (2012-????) is generation 2 (and will always be generation 2)
Tesla generation 3 will start selling in 2016 or 2017.
Tesla generation 4 in 2020? This is my personal guess.

Lego | July 2, 2013

Sign me up!

GeekEV | July 2, 2013

Nice find!

peregrine | July 25, 2013

That, my friends, appears to be a clay prototype of the Model X, not a Gen III. Take a look at and compare the shapes of the windows and trim. It appears relatively identical aside from a few minor changes in the production model. Also notice that the engineer behind the vehicle is only visible from the top of his shoulders up, which is about consistent with the height of a Model X (assuming the three engineers pictured aren't exceptionally short). See for comparison, with Elon Musk standing in front of a Model X (for reference, Musk is 5'11"). Most average-height men would have their chest clearly visible over a Model S, or really over most any sedan (you can do a google image search), and presumably over a similar height Gen III. Sorry to disappoint!

farzyness | July 26, 2013

Good observations, but three reasons in my opinion why that's not a Model X prototype:

-The front grill is much shorter from tip to tire on the clay prototype vs. the Model X. This is a very drastic design change, and is unlike the Model S platform. The S and the X are on the same platform, and the next car, as stated many times before, will have its own platform. The shorter nose I think will be a key feature of the next platform.
-There's a little bit of "spoiler room" in the back of the clay model vs. the Model X, where it's completely rounded off.
-The length between the wheels is much shorter on the clay model.

mdemetri | July 26, 2013

If you use the 21 inch wheels as a measuring stick present on both the original Model X reveal (not the version currently on the Tesla website) and the clay model, both are ~6 wheel length's long. However, Model X is ~2 wheel lengths high while the clay model is only ~1.5 wheel lengths high. So it remains unclear to me what the clay model is. My best guess is that it is an early model x.

carlgo | July 26, 2013

If the floor section is shorter, then would the S/X battery tray fit? If not, what does this mean for swapping? Of course it is possible that the robot swapper could adapt to various batteries, but then there is also the issue of how they are stored for recharge and also how the correct new one is selected for installation.

Or maybe there is the mystical five-minute charge which renders swapping unnecessary.

filsmyth | July 26, 2013

Here I have scaled and rotated a 50% transparency of the "00" Model X image (from the click & drag feature) over the screenshot of the clay model, to line the hubs up, and enhanced.

Then I did the same with a crop from an image found in Model S specifications:

Of course the view of the clay model is elevated a bit from straight-on sideview, and there's no way I got the scaling perfect, but right away one can tell it's not a Model X clay. Looks to me like either a very early S clay or, yes, possibly a GenIII mockup.

IF SO, it appears they're working with that same 116.5" wheelbase, meaning it could use the same-sized battery packs as the S and X (if not the same output), which would simplify production and battery swapping.

However it's hard to tell anything from a clay model from who-knows-when, so again it COULD just be an early version of the Model S.

Time will tell?

msiano17 | July 27, 2013

@ Benz

Roadster was pre-generation, the battery generation only

Model S is Generation I (first full blooded Tesla designed from the ground up)

Model X is Generation II (Crossover SUV not fully mass market yet)

Model ? is Generation III (mass market, compact sedan/coupe)

Elec4all | July 27, 2013

That video is close to 2 years old. That is an early model s clay model

carlgo | July 27, 2013

Someday we may get a look at some of the early designs. It is always interesting to see how a design evolves. Sure can't fault the S! Saw a red one today, very much a standout design indeed. It looks even better in the wild amongst other cars than it does in a showroom. Maybe showroom stagers should surround the display models with Pacers, Aztecs, etc. Guess they sell all they can make anyway.

Toby O | August 1, 2013

If the video is 2 years old, I find it hard to believe it's a clay model of the model S since they already had prototypes at show at that time, and it doesn't look like the X. However, doesn't it look a bit like the transparent car at the battery swap page (here at Tesla's homepage)? Maybe they are leaving hints for us on the GenIII design. Or maybe it's only my imagination :)

LionPowered | August 1, 2013

They could have all kinds of old mockups sitting around with some that won't ever become products and some for actual products and some just to mess with our heads :-)

filsmyth | August 1, 2013

After looking again at images of early S prototypes, I'm convinced the clay model in the video was for the Model S. One giveaway is the wheels, which look identical to the ones on the Model S Alpha.

GOOD. The Gen3 should not look so similar to existing models that there would be any question.

dpazdan | August 1, 2013

I'm fairly certain whatever the design is, Tesla will be using the same battery packs, or at least the same dimensions for them. If you look under a Model S the pack is about 20% smaller than the car. Elon has stated numerous times the gen 3 sedan and suv will be 20% smaller than the model s. Smart move on their part, and mostly to keep production costs low (less SKUs), and for battery swap.

ian | August 1, 2013

@dpazdan - Sorry, but you're wrong on the size of the S's battery. It's as large as they could make it and still fit it under the S. Have you not seen how it takes up all the space between the wheels?

As you state the Gen III will be 20% smaller, but it will be an entirely new platform. Why do you think it's going to take them 3 or 4 years to develop it? If it was on the S platform they could have it out in 2 max.


Brian H | August 1, 2013

Yeah, has to be a shorter pack, maybe better cells. What I'm really dying to see is the GenIII-X !!

wesley2311 | August 4, 2013

When Musk says the Gen 3 will be 20% smaller than the Model S, are we talking 20% smaller in general, or specifically 20% in length? If it's the latter, this would unfortunately make the Gen 3 a little too small, coming in at the whopping length of 156 inches. This would make it about the length of Mazda Miata, which would be...absurd looking.

Love the Model S style, but just hope the Gen 3 isn't compromised too much with that much of a length reduction.

If it's 20% smaller in general (including width), think I would feel a little bit better about style of vehicle.

Brian H | August 4, 2013

Yes, I think total "volume". If he'd meant length, he would have said so.

ian | August 5, 2013

It's probably a rough estimate too. I figure, as it has been said many times, that it will be similar to a BMW 3 series. Although, those have certainly grown quite a bit in the last few iterations!


JaneW | August 6, 2013

Model ? is Generation III

Model E, isn't it?

Oh, no, then it would have to be between the Model S and the Model X.


gmd530 | August 6, 2013

Personaly i think it should be called the Tesla Model C

C- Compact

If Tesla was smart(and they are) they would bring out a new model for gen 2 at the beginning of next year to go in to production in 2015, a coupe or convertible

or that could be gen 3, They NEED a car that can tow... when they get it ill buy the fully loaded one
this is what models i would have in gen 3:
1. Small Sedan
2. Coupe
3. Convertible
4. Pick Up Truck (Covered bed...) with a larger battery
5. SUV

Gen 4 Possibly:
Motor Cycle???

Scott Snyder | August 6, 2013

If I am interpreting what I have heard correctly, the Gen III will be built on an all new platform. Since each platform is defined by it's wheelbase and thus the maximum battery size, I believe the Gen III will have a new battery size. Mechanically that is.

It could be that the large battery pack (300 mile range) for the Gen III is the same capacity as the 60 kWh Model S pack but using Panasonic's newer higher density batteries. The 200 mile range version would then be approx. 42 kWh.

By the way, both the Model S and the Model X have the side windows ending significantly behind the centerline of the rear wheels. They clay model is even with the rear wheel centerline.

myztiX | November 11, 2013

I want them to have the feature as the hatchback for Model X.
I want a > 250 range (minimum).
I want it to go from 0 to 60 in 6 seconds.
I want it less than 40K for base model.

Too much to ask for?