300 prototypes: Where are they? And What are they doing?

300 prototypes: Where are they? And What are they doing?

Rumor has it there are 300 prototypes.
Are they being tested for general funtionality, or additionally for match to active demographic use model?

The goal is a great car for an active demographic. If steady demand is desired after the inrush of new buyer interest, this prototype effort becomes sort of a credible product placement activity.

roadkill | 2016年10月7日

I'd love to see them make the rounds at the car shows or make a stop over at their stores.

Calibrotha2000 | 2016年10月7日

They said hey have ordered parts for up to 300 prototypes I'm assuming they haven't been built yet. I've noticed there haven't been an sightings since pencils went down so that's probably due to not wanting to show the new trunk or updated grills. I'm sure they are being tested on some closed track in Area 51

Ross1 | 2016年10月8日

On Mars. Testing in extreme conditions. Instead of Australia.

Efontana | 2016年10月8日

Tesla has hired some from Holden. I'll take Australia as as good an answer as any.

zakeeus | 2016年10月8日

Any testing prototypes they build that will not be used in the unveil part 2 will likely be disguised as a Model S

jordanrichard | 2016年10月8日

Tesla, nor any other car company needs to "test" cosmetic items like grills, trunk lids, nose treatments, etc. On the road testing is for the mechanical bits like tire choices, suspensions, and software stuff like AP. I mean they aren't going to road test a black car then a red one because the red one might ride/handle different.......

Ross1 | 2016年10月9日

When the Minis arrived in AUS in 59/60, they were quite unsuitable for our conditions and from memory, over 1000 changes had to be made for the AUS market.
Things like dust seals.
Subaru dont call their market leader The Outback for nothing.
Our conditions can be harsh.

Red Sage ca us | 2016年10月9日

One wonders how someone would truly expect a new car that has been planned for over ten years to not be fully tested prior to its final release.

brando | 2016年10月9日

OK, sure I'm confused. Here is what I thought was going on. By July 1, 2017 final approved parts were to be done and delivered the first 300 pieces. Then Fremont starts fine tuning production machines to produce in Q4. Which is why they need the first 300 approved parts.

Seems we have heard of 4 testing areas. Norway, Sweden, Death Valley (Nevada) and now Australia. You can figure out which does cold weather and which does hot weather.

Probably working on Engineering Prototypes now that design was done this past summer and next year start Validation Prototypes which validate for laws and regulation requirements.

I hope they use autonomous cars for endurance testing as it beats the hell out of regular people drivers going over all those bumbs and wash boards. Being a closed track and all, that should work and more data.

reminder: this is speculation on my part
Would all love some comments from those with actual experience, but I guess not as who really wants to feed the rumor mill and put even more pressure on Tesla.

good night and good luck

tommyalexandersb | 2016年10月9日

They need to do a lot of crash tests for obvious reasons. Idk if they need to do 300, but I bet a lot are for that.

ColoDriver | 2016年10月10日


Like most makers Tesla also does high-altitude testing in Colorado. The lower air pressure at altitude significantly reduces cooling so brakes, radiators and air conditioning are all affected. Obviously a BEV like Tesla doesn't have to worry about combustion so they aren't as common as ICE vehicles here, but I've seen a few with manufacturer plates repeatedly going up and over Loveland Pass.

avutas | 2016年10月10日

Ordering 300 parts does not mean they will produce 300 prototypes. Most of the parts can be tested individually or as a small system.

dsvick | 2016年10月10日

"Rumor has it there are 300 prototypes."

Is this a new rumor or are you referring to the report a month of so ago that said they had ordered enough parts to build 300 prototypes?

First, they probably don't have all of the parts that they ordered yet. Some of them are probably new parts that the suppliers have to make.
Second, it is unlikely that they'll actually build 300 prototypes out of all of the parts. There is no need to have that many of them. They'll use the parts for testing, for integratign with other parts, some will get sent to other parts manufacturers, others will be used to get the production line up and running, some will get played with, beaten, crushed, burned, spat on, and otherwise generally tortured for testing purposes.

Ross1 | 2016年10月10日

Some parts need to come off a tested and proven mass production line, and someone has to pay for them: Tesla.

brando | 2016年10月14日

crash testing insights - fewer cars than you might think
One crash with many, many sensors and the computers run models, changes are made and then a few cars off to the crash testing agencies.

Tesla Founding Story
https://youtu DOT be/r46x_ti__vs | 2016年10月14日

Maybe they are waiting for rivets.

jsanford | 2016年10月14日

I'm a professional QA engineer. They should leave me a prototype for a couple of months. I'd turn in a helluva report at the end.

Red Sage ca us | 2016年10月14日

grantandjessica0813: Sure. Leave the report here first. What NDA?

bgbythsea | 2016年11月3日

The test prototypes--and you can bet there won't be 300 of them, will be (or are) disguised. I think "mass market" means that the appeal will cross a wide swath of demographic types, hence it is unlikely they will be testing to fine tune that. Besides a few 3's in costume out there, the rest of the parts are probably being introduced to the robots which are also being fine tuned for a smooth gear-up. Reveal 2 is what will generate the next level of interest. That's not to say that there won't be leaks of "spottings in the wild" at some point.

KP in NPT | 2016年11月4日

I believe I read somewhere they will be disguised as Model Ss. Since they're everywhere around Fremont they'll blend right in LOL

Frank99 | 2016年11月4日

By ordering 300 sets of parts, they'll likely be building one of the sets of production jigs, molds, dies, etc that they'll need for production. The sheet metal will come off a production stamper. They'll put together bits and pieces to verify fit and finish - a front suspension here, a drivetrain there, two or three passenger compartments over there for supplies to come in and bolt their pieces to, etc. They'll put together some complete cars for various purposes - crash and safety testing, noise/vibration/harshness, road testing, etc. They'll send a number of sets of parts to the first production line to use for verification of installation and programming of the robots and handling machinery.

I don't think they'll be disguised as Model S's, other than maybe putting "Model S 60" on the back rather than "Model 3". You just can't change the size and get any useful data from the car. I'm guessing there are already dozens of Model S chassis with Model 3 batteries, drivetrain, and cooling systems bolted in place doing stress testing in hot or cold or other extreme environments to verify performance and reliability goals - those are easy for Tesla because they make all those bits in-house.

28delayslater | 2016年11月5日

I'm not sure where they are but on an unrelated note there is a giant shrub that commutes each day on the highway.