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Alpha Car in motion

I'm assuming people have seen the new video on Vimeo featuring one of the alpha cars out driving on a road course. http://vimeo.com/18614767

First impression: Gorgeous!

Second impression: I liked the prototype's front fascia better. The more aggressive lines of the alpha's lower front spoiler are not as attractive to me, and I also miss the Tesla logo in the front grille area.

I'm sure all of this is subject to revision, so this is just a little feedback from a reservation holder!

I had the same impression of the front. Looks less sexy and sleek and more like a gaping mouth now. Also, looks much more like any other luxury sedan front end rather than something more unique to Tesla.

I had not seen the video, now its on my Favorite links. Thanks for sharing. It IS Gorgeous with either grill and I'll take mine NOW please... Talk about your delayed gratification.

I agree that this grill treatment is a step in the WRONG direction. If you compare the pictures of the prototype available in the gallery to the footage of the alpha in motion, from the front it looks like two different cars.

Here' to HOPING that the design team comes to their senses and goes back to the original version.
For a car that's so exceptional in every way, I did not expect this step backwards in design.

Can someone from "inside" please comment on what happened?

Thanks.

The whole look seems to have shifted from fluid and organic to squared off and lined. The side mirrors are boxier. The rear is much more squared with hard lines. The door panels have these stylistic creases in it, where the old version was more curved and flowing.

It looks like a overall design shift in the look. Unfortunately for me, I much preferred the previous style. I'm hoping the final style shifts back away from the hard lines.

The car looks amazing! And seems to drive as well as an M5. Well done! The sounds of the video are the best part. Just the friction of air on aluminum and rubber on asphalt. Top Gear, eat your heart out!

The fit and finish of the body panels also looks good, no wierd shimmer in the latest video as it carves through corners. You can really see how the low center of gravity keeps the car glued to the road near the end of the video as it carves a hard right turn and then an off camber left.

The head lights look like eagle eyes and actually look better than anything Audi has shown or shipped. The front quarter panel where it meets the front door looks a bit odd at the bottom. Same gripe with the Volt. The continuity doesn't seem to work.

The texture lines on the door panels is nice, but also don't seem to fit with the rear quarter panels. Maybe there is still work to do there. The cut of the rear door is awesome! It's a straight line!!! And the higher texture line up to the rear windows is also super cool!

The rear lights are nice, but where is the third brake light? Love the look of the boot, Mazerati, Bentley, Ferrari, but much better as the chrome hatch lip integrates into the lights.

Would love to see a shot from the top of the car. In the pictures provided it still looks like it's totally glass.

As for the front, it feels like a work in progress with the main grill being "hidden" for this video. I'll hold my comments as I'm sure this will be revealed later. The air dams with horizontal accents look sleek and refined.

All in all, very impressive, well done!

Overall a beautiful vehicle but I must agree, the grille looked much better on the prototype. I hope Tesla decides to return to something similar to the original grille.

Cheers

@Discoducky The third brake light is in the rear window at the very top next to the roof. It is visible in the last seconds of the video.

"As for the front, it feels like a work in progress with the main grill being 'hidden' for this video. I'll hold my comments as I'm sure this will be revealed later." -- agreed, sounds very plausible.

I don't really believe they will have a final design where the front doesn't have the logo somewhere. Also the black grill has still pretty much the same form as before so I think this is just a test or something.

The rest of the front still looks cool with me thought I probably liked it a bit better with the 'fog lights' as it was in the prototype.

The rear mirrors don't look as sexy as before but for security reasons bigger is better. But why not the design of the old ones just bigger? the Chrome strip made look them quiet cool.

The thing I didn't like most is that the side vent hole has changed and doesn't look as cool as before (if it's still a vent...)

Look closely that black front nose cone. First picture in video, put on HD, expand and freeze frame. It isn't grill or opening, it is black bubble with small opening at the bottom of it. Aerodynamically it makes sense, because EV doesn't need big-ass grill in the front, but aesthetically that black bubble is a bad thing.

I was thinking that if you leave that part in silver and lose the border and combine those two horizontal openings under the nose to one bigger one it could still look pretty nice, but I'm not entirely sure about that.

Oh, god, I made a quick paintjob with a screenshot and that looks *A LOT BETTER* without that black nose cone. Even better than I expected. Somehow that stop it looking like a car and it started to look like fighter jet.

I'm not artist, and my paintjob sucks, but in order to share my "artwork" and show what I'm seeing, here it is in my webpage (which is under construction until universe ends): http://www.mv.helsinki.fi/home/tipietil/Clipboard01.png

@Timo you're right without your paintjob it look WAAAYYYYY better.

Either you are being sarcastic or you got that backwards. Which is it?

The more I compare the mockup and the alpha, I like the alpha more. Front is more aggressive, mirrors look like they would be actually useful (big enough), and somehow it doesn't look quite as "bloated" in front than those mockups. Only beauty-error is that black nose cone. Want one, but unfortunately it probably will cost quite a bit too much in my country.

You guys commenting on the new front looking worse, made me join the community to say you're all wrong. :) The new design looks way more masculine and detailed finish (more like a finished product). This is definitely an improvement and going to be one of the most beautiful cars ever produced!

@Time sorry I really liked youre version better than the black 'hole' in the front. But if they replace it again with the Logo grill, I think it will look quiet good. The lower part of the front looks more agressive and I really don't mind it much. It's just the black hole that looks really out of place somehow.

I have to say I do not like the new nose. Around here we are calling it the "dog nose." I very much hope Discoducky is right and this is just some cover or temporary piece while the real nose is being finalized.

The rest of the car, and the video, is gorgeous and only boosts the desire to see mine delivered. My "I want a ride/drive" list continues to grow.

Can't wait to see one in person.

I think the black section is unfinished, and the black "cover" is just temporary.

@timo: I can see the seem, but I think you are right, that DOES look more appealing. By the same token, doing that makes the car look a little more pedestrian. It reminds me of all the gassers I see on the road, rather than a new, unique, EV.

Hi @timo grate picture
can you try make one where you move the middle splitter up so the lower part of the grill is larger and only one hole, so the upper line in the middle is the same as in the sides

I have been wondering for the last few hours - if they want to go for a much smoother nose to reduce drag could they do a texture or pattern under a smooth layer? Would it still look good? or would it turn out really cheesy?

I am undecided about the current nose. If it is done that way to help keep drag coefficient down I think I am OK with it.

@Timo - I like your photo mod. I brought up the video, paused in on that shot and flipped back and forth between yours and the paused video. I think I like yours better, except it reminds me of another car (I just can't put a name to it, but it wasn't a luxury car). When the car is just sitting that black nose just looks too big. When I see it with the car in motion it seems much less pronounced. Maybe it is just the angle...

Perhaps something like this...

http://www.atriumdesigns.com/images/ModelS.jpg

And in a lot of ways this mockup much more closely resembles the Roadster than the current Alpha.

I'm sadly disappointed. The car is looking like every Japanese car under 30 grand on the market. It really lost its "edge" in my opinion. That other styling was the reason everyone was interested in this car. Yes, it's also nice that it is electric. Without the looks you have nothing. The general public will look at the styling and then go out and buy a BMW.

It's an Alpha Build so I'll reserve judgement on the face of the car for now. I prefer the Tesla logo more predominant on the front grill and keep the hood clear which would look really nice I think. That painted nose reminds me of a Toyota Celica is what you may have been thinking of cablechewer?

I have to assume that the grill will be changing as the car goes beyond Alpha. Certainly I understand there is no need for a grill for airflow, but I preferred the look. It may just be an ICE bias we all need to get over.

I agree we all grew up with cars with front grills and are biased to them, I do like the front end of the original Model S better than the alpha. A grill is essential to a front mounted ICE for air cooling, so much so that grills have become trade marks, BMW and Jeep grills come to mind.

Rear mounted ICE cars do not have front grills, older VW bug and Porsche boxsters for example. Porsches have rear quarter panel grills to cool the rear engins.
Since you don't need grills on EVs they will only create drag.

And since we all here are changeing our mindsets about cars lets view the Model S in a new light. The air needs to flow through the front of the car in the most efficient way, like an aircraft. What aircrafts have in front are NOSE CONEs, to create a smooth transition for air flow around the craft. What I see in the Model S Alpha is a NOSE CONE and yes its different than what we are used to but I think it could become trade marks for EVs. The more I look at the alpha the more its growing on me.
My only concern would be damage resistance, any impact will damage the NOSE CONE. So it needs to be designed to be easily repairable and cheaply replaceable and of course look good. I actually think it blends in very nicely in the Alpha. Color contrast is a must, to blend it in with the same color will not look so good.

I'll reserve the final judgement for the production model.

@Mehdi - great point! It really is a nose cone.

I think we are all in for some shocks in look and feel paradigms with the movement to EVs. Aerodynamics need not be sacrificed for air cooling of an ICE. It is a wonderful opportunity for innovative designs, and I'm glad Tesla isn't backing down from innovation for the sake of convention (wouldn't it just be a Volt if they were?).

Some will not take the transition as well as others. For them there will always be ICEs. Of course, there are horse drawn buggies for the real traditionalists...

Clearly, the general consensus is that the car looks bad the way it was presented in the video. I hope they are listening.

After speaking with a the Tesla reps at NAIAS, the grill and other (minor?) aspects are subject to change from the current alpha, to the beta, and to production. At the earliest, I'd wait for the beta version to pass jugment.


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