Model S false "grill" design

Congratulations on an outstandng overall design. It is beautiful but that pseudo grill is horrible.
It cheapens the sleek design and absolutely destroys the image of an electric automobile.
Sticking on a non-effective, non-purposeful piece of PLASTIC????

I thought it looked out of place too.

Here is a whole slew of posts on this topic:

The more I think about it, the more I think they are just disguising the real styling. They can't be that stupid.

I don't think this is the final version of the car. But, as I've read on Tesla's website, every millimeter is designed for aerodynamics. If this "less sexy" grill is the most aerodynamic design, then I'm fine with it. I'd rather go 10 more miles per charge than look pretty.

It is not that bad if it just loses the black mask. I liked it without the black color. There is no grill actually, just black mask and couple of openings under the "bumper". That black part is solid and not even single piece (if you look closely bonnet extends to it).

I spoke with the Tesla folks at the NAIAS. The grill and other aspects are not the final version. Wait for the beta and production models.

I'm just saying that this black mask is just hiding the true nose. Pretty effectively I would say, based on comments I have seen. It does look good even in this form, just remove the mask to see it. It is quite different to those mockups though, That spoiler and those A/C (cabine and battery) require openings in places where they are not in those mockups, so it will *not* look the same, no matter what they do.

I think you're right Timo. This is just alpha. You don't need full grille for crash testing and such. And I wonder where the charge port is, too. I bet it will be on the front, a la Leaf.

C'mon guys, have some faith. You know this is an "alpha" build. They've said this car is about 85% fidelity. They aren't going to pour all they effort into a beautiful car and leave an ugly black nose on the front. In a way the whole situation is funny. They want to get something out there as quickly as they can so people can see the progress has been made, but then everyone focuses on the unfinished details. Guess you just can't win.

@jfeister: +1

@ Roblab

charge port is supposed to be in the similar position of where your gas tank door will be towards the rear of the car ... how they have it on the Roadster

Agree that the "pseudo grill" looks realy bad , a very easy aspect that they can correct, but the rest of the car for me can bee at 100% it

jfeister has won this thread.

"similar position to where your gas tank door will be...."

Why? Chargers will be in front of the car nearly always.

Let's see. Old gas guzzlers. Fill pipe behind license plate. Fill pipe on rear fender. Fill pipes (two even!) by trunk lid. Reason? Gas stinks and explodes, too. Fuel tanks have to be in rear for safety. Not so with electrons.

Position of the battery/PEM might have something to do in that too. That makes shortest route to it close to rear tire and similar place as gas tank filling is naturally best place to put the plug.

Can you even move the car while it's plugged in? I wouldn't be surprised if, as a safety feature, the car won't come out of park if it's plugged in.

The car will not move with the charging cable plugged in.

Car will not move with the charge port door open. Doesn't matter if the cable is attached or not.

I've driven electric vehicles since 1999 (an EV-1, now a RAV4-EV). IMO, the front is the right place for the plug. Think about it:

Where is it convenient to put a charger on a nose-in parking space, especially a row of such spaces? At the front.

In a private garage, you can't know whether or not the car will be typically parked with the wall on the left or right side, but you can mount a charger on the back wall of the garage (opposite the garage door), or on the side wall near the nose, and have easy access to a port in the front either way.

I park my car on the right side of the garage (as seen pulling in). This gives me the most room to open my driver's door and get easily in and out. With my charger on the right wall near the nose, it's a simple stop on my way to the door to plug in the car. On my way out in the morning, it's again a quick stop to unplug. If it's in a location like a traditional gas cap, I would have to walk around the car, get a long cable and unroll it (getting my hands dirty, probably) and walk back around to the back of the car and plug in. Then, in the morning, I have to repeat the process.

It's not a user-friendly location. The other EV makers (GM EV-1, Toyota RAV4-EV, Nissan Leaf) got this one right. The Volt and the old Honda EV Plus got it semi-right by putting it towards the front, but on the side.

Agreed about the charging port location. It *should* be at the front, so that I can put the outlet on the back wall of my garage. (I always pull into my garage forward and reverse when going out, which seems rather common.)

But I can deal with the charging port being in a different location... but I have to KNOW so I can know where to put the outlet in my garage. Back wall is easier, but I can do either side wall. But I can't do the wiring until I KNOW.

The burgundy Model S prototype has a charge port in the rear left side as shown in the Detroit NAIAS 2010 image series. It's gone. I cannot detect a charge port door on any of the alpha images. I don't see any cabling on the "torque box" rear axle module that seems to be related to charging. It must be a set of orange high voltage cables (3? 5?) running from the charge port to the PEM which acts as on board charger.

I agree that a charge port in the vehicle front will work best for most scenarios. Any facts or suggestions where it will be on Model S?

I thought that there must be at least one picture where that charging port is visible, but no. I watched the Alpha hits the road videos, did go thru the Autobloggreen pictures (which are much more detailed than pictures here), pictures in here and not one of those reveal where that charging port is.

That's one well hidden charging port. I mean, it isn't small one, that connector is quite large and it needs a cover to prevent dirt from getting there, so it should be visible. Maybe alpha models do not have such thing as charging port, they might just have that connector inside the car, and beta model does then have it.

That's design question. Copy & paste to Franz blog questions.

I'll venture a wild guess: The charge port is hidden behind the often-cited nose cone! There is a button on the dash board (and possibly another one on the radio key, or in the Tesla smartphone app) that will pop open the grille -- et voila: Charge port. :-)

Volker, I like your guess, but we were also speculating that the nose cone was going to be used for the front license plate bracket! That's gonna be one design-critical nose cone, if so!

Volker EU

I second your guess.
You should try to get front license plate BÄ - for Bärlin. With the dots on the A serving as 240V connector holes.

Oh yeah! :-) I'll go and reserve the "BÄRLIN" number on the spot. And while we're at it, I'll also go and patent the use of Umlauts in number plates. I haven't seen that yet, so it seems to be a new -- hence patentable -- idea...

Too late, äöå at least are already in use in scandinavia.

the first pic here seems to be like an updated Alpha, so the grill looks way better than the black thingy before.

This picture and two more that presumably show the same vehicle are also up on Tesla's website:

Is the charge port inside the small round door in front of rear taillight on drivers side:

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