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Frameless Doors on the Model S :D

Hey guys,

I have always been a fan of the frameless doors on most coupes.... even the Lexus es300 had it back in the days and gave the car that luxury look when the doors were being opened.

the Acura TL 3.2 also had these but they changed back to framed doors for the 2nd gen...

Looking at that pic, it seems that the MODEL S has frameless doors.

What do you guys think?


Hard to say. Certainly the blow up did not have frames but there are many negatives with frameless from a practical standpoint. The need to move the window every time you get in and out. They leak more and require tight tolerances.

The prototypes in their shop clearly have frameless windows:

The autoblog published these on March 21st. This doesn't mean we are 100% certain to get the doors in this configuration, but unless there is a major problem with them in crash and other testing I would assume the design is fairly close to final.

My first car had this and I didn't see the problems that William13 noted even though it was a fairly cheaply built car.

What do I think?? They are obviously frameless. Doing a quick search, I find that BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW, Toyota, etc. all do frameless. In the Tesla, it probably saves more weight than some of the other tricks, and it looks like it works just fine.

I prefer framed. My RX8 is framed, my Stealth wasn't (and my old 1979 Trans Am before that wasn't). The RX8 never leaks, the other two did. That said, it's not a deal breaker.

The problem with frameless usually shows up 2-5 years down the road as the foam insulation the window pushes up against starts to age and gets less resilient. It won't seal as tightly and/or gets cracks.

Yes, yes, your car is fine. I get it. The reason numerous people are concerned about frameless windows is because they have more leaks. The fact your one car is a shining example of one that didn't doesn't change the overall trend. Not every Ford Pinto caught on fire, but that didn't mean it didn't have a fundamental increased probability of it.

It's not going to stop me from buying the model S. I just rather the windows were framed.

Styling/Appearance is entirely subjective. I think my Mazda RX8 absolutely rocks in that department and it has framed windows.

I think that this is definitely something to keep in the back of your mind when checking out the car during the production stage for Tesla. I have a feeling they are going to look over every inch of the vehicle in Beta stage before mass production. Most companies these days run their cars into a water seal testing stage.

If your worried about leaky weather stripping, take some silicon spray to it once every six months or so. That will eliminate drying and cracking which is usually the reason for leaks.

Redesigning the windows to have frames probably has wider consequences, maybe even crash safety. I assume the alpha prototypes are the last stage where such redesigns can be made. Beta stage has production validation in its scope, not car validation, and changing anything at that point of time could easily become a costly issue.

It looks to me like the frameless are smoother, have less wind resistance. If we need flush door handles, guess we might need frameless windows.

Personally I think it's a good thing to have frameless doors. Aesthetically at least it would rock...

Here's the kicker tough, when I saw the frame there was a possibility to fit some kind of plastic frame around the door, but has anybody noticed the open door of the running aphas? No? Then check out the last picture of the blog post and you'll see what I mean...

Given the fact that these are supposedly cars that are driven every day and that there are no metalic frames on display in the bare frame I think it's safe to assume that we'll be getting frameless doors.


Not to flog a dead horse, or resurrect a dead thread, but I wanted to confirm that the Model S door windows actually do go down/up when the doors are opened/closed to clear the weather stripping. I had this feature on my Porsche Caymen and it worked very nicely. There's no reason to think it won't work well on the Model S.

Hm, interesting... It seems that nobody noticed during those 5,000 test drives... At least we can say that whichever solution Tesla found with regard to the frameless doors closing, it is as unobtrusive as it can get. ;-)

BTW, this feature is usually called automatic indexing glass, and I'm pretty sure it's standard on all modern cars that have frameless windows.

The amount of movement is small, so assuming that it was functional during ge test drives, maybe it's not surprising that no one really noticed it.

@olanmills The amount of movement is small, so assuming that it was functional during ge test drives, maybe it's not surprising that no one really noticed it.

Yes, I noticed it on my test drive. I was actually surprised it worked - expecting it to be one of those things not worked out yet.

Frameless Windows used to be all the rage "anyone remember what we called (hardtops)" lol!! it was realy commonplace on four door "pillarless" designs on a mirad of domestic cars from the 50's well into the 70's

The last gen Ford Thunderbird used such a design circa 2000 / 2002

@Superliner - 2002-2005

And yes, yes it does have this window behavior regarding opening/closing doors.

PLEASE frame the doors! I was totally sold on Tesla until I found out the doors aren't framed... Or at least make it an option on the car. I will gladly pay more for the option.

They are fine bdvalenUela, and they are not going to be changed

Yes they are just fine. My last two cars (Porsche) are also framelss.

They are not going to change the Model S, obviously, but I do hope that they go with framed ones on the 3rd gen car--less problems and complication that way.

DTsea and carlk, maybe they're fine for you, but over a cold winter, without extensive preheating, they're a real problem when they ice up and won't open/close correctly. Even after extensive preheating they didn't always free up they way they need to. I agree it should be an option in future cars; people in the southern half of the US or other warmer areas can have them, but if I ever have a choice they're a "never again".

I didn't even realize that they still make cars with window frames.
I never had an issue with ice. Perhaps some designs are better than others.

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