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Could disguised Model X actually be a Model 3 test mule?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by ToddRLockwood, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    #1 ToddRLockwood, Jan 31, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
    TeslaTestMule.jpg

    Could this be a Model 3 test mule, rather than a Model X beta? Here's my thinking...

    First, why would Tesla disguise a vehicle they've already shown on their web site and at at numerous car shows and events, unless they've made significant design changes—which is certainly possible.

    Second, after a simple photo analysis, it appears that this test vehicle has a shorter wheelbase than the Model X prototype. I would have thought that Tesla would share the Model S battery with the Model X for economic reasons, not to mention its platform.


    TestMule.jpg

    Test Vehicle — wheelbase/wheel diameter = 4.3



    ModelXPrototype.jpg

    Model X Prototype with 19" Wheels — wheelbase/wheel diameter = 5.3



    ModelS19.jpg

    Model S with 19" Wheels — wheelbase/wheel diameter = 5.6



    ModelS21.jpg

    Model S with 21" Wheels — wheelbase/wheel diameter = 5.1


    These ratios were determined with pixel dimensions, a crude method to be sure. But even so, it seems as though the test vehicle has a shorter wheelbase. The difference in wheelbase length between this test vehicle and the Model X prototype appears to be about 20%. This is pure speculation, but that is also the expected reduction in size for the Model 3.
     
    • Funny x 1
  2. timf

    timf Member

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    NO! NO! NO!

    There is no Model 3 yet! It's not even designed, let alone a fully functional prototype built. There are far more steps necessary in development before you'll see it whipping around a track like this. Elon clearly stated they are still working on the design, and we would not see anything until next year. 2015 is all about the Model X, a vehicle which is at a point in its development that is consistent with this video.

    As I said over in the Model X forum, there's a very good chance that something is off with the aspect ratio so that you can't compare pixels 1:1 with previously taken photographs. This vehicle is the same shape as the X, there's just a visual trick making it appear shorter.
     
  3. jerjozwik

    jerjozwik Member

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    aspect ratios are not selective. if the video was indeed in a squished format then everything in the scene would also be squished. chain link fences, tire circles, the label "Matson" on the ship. everything else is visually correct.

    not saying that the OP is right, just that the video is not horizontally compressed.
     
  4. commasign

    commasign Active Member

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    Tesla can change the wheelbase for the X if they want. They said the production X looks different than the prototype. They have removed all mention of specific battery options on the webpage. The X won't be using the same battery as the S so very likely the X can have a different wheelbase than the S if that's what Tesla wants. Tesla writes the rules.
     
  5. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    So you just happen to have a model 3 CUV prototype with falcon wing doors (or sliding doors? or suicide doors?) running around shortly before they release the final form of the model X?

    The car in the video clearly has doors sticking over the rear wheels like the X, and clearly has front mounted handles on the rear doors like the X. We've been told that the final X doesn't look a whole lot like the prototypes, with no details I'm aware of.

    Everything I've read has said that the model 3 hasn't reached final form yet, and I haven't read anything about a CUV version of it. OTOH, we've been explicitly told Tesla has built Beta Model Xs.

    I'm not sure if it's the angles messing up the measurements or Tesla is testing with gargantuan rims, but my money is on it being a Model X in the video; I think having it in camo makes sense because no one has seen the final production version yet.
    Walter
     
  6. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    I was wondering about that. I guess it's possible that Tesla decided to shorten the wheelbase of the Model X. I wonder whether this would require a different length battery than the Model S? Hard to believe they'd do this, given the advantages of a shared battery design.
     
  7. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    They have not shown the car in beta form. All they have shown is a three-year-old concept car. The beta, which is the last step before production, has undoubtedly changed significantly from the concept car. There is little value in testing the concept car.
     
  8. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    This. The simplest explanation is often the correct one.

    It's virtually guaranteed that the Model X beta will be revealed and reservation holders are allowed to start configuring it in the design studio long before Tesla even considers unveiling a Model 3 prototype (if they are anywhere close to finalizing its design; I seriously doubt that given how busy they must have been with the X).

    There's also no way Tesla will let any mention of the 3 upstage the X just as it's about to go into production. Granted they revealed the X proto a few months ahead of the S entering production but, those were different days in early 2012.
     
  9. Panu

    Panu Member

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    There is no added length in front of front wheel nor after the rear wheel. If they reduced wheelbase by 20% it means they shortened the whole car by almost the same. Can they still fit 7 people in that car? I don't believe the car in the video is Model X (nor am I saying it's Model 3).
     
  10. Mr X

    Mr X Future Owner

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    Why would they be testing the Model 3 in a newly updated Model X body when the Model X is the next vehicle that's coming out lol
     
  11. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    There isn't enough contrast in the picture to tell where the wheels end and the tires begin. The bright part of the wheel appears to touch the ground, and completely fill the wheelwell. If you zoom in more you can see the face of the killer in the reflection.

    Enhance!
    Enhance!
    CSI isn't real.
     
  12. jerjozwik

    jerjozwik Member

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    I used some proprietary visual effects software we have at work, I was able to extract a single frame of reflection that shows the iphone owner. after running it through some nasa image enhancement software, the shooter is clearly shown to be non other than elon musk.
     
  13. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    I think there is a simpler explanation. Unless the car is perfectly perpendicular to the camera, it will look shorter. The long distance from the camera makes the angle less obvious.

    In the picture at the top of this thread, the car is angled away front the camera, because you can see a little bit of the back of the car. It can't be compared to a picture that is a angled differently, without some correction.
     
  14. SamusAranX

    SamusAranX Member

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    Not exactly. They are still reusing the Model S' base. Changing the battery options doesn't imply a change to the base, and they wouldn't be able to cheaply shorten the base. Tesla may write the rules, but that doesn't mean some things aren't predictable.

    As for whether the vehicle is actually a 3rd gen base disguised as an X... I don't know. They could certainly be working on the base this early, and they can slap whatever body they want on the test base.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Even if the angle is 10 degrees off, that's not going to have a significant impact on the pictured length. This is a trig problem...

    length * cos(10degrees) vs length * cos(0).

    0.985 vs 1.0

    That's a 1.5% difference when you change the angle by 10 degrees. But the difference we saw in the original post was about 18.9 percent. A 1.5% difference applied to something that's 18.9% off already isn't very significant. So in conclusion, the angle in the picture is close enough to dead-on that the comparison can be made.

    - - - Updated - - -

    ...why not? Is there some law saying they can't work on multiple cars at once? Plus they could be working on just the 3rd gen base.
     
  15. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    No, but depending on the lens geometry items appearing closer can certainly look different from items farther away. This is also true for any comparison shots measured against. There might also be some digital processing involved that could distort things a little. With the resolution of the video limiting the wheel size to some 30 pixels wide at best, which already includes distortion from trying to capture those pixels from far away on a small camera (bright wheel overpowering the dark tire next to it and bleeding onto it), it doesn't take that big of a leap to assume some level of aspect ratio type of distortion is going on.

    In response to the rest of the thread:

    In any case, the video clearly shows a trailer hitch on the mule. Early Model 3 prototype seems very unlikely.

    The front and back of the car are the heaviest camos, which is in line with earlier leaks that these areas of the car have been redesigned since the prototype (e.g. getting rid of the mask). With a Model 3, wouldn't they camo the roofline etc. better too?

    - - - Updated - - -

    But with the video offering so low precision on measuring things like the wheels, where a difference of single pixel is statistically relevant, it is very hard to trust such percentages. Bright pixels bleed onto dark pixels at that distance with such a small camera, making it very hard to make accurate measurements. Add to this the varying angles and lens geometry differences when comparing against other photos, there are many alternatives.

    That is of course true. Car companies test next-generation bases with hacked on old-generation exteriors all the time. Still, with the hitch there and the timing, this scenario seems unlikely.
     
  16. jerjozwik

    jerjozwik Member

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    perspective and parallax do not equal aspect ratio, these are two totally different things. the claim was that the video is squished and that is why a long car looks short.

    the validity of using scene ques to extrapolate realworld size is not an exact science. so yes, those will be off.

    but not proportions.
     
  17. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    If this was in response to my message before it, I wasn't arguing aspect ratio, merely offering my views on the wider issue of what kind of comparisons can be reliably made.

    Aspect ratio isn't the only thing that squishes images or vice-versa. Different kinds of lens geometry certainly can cause similar aberrations. Depending on the lens, for example, a photograph of a far object can become effectively squished compared to a near, wide object that lens geometry has stretched, so the distance of the item as well as the comparability of cameras in question certainly can cause differences - as can digital post-processing that happens in cameras and especially smartphone cameras, which sometimes can employ slightly weird aspect ratios etc. for performance reasons.

    - - - Updated - - -

    It is a nice speculation, but I think it is probably not true.

    According to recent leaks, Tesla indeed has made significant design changes to Model X. Hence this mule has significant camo on the front.

    As for the wheelbase, someone said Model X prototypes had a longer wheelbase than Model S and that Model X production model would be the same as Model S, so shorter.

    It also has a tow hitch clearly visible, which would fit a Model X mule.

    The theory that this mule is Model 3, doesn't reflect Elon Musk's tweet on Model 3 looking very different from normal cars.

    In theory, it could be a Model 3 base prototype disguised as a Model X, but if that was the case, wouldn't it make much more sense to disguise it as a Model S...

    Finally, the simplest explanation - timing wise - is that this is a Model X beta vehicle.
     
  18. SamusAranX

    SamusAranX Member

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    First of all, there are no "statistics" involved here, just geometry. Second, I opened the image in GIMP (an image editor like photoshop), and measured the diameter of the wheel. It is about 75 pixels, not 30. Third, the error from the resolution would be 2/75 = 2.6%, which still isn't relevant to the ~20% difference that OP found.
     
  19. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Rather than comparing to a photo that is a direct side shot, I suggest comparing to real world side shot photos/screenshots of the Model X prototype or Model S (in case the prototype has differences), ideally at similar distances/resolutions.

    That way a lot of the issues brought up (pixel resolution, angle, lens distortion, etc) can be addressed. I would do it myself if no one does it, but busy with other things now to spend the time.
     
  20. SamusAranX

    SamusAranX Member

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    That's actually not a bad idea.
     

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