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Glass rear window and sedan/liftback discussion

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by phil0909, Mar 30, 2017.

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  1. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I don't see people disputing that a mini-Model S is possible to build, but they are disputing the suggestion that it's possible to solve the headroom situation keeping the hatchback without either compromising styling or aerodynamics.

    As for the matter of Elon choosing the design because he has a love of glass, I personally find his official explanation of the choice being for rear headroom to make sense. There are Model S owners that pick the pano roof specifically for the 2-3 inches of rear headroom improvement. And removing the rear roof beam and roof hinge mechanism should also result in headroom improvement.
     
  2. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    Does that Audi have batteries under the floor?

    Thank you kindly.
     
  3. Laban

    Laban Member

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    Or the external dimensions -> cost.
     
  4. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Of course not. I am not claiming a 1:1 comparison. Just using the examples of shapes that are available.
     
  5. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Good point. The Model S is easier to design for given the size (which stretches the proportions).
     
  6. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    Frankly, I think a lot of people couldn't think of anything but a Prius and were a little misled in their thinking of my suggestion too.

    I guess the sportback/gran tourismo is so rare in the U.S.
     
  7. Laban

    Laban Member

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    Well, not only that but it costs more to make a longer+ higher car. Especially with electric cars which add battery size on top of that.

    Hmm, i just realised that i've been adding 1m on my numbers, the BMW 320 GT is 4.8m long, not 5.8. Might be the metric system that saved me from ridicule :)
     
  8. smac

    smac Active Member

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    Not massively scientific, but driving down the road the other day and I counted the number of "sedans" I saw, less than 1 in 10. Makes sense when the Camry is the US's best selling car, but the UK's is the Ford Fiesta ;) (The Camry hasn't even been sold here since 2004, so poor were it's sales figures.)

    What new sales statistics are showing us that both sides of the Atlantic is that crossovers are winning over traditional sedans. Manufacturers must be loving this as it helps them build "whole world" cars, instead of separate US/ EU focused models.

    In some ways it is unfortunate Tesla are going with the 3 first and the Y second, the lack of a lifting tailgate will only hurt EU sales IMHO :(
     
  9. shrspeedblade

    shrspeedblade Rideshare Monkey

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    #109 shrspeedblade, Apr 1, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
    Don't forget, it's quite possible that Tesla will be supply limited with the Model 3 until the Model Y comes out!
    I think the nature of BEVs influences the design to a degree because with the batteries in the floor, everything gets "pushed up" a bit compared to an ICE. I took a good look at the Bolt and it's quite apparent the battery placement contributed to its look-love it or hate it- since good headroom was also emphasized in the vehicle as well.

    The Model 3 all ready doesn't look as low or sleek as the S, Tesla probably compromised utility a bit (rear cargo space, anyway) in the name of styling. Which everything this side of the Scion Xb does to one degree or another! :p
     
  10. phil0909

    phil0909 Member

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    Yes, you can't have everything. I think they might have done better to compromise on aerodynamics and retain the great utility of Model S. Bad aerodynamics can be overcome fairly easily with a bigger battery, and Tesla should soon be good at making low-cost gigabatteries. My Bolt has much worse aerodynamics than any reported Tesla numbers - Cd is something like 0.32 - yet it gets great mileage for me, even though I drive mostly on freeways and much faster than I should. A low Cd or CdA is certainly helpful, but ultimately not that big a deal.

    I think Mr. Musk is a bit of a perfectionist and likes to brag about his record low Cd numbers. That's in addition to his well-known and frequently-diagnosed obsessions with glass and rear-seat headroom...
     
  11. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the Model 3 would be able to sell at the 100k+ annual volumes planned for if it looked like the Bolt. I saw it in person and it looks like a $15k car. I haven't seen the Model 3 alphas in person, but from the photos it at least looks the part of a $35k+ car.

    And aerodynamics is still probably cheaper than more batteries. GM can afford not to make any money on the Bolt (they get a fair share of value just from the CARB credits), but it is mission critical that Tesla makes a profit on Model 3, so any bit helps.

    The Model Y would be for the ones who want a hatch and it'll be in the crossover market, so it avoids the stigma of the traditional hatchback body.
     
  12. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    I think that the Nissan Cube was the result of a bet that they couldn't make a car look boxier than the Xb. The Nissan designers won.
     
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  13. phil0909

    phil0909 Member

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    Good Lord, no, they certainly don't want to make it look like the Bolt. I said "compromise a bit on aerodynamics", not "beat it to death with an ugly stick"! The Bolt is a very nice little car, but I did not buy it for its looks. ;) I personally don't care whether my car is pretty, but I agree lots of people do and pretty is part of Tesla's brand.
     
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  14. Laban

    Laban Member

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    Exactly.

    And one thing to think about is that the Model 3 is designed to be sold in 1000k volumes annually. Not 100k, or like the Bolt, 30-50k. And they need to make money from it. That means that every little thing counts.

    Take the BMW 320 GT as an example. It's 7.87 inches longer, 2.75 inches higher then the 320 sedan. And has a higher Cd. The bill of materials, including the larger battery is one thing. More important is probably that it would have made it very close to the Model S in size. The 320 GT is 189.9 inches long, the Model S is 195.5 inches.

    I'm sure that the customers would have loved that but i doubt that it would have been a good idea from Teslas point of view. BMW/Audi are in a different position since they have a larger model that it would "compete" with. The 3 series GT < 5 series GT. A5 Sportback < A7 Sportback.
     
  15. phil0909

    phil0909 Member

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    Don't know why the car should have fewer components, but the other items sound like a good start. Perhaps as much as 15%. Throw in another 10% tops for the gigabatteries. I don't see where the other 25% comes from. It's really hard to cut costs in half.
     
  16. Laban

    Laban Member

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    And yet the BMW 3 series is less than half the price of the 6 series.
     
  17. smac

    smac Active Member

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    @zennmaster. I'm struggling to see how they can reduce quality of components compared to the S.

    Peel back the skin, and it's pretty clear there have been some pretty exhaustive bean counting tricks played already. Silly example is the metal frame behind the dash. It's not even primed, just bare steel :( (There are others, lack of vanity mirror lighting, no grab handles, no strings for the parcel shelf, fewer trim clips and fixings than you'd find in say an Audi, etc. etc. all pennies individually, but at volume it all adds up.) There's good reason the Model S has such high GM's.

    I guess they could put in lower quality EV stuff (inverters, motors, chargers) but I'd be worried if they cheap out here, then the reliability spectre raises its ugly head :(

    My assumption is more simple, in that M3 GM's will take a hit, with the hope of making it up with options.
     
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  18. smac

    smac Active Member

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    But we don't know the GM on either.

    BMW could be selling the 3 at razor thin margins, but making out like bandits on the 6.
     
  19. Laban

    Laban Member

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    You can of course apply the exact same logic on the 3 vs S/X.
     
  20. Reciprocity

    Reciprocity Active Member

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    Model 3 will also possibly impact gross margins on the S/X due to economies of scale related to aluminum costs, pricing with shared suppliers, can move S/X to tier one suppliers shared by the 3 and of course gigafactory doesn't exist without the 3. The game changes pretty quickly when Tesla goes from 100k cars a year to 500k and eventually 1 million. Some margin will be offset by the loss of fed credit and no market for zev credits, but they should still have good enough margins to compete with BMW and MB.

    The question is, can they compete on the low end with the model 3 vs Toyota and Honda. Maybe for those with solar and powerwalls in places with high energy rates. Also, if Trump does kill MPG requirements, then gas prices will go up, which will make the 3 more economical vs ice and to a lesser extent hybrids.
     

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