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How different are the 2015 Model X mules vs. 2012-2013 prototype(s)

Discussion in 'Model X' started by AnxietyRanger, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    This topic has come up several times and nobody has done a full "360 degree" comparison, so I thought I'd give it a bit of a go. Of course merely commenting on how the 2015 mules look compared to 2012-2013 prototypes. I have no insight into how close or not close to production the mules look like (and there are other threads for that discussion).

    Anyway, here is my take on the key differences. On the front, I will use the concept drawing and the unofficial data/rumors it is based on to work around the camo on the mules, so of course a part of this is speculative. I have attached a camoed photo of the nose too.

    On the front, the shape of the bonnet is much sharper, the shape of the lights is much bigger than on the Model X prototype, fog lights/diffuser are different, the nose points more forwards, front windows continue past the front door. Also the lower lip and nose is much rounder, instead of the flat nose of the prototype. On the mules, the cross-beam between A pillars is gone, exposing a huge front window. Also in this image we can see how much higher and larger the side windows are on the mule.

    model_x_mule_changes_1.jpg
    attachment.php?attachmentid=76127&d=1427540647.jpg

    On the sides, the falcon wings are shorter, but extend further to the back, front doors don't go as far front but front windows extend past them. The mule rear windows extend far back on the C pillar, compared to the prototype. The mules are also expected to have a shorter wheelbase than the Model X prototype, since the latter apparently had an abnormal (longer than Model S) wheelbase, which would explain also the differences in door sizes and positioning.

    model_x_mule_changes_2.jpg

    On the rear, the presence of an adaptive spoiler instead of a rear lip is of course a big differentiator on the mules. Also since the spoiler is glass (or the like), it makes the rear window seem extending much further down. There is also a new diffuser design and a rounder rear bumper, where the lower portion extends to the painter bumper much higher and more shapely than on the old. The spoiler image also give also a glimpse of the camoed newer rear lights on the mules.

    model_x_mule_changes_3.jpg

    model_x_mule_changes_4.jpg

    Finally, the falcon wings themselves have a much sleeker design on the mules, compared to the 2012-2013 prototype. This image also shows how the creases of the bonnet have sharpened and how the front door window extends much further forward relative to the door, and also much further downwards on the door, basically straightening and extending the "window sill" line that used to curve up and cut short.

    model_x_mule_changes_5.jpg

    See also:

    How has Model X nose changed since 2012 - and has it changed in 2015 mules?

    How much has Model X changed: mule (2015) vs. prototype (2012) silhouette

     
  2. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Why do you think the falcon wings are shorter? I'm not seeing that.
     
  3. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    I mean they start further back. I guess it is possible the extension over the rear wheel (it now goes past the mid-point) could make up for it.

    With camera angles, scaling issues etc. it is hard to be sure in some cases, I agree.
     
  4. AziwA

    AziwA Member

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    Impressive work AR!
     
  5. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Thanks. :) Appreciated.
     
  6. ekhozindar

    ekhozindar Member

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    I keep worrying that the hood is going to remind me of a saturn...
     
  7. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Well, at least nobody has made the Pontiac Aztek reference yet in this thread...

    Oops, sorry! :)
     
  8. Local host

    Local host Member

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    Spot the differences...

    16331374_medium.jpg
     
  9. tga

    tga Active Member

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    I don't think the people who make the Aztek references have seen one in real life (watching Breaking Bad doesn't count). I knew someone who had one. I hate to admit I've ridden in one. They really were hideous. The X isn't even close.
     
  10. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    tga: In all seriousness of course, I agree. :)
     
  11. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    #11 AnxietyRanger, Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
    In this new image we can see the less-broad (but still existent) rear shoulder of the Model X mule vs. the prototype.

    We can also see the hemline separating lower, or in relation starting and rising much higher on the mule than on the old prototype.

    Also the larger windows and shorter falcon wing are visible, as is the reflection of the adaptive spoiler on the mule.

    Although chrome window trim is partly missing, we can also see Tesla perhaps testing two different widths of trim on the mule. The prototype, of course, had more curvaceous window trim.

    model_x_mule_changes_6.jpg
     
  12. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    We can? Because I see different color vehicles with different lighting effects that in no way allow me to draw any conclusions about that part of the vehicle.
     
  13. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Having looked a lot of these mules, it is of course just my opinion that the enlarging of the windows and moving windows more rearwards has made the shoulder styling (so massive on the Model S and still large on the Model X prototype) somewhat more straightened out and more subdued on the 2015 Model X mules. Part of this effect is maybe caused by necessity - the windows are so much closer to the shoulder, there is less room for styling.

    Here is another new shot with the spoiler up. Here we can also see the somewhat more substantial window chrome.

    model_x_chrome.jpg
     
  14. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    So when you say "less-broad" you don't actually mean narrower, just that it looks slightly different because of the extended window.
     
  15. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    I don't mean the car is narrower, no. Just that the way the window extends to the shoulder that design element is a little less striking. There will still be "shoulders" on the car.

    Anyway, we can all see the photos so commentary is of course just subjective. :)
     
  16. AziwA

    AziwA Member

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    Hi AR

    Here is a quick observation although maybe wrong, interested in your thoughts:

    On this mule photo, the falcon door seems misaligned. Of course this is normal for a mule, however as far as I can tell the chrome door handle on the passenger falcon door seems to be aligned *higher* than the front passenger door yet the chrome door trim at the top seems to be aligned *lower* than the passenger and the rear window.

    In other words it would appear the door is too small?

    Obviously i assume tesla will make it perfect for the actual release, however perhaps this could be an indication the car either grew or shrank by a few millimetres and the door did not yet or it's an older revision?

    Of course I could be completely off - I know nothing of automotive manufacturing and testing or photo distortions
     
  17. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Right, but I'm not sure they changed the shape of the "shoulder" area at all beyond simply making a bigger cutout for the rear corner of the window.
     
  18. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Possible. At the very least the shoulder shape seems straighter, as do window and bonnet lines. The curves of the prototype have been, IMO, straightened on the mule all-around.
     
  19. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    If by smaller you mean sheet metal press calibration inaccuracies, caused by the still incomplete/on-going ramp-up, then why not. If by smaller you mean a smaller design of the doors, seems unlikelier.

    While I think the chrome trim may be changing in size a bit (Tesla working to make it a bit more substantial as a last-minute design change?), it seems the front chrome and rear chrome don't quite match in size on all the mules, I doubt the doors themselves have been changing in size on the 2015 mules - at least the latest ones.

    There is a guy on TMC that used to work on Mercedes factories and posted a very educational account on how new models start with terrible accuracy up until perfect accuracy, as part of the manufacturing ramp-up. I would estimate, if mules represent anything close to the final version (this is unknown of course), most inaccuracies are because of merely the calibration process being not yet complete.
     
  20. Trev Page

    Trev Page Member

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    Here's the reference:

    Are the Model X mules close to the final version? - Page 17

     

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