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Model 3 - Deconstructing

slowinfastout

New Member
Apr 12, 2018
2
5
Washington DC
I have a engineer friend that works for one of the Big 3 in Detroit and he is part of the team that are de-constructing a Model 3 which is something all car makers do. They purchase one and take it down all the way to the last nut and bolt and study it. It will not be re-assembled. His thoughts so far:

Overall, clean design. De-badged look, little clutter inside or out. Interior is very mid century modern or bauhaus looking, clean and uncluttered. Whole interior is very subdued, but nice. I noticed all the pillar trim is upholstered, where a typical competitor would be hard plastic. Oddly there is no glove box. The forward center console lid is finicky, when you push it closed you hit a detent that seems to be the latch (like a stereo cabinet latch), but it is really the release so you wind up pushing it closed and it pops open over and over. They obviously have run into this during development, because a message pops up on the center display to close it gently. This is both neat, that they did this, and poor, because anyone else would have changed the latch to be intuitive (except the Germans)

There are no adjustable vents on the dash. The doors are electrically popped open from the interior. The exterior handles are a bit odd, they are flush and you push one end to make the other pop out. Could be difficult in the snow. The charge port cover powers open and closed, something I’ve never seen before. There was no telescope on the steering wheel that I could find, and the reach was uncomfortable when the seat was positioned to reach the pedals properly.

A few neat touches, the cooling bottle houses two pumps and a diverter valve, they’ve dubbed it the “super bottle” and have a little cartoon on it. They don’t have painted calipers, but do have “Tesla” stamped on the shields.

The fit and finish is sub par, panel gaps are not world class. The shock tower brace had widely varying torques among its fasteners, and the cradle used four different fasteners in four different sizes. Any other manufacturer would have commonized them, and I’m guessing this car would drive a car guy nuts to work on. They still need to learn how to build cars, especially in volume.

Obviously didn’t get to drive one, but there was a Chevy Bolt not far away from it. I would pick the Tesla over it in a heartbeat.
 

SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,195
5,787
Houston, TX
It has a glovebox just like any other car.

Telescoping of the steering wheel is adjusted the same was as up/down tilt -- through the screen controls.

All dash vents are adjustable via on-screen controls.


I can't take someone seriously, especially someone who is supposed to be an expert, when they can't find the glove compartment.
 

Boourns

Active Member
Mar 9, 2016
1,615
2,002
Dallas
Based on his comments about the cooling components and fasteners, my guess is that he just got to sit inside it, and his area of work/expertise is not the interior. Otherwise, you can learn about the glove box, steering wheel, and vents on youtube.
 
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TexasEV

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
7,650
8,911
Austin, TX
What a waste of time and text. How could someone who works for an auto manufacturer be so clueless? I guess it never occurred to him that the center screen could have controls for something other than a media player, so they never looked?
 

Blue in NC

Member
Oct 31, 2012
131
86
Cary, NC
Thanks.

I guess they didn't read the manual beforehand. I don't have mine yet but I'm pretty sure I have seen the glove box and that the steering wheel is adjustable in and out.
Maybe I'm being too generous but I can see how they would miss "non-obvious" or traditional operational things like this as they may be focusing on build quality and components. To me this is interesting and helpful information in its context.
 

TT97

Active Member
Aug 6, 2017
2,173
2,977
Los Angeles
Maybe I'm being too generous but I can see how they would miss "non-obvious" or traditional operational things like this as they may be focusing on build quality and components. To me this is interesting and helpful information in its context.

Yes, but if they deconstructed the car, how do you miss the glovebox? What did they think the storage bin to the right of the center screen was?
 

slowinfastout

New Member
Apr 12, 2018
2
5
Washington DC
He did not drive the car, it was there in a room to take apart. It was actually done over at Munro - one of two Model 3's they purchased. If you have the patience to watch this video, its Sandy Munro going over the Model 3 deconstruct. It's over an hour long.

 

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