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Model 3 Frontal Area


REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
New Mexico
The Press kit says
  • Width: 72.8” (76.1” with mirrors folded)
  • Height: 56.8”
  • Wheelbase: 113.2”
  • Track (wheel center): 62.2” front and rear
  • Ground clearance: 5.5”
I used 72.8 width and 51.3 height (corrected for ground clearance.)
My calc works to 2.41 m*m, or more than the Model S

Please confirm or correct


Jul 18, 2017
The Model S is 86.2" with mirrors and 77.3" without. And 56.5" high.

Basically the frontal area of the Model 3 should be around:

2.34 m^2 x (72.8 x 56.8)/(77.3 x 56.5) = 2.22 m^2

Yeah, disappointingly similar. And the Cd is disappointingly high. Oh well.

I know they made the right decision from a "business perspective". It's just not what I like. I'd *gladly* give up more space for a lower frontal area and *prefer* giving up traditional styling for a lower Cd. But, I know I'm not everyone.
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Jul 18, 2017
Yep, and I'll be interested to hear why in the future.
In the meantime I take solace in the much lower mass than I anticipated.

And it is not like 0.23 is bad or anything.

No, for a conventional sedan it's quite low. I'm more curious as to why they thought they'd be getting 0.21 in the first place. Did they originally plan for less conventional styling? More of a rear taper, more of an egg-shaped nose, cowled wheels, ....?

There's always going to be a hole in my heart waiting for an Aptera-like streamliner. But I'm not going to put off electric driving for decades waiting for some "perfect vehicle" to be made. You wait for a "close enough" vehicle, and for me, that's the Model 3. 0,23 Cd and all :)


Jul 18, 2017
X2 on missing the Aptera. It's a shame Zhejiang Jonway Group didn't do anything with the IP (and body molds too, or did they go somewhere else?).

Oh, god, don't get me started on what Paul's crew did with the unused Aptera shells when they went out of business....

Aptera - Office Space v2.mkv

Really, I still get mad when I think about all of the things that went down at that company when Paul took over. Did you know that he fired Steve's wife by a phone call taken from her hospital bed where she was receiving treatment for cancer? I mean, what sort of scumbag does that? He had the chief engineer marched out of the building by armed guards. Anyone seen as more loyal to Steve than him, that's what happened to them. What a freaking sociopath.

But hey, he got his million dollars a year salary and golden parachute, and his equally scummy friends all got comped, so that's what matters, right? :Þ

I haven't heard from Steve in ages. Last I know he had started an automated stackable farming system called Famgro... don't know if they're still in business. Weird to think of how old Phoebe must be by now.

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