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Model S Test Mule?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Gear, Feb 20, 2014.

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  1. Rifleman

    Rifleman Now owns 2 Model S's!!!

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    This is probably the case. I remember seeing a similar button on the beta vehicle Vin #14 when i sat in it at the Dania beach store (it was in the center console area, on the floor on that car)
     
  2. JST

    JST Active Member

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    Those buttons are standard fare in prototype vehicles; you see them all the time in various spy photos of development mules.
     
  3. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    ^ This.

    Here's a standard pic:
    axial-thrust-torque-sensors-17100-2479773.jpg

    Typically used for measuring axial thrust. There's many boring reasons for ongoing testing but it could also be gathering info for the Model S Super Sport (which doesn't necessarily need to be AWD).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry Bill, definitely not a battery pack. First, you'd see some serious cabling if that was a battery back but the giveaway is that there are no coolant hoses.
     
  4. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    Things this could be:

    1. Testing the adaptive cruise control
    2. Testing auto-braking
    3. Testing different/uprated brakes

    Both of those tests would need to see how the car handles with maximum weight up top, and I bet there were additional weights inside the car.
    For the first two tests, there would need to be a front facing sensor probably in the nosecone. Any pics of that?

    And yes, the big red kill switch is industry standard for doing most public road testing.
    My bet goes to #3 brake testing.
     
  5. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    We already have giant, oversized (compared to competitors) brakes. If it's brake testing, it's probably to see if they can switch to a different vendor or make them in-house rather than using those huge expensive Brembos. Seems like brake testing would be easily accomplished on their track, though. That's where most brake testing occurs.

    Based on the pictures and insights of others here, it seems more likely to be a Model X testbed. There's torque sensors on all the wheels (AWD), there's what appears to be ballast on the roof (no proof of wires, so probably not a battery pack) and in the back seat to simulate the higher COG and weight, and it appears to be riding higher than the regular S (which the X will). It all lines up, IMO.
     
  6. shawk

    shawk Member

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    All rather clever. Take off the roof weight box and this Tesla S can do S AWD dynamics testing, as well.
    The large box in the back seat is likely to be a multi channel data recorder.
    This vehicle seems to be very similar to a 2013 picture of a lime green Model S that had similar ride height. It was said to be a prototype and I seem to recall that many executives were standing around it.
     
  7. Gear

    Gear Member

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    Interesting you say that about the weights inside the car. As I said, it looked like there was a tank in the backseat (it was a bulbous plastic tank, not a box). It could have simply been filled with water as a cheap and easy way to add weight. It had indentations in it that looked like they were purposely made for the seatbelts to strap it in. The two guys driving it were checking that the belts were tight against the tank before they set off.

    As for the nosecone, I remember looking at the nose of the car and not seeing anything that stood out as abnormal.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Potentially, but it seems like a lot of work just for a joke. :)
     
  8. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    The car is fitted with the new Whisperbars; the maximum weight load is 165lbs (75kg) total. If that's supposed to be ballast up there, there isn't very much of it.

    I'm suspecting that this thread is actually over-cooking things.
     
  9. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Even 165lbs *above* the roof of a car is huge. That would significantly alter the COG. I also wouldn't be terribly surprised if they were willing to risk damaging a bar/car exterior if that wasn't enough.

    Good catch, though. Interesting.
     
  10. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    I'm taking these images as proof of there being an AWD Model S on the market soon.

    Tesla: Please take my money. I want an AWD Model S.
     
  11. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    Another reason I think the brake testing could be going on here, is the recent "brakes are sticking" complaints. They might be testing a new compound for that reason. I'm sure the same mule was used for testing the new, heavier rotors in response to brake squeal.
     
  12. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    I might have agreed, if there hadn't been an emergency stop switch. What exactly would the switch do if they're testing the brakes?

    My guess is that the switch can disable the FWD-unit.
     
  13. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    It's so sad when Nigel totally misses the big picture, as follows:

    No-coolant breakthrough! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Inductive batteries! AWESOME!!!!!!!!! To Infinity & Beyond!!!!!!


    ***I'll be TMInc. hates this forum and all the Teslageeksnoops...... :)
     
  14. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Thanks for posting the pictures. Does look like AWD.
     
  15. Saghost

    Saghost Well-Known Member

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    Hmm... I'm liking the AWD explanation given the full sets of sensors on all four wheels.

    No one has commented on what appears to be two sets of sensors (one a dash cam?) on the windshield, and I'm thinking the roof package must be more than the weight folks have mentioned given that it has four sets of wires running to it - one up each fender and one down each C pillar and in the rear doors.

    Unless it's the same wires, and after running the wires from the front wheels into the Frunk area, they ran them up the windshield and over the top of the car to come in the rear windows?
    Walter
     
  16. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    That's exactly what it is. You can follow the wire from the front wheel sensors, up inside the roof rack mounts over the sunroof, out the back where it meets the wires from the rear wheel sensors, and the into the rear window.
     
  17. Saghost

    Saghost Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right. I wasn't seeing it in the middle in the side shot until I zoomed the photo in, though. :)
    Walter
     
  18. Newscutter

    Newscutter Member

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    Brake testing doesn't explain the roof rack.
     
  19. Joel

    Joel Active Member

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    At least part of the equipment is Mobile Eye's camera (lane departure, adaptive cruise control, etc.). Tesla is placing at least one Mobile Eye camera in the review mirror. The first picture is consistent with that.
     
  20. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    I think it would. Wouldn't you want to fully load down the car, especially with the chunk of weight on the newly released roof rack? That weight up top does alter the braking geometry a bit due to the higher CoG. It's going to pitch forward a bit more with that big weight up top.
     

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