Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Model X mule - Looking closely at the nose 08/2015

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
Usual disclaimer: Analysis of Model X mule photos is not representative of production vehicles - just analysis of the mules. Production vehicles may vary dramatically.

Plenty has been made of the Model X nose, widely assumed to be the most camouflaged and potentially most non-final exterior part of the Model X mules. I think even those who think the mules represent fairly final-looking vehicles, believe the nose will still change - at least with plenty of trim missing and/or camo there.

While it is true the mules thus probably won't tell us all that much about the production nose of Model X, it is still fun to see what can be discerned from the mule sightings. Recently FlatSix911 contributed a couple of fine close-up shots of the Model X mule, the nose and front tire included.

Big thanks to FlatSix911!

Here are the original frontal shots for reference:

attachment.php?attachmentid=90130&d=1439270930.jpg


attachment.php?attachmentid=90498&d=1439528317.jpg


So, three areas that interest us here, I think: the lights, the nosecone and the tires. I will look at each one of these in close detail in this post.

1) The lights:

To set the scene, ratsbew posted an interesting thread of Rumor: Model X will have full LED headlights, which Twiddler complemented with a Model S mule photo, regarding LED headlights in Model X. Since the mules have all had the corners of their headlights taped over, presumably to hide the LED daylight strip design, we can not get full appreciation of the lights the mules may be running, but in the FlatSix911 photos we finally see some of what is seen below.

There is also a video, LED Headlight Tesla Model S Test Mule, of the Model S mule LED headlights.

Here is a blow-up compared to the Model S regular lights (top) and Model S LED (bottom) headlights mule images - unfortunately the quality of the mule shot is still not enough to IMO call this one, could swing either way:

model_x_nose_close_1.jpg


Now, there is one thing to add concerning LED headlights on the mule(s), the night-time video of Model X on Tesla's track. The headlights and the foglights look very white, in line with what one would expect from LEDs, but I guess also from Xenons - hard to say. What is interesting is the driver's side foglight looking orange. Is Tesla testing multiple different light temperatures/solutions/options/fixtures? Or could they even be testing intelligent LED lighting patterns that are generated based on driving situation (like the Germans already do)? A more yellow light temperature is sometimes recommended for fogs.

model_x_nose_close_2.jpg


Threads:
Rumor: Model X will have full LED headlights
Next-Gen Headlights spotted... [UPDATED] Yep they are Tesla and not aftermarket! | Forums | Tesla Motors

2) The nosecone:

We of course have rumors saying that the Model X nosecone would be "gone" or bodycolored. What has made judging this, on the mules, hard has been the camo wrap and potentially other camouflage on the nose. However, on closer inspection, it seems the nosecone on this particular mule is not taped over like some of the lower portion of the nose is, but may actually show the bumper/nosecone. It seems as if the nosecone is part of the front bumper and painted to match. Only the vent under the nosecone seems covered in tape or wrap of some sort - and of course there is a large "vent" (perhaps missing the Tesla T logo strip) above the nosecone. We also get a better than ever glimpse inside the "vent", showing an opening in the middle but not on sides.

model_x_nose_close_3.jpg


In the concept thread, I posted this design of what this mule nose could look like without that camo and with trim in place:

attachment.php?attachmentid=84625&d=1434709010.jpg


Here is a quick attempt to illustrate the same change on this particular mule shot, with LED headlights superimposed:

model_x_nose_close_4.jpg


It is also true the front bumper, lights and hood don't quite match up. We can see a wire being run from the top edge of the bumper underneath, that may be twisting the entire bumper forwards, but it may also be the bumper, light fixtures and/or even dash is a non-final part and its design may still change for production.

Threads:
Model X mules - is the nose cone gone?
How has Model X nose changed since 2012 - and has it changed in 2015 mules?
[Concept] Model X image without nose-cone and A pillar cross-beam

3) The tires:

There are far more knowledgeable people discussing Model X tires on TMC than myself, but just to note here the FlatSix911 photographs are probably the first time we get a good look at the size markings of the Model X mule tires. The concensus seems to be they are either 245/45 R 20 or 265/45 R 20.

Looking very closely, I'm leaning on 265/45 R 20 and have included a blow-up below:

model_x_nose_close_5.jpg


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

tinm

2020 Model S LR+ Owner
May 3, 2015
2,463
12,331
New Mexico, USA
Please oh please oh please.

Whoever is taking these photos, and whoever happens upon an X in the wild and chooses to take more photos: get out of your vehicle, take many photos, and please WALK AROUND THE X, and keep taking more photos. Take hundreds. Stand in front of the damn thing and take head-on photos.

I'm amazed at the obsessive interest in the nose of the X, but nobody has taken PICTURES of the nose of the X :)

It makes me sometimes wonder if this whole thing isn't an orchestrated tease by Tesla Motors' marketing team :)

So remember: if you see an X, and it's parked, do the entire TMC community a good deed and take photos from all angles. This message brought to you by Concerned Citizens For 360-Degrees Of Model X Photography.
 
All things being equal, the simplest answer is usually the correct one:

1. Model S sporting LED headlights and Tesla taping over Model X production candidate headlights is indicative of new LED headlights making it to production.
2. The separate nose cone is gone. The new front bumper is body coloured and has a hint of the old nosecone design moulded into it.
3. Both of these design changes will the rolled out to Model S soon.
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
tinm: It is true there is a scarcity of Model X mule frontal photos. One reason is that many are photographed in traffic where rear is easier to record and front is usually recorded, if at all, in lower resolution video. I would welcome more high-resolution frontal shots of the mules for sure.

Trev Page: Plausible and reasonable conclusions. Thank you for posting them.
 

timf

Active Member
Apr 14, 2013
1,042
163
Michigan
What is interesting is the driver's side foglight looking orange. Is Tesla testing multiple different light temperatures/solutions/options/fixtures? Or could they even be testing intelligent LED lighting patterns that are generated based on driving situation (like the Germans already do)? A more yellow light temperature is sometimes recommended for fogs.
It looks like it's picking up the amber side marker lights, which are part of the fog/cornering light assembly. The distance and quality of the photo makes the lights appear to blend together.
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
It looks like it's picking up the amber side marker lights, which are part of the fog/cornering light assembly. The distance and quality of the photo makes the lights appear to blend together.

LED lights being fairly directional, your theory of them being captured "lopsidedly" on camera seems plausible too. Good point.

- - - Updated - - -

LED lights being fairly directional, your theory of them being captured "lopsidedly" on camera seems plausible too. Good point.

Interesting theory. Those pin-looking things on the corners of the bonnet being the mechanism that pushes it up?
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
To entertain this rumor - what if the camoed "vent" underneath the "nosecone" (molded into bumper perhaps) isn't a vent but missing some trim where a license plate holder might attach and which could be removable to attach towing hook etc.

An anonymous employee who has seen many model X said that "there will be a good place for the license plate in front"

This is a legitimate rumor :biggrin:

X Sig #931

Here's a quick Photoshop of the idea, compared to the vent version below:

model_x_nose_close_6.jpg

attachment.php?attachmentid=90612&d=1439654698.jpg
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
To entertain this rumor - what if the camoed "vent" underneath the "nosecone" (molded into bumper perhaps) isn't a vent but missing some trim where a license plate holder might attach and which could be removable to attach towing hook etc.

Here's a quick Photoshop of the idea, compared to the vent version below:

View attachment 90677
attachment.php?attachmentid=90612&d=1439654698.jpg

With the latest sighting (quoted below) I find it less likely there is a vent beneath the nosecone, perhaps there is a mini-cone there instead or other trim not yet in place on the previous mules... Perhaps something to cover the towing hook etc. Otherwise I would not expect the "vent" continue being covered in mules. So perhaps there is some trim there merely missing on the earlier mules.

Model X Mule Sightings - Page 233

AnxietyRanger said:
Great sighting and good photos, mulder1231.

Some notes:

- First, other than new style of camo, there are no surprises visible on this mule. What can be seen, is the same as on the other final-looking mules in (late) spring 2015. The camoed bumpers could of course easily be stuff that is more final than it has been on previous mules, we don't know with the camo (and I guess that is the point).

- The front and rear lights are still camoed with black tape, so we see only little part, as seems to be the front window hiding the crossbarless front. They won't really be that small in reality, they are just camoed with black tape. What we see of the front could be LED headlights, but it could also not be.

- Falcon wings don't seem to close just quite right yet, could there be still some protective wrapping inside preventing that - or it could be indicative or work in progress. I guess some would say it is indicative of Frankenstein parts, which is possible, but I think unlikely by now (unless the deliberate decoy/fake angle turns out to be true and the profile of the final car turns out to be different).

- The white wrapped spoiler area and bumpers suggest these are the ones being hidden for the reveal. Rest could be final, considering the production-looking paint.

- Covering the front blinker - could they be hiding a Founders text under there? Could this be a Founders test run of some sort?

- There seem to even be center caps on the wheels?

- The shot from the front suggests there is no vent above the nosecone area. I'm still wondering if the end-result might look something like this concept:

attachment.php?attachmentid=90612&d=1439654698.jpg


mulder1231 said:

- - - Updated - - -

And suddenly every other SUV looks 15 years old. Looks fantastic, seemed to have gotten sleeker and longer since original prototype.

The windows have gotten bigger, for example: How different are the 2015 Model X mules vs. 2012-2013 prototype(s))
 
Last edited:

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
Tesla T seems to be present both front and back of the latest Model X sighting:

model_x_t.jpg


Perhaps similar to this on the front, but the T and the T strip trim is more prominent and more flush with the bumper-moulded nosecone or separate nosecone, whichever it is... maybe the "T strip" is a chrome trim that sits "over" the nosecone area, which itself is bumper colored?

attachment.php?attachmentid=90677&d=1439715020.jpg
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
For the love of God man, stop posting the darned picture! It now appears 6 times (dang it 7!) on this page already. :)

Hey, it's two different images... ;)

Probably too much, agreed when seen on a page like that, but it was my shorthand for not having to explain what I mean in the message. It looks different when composing merely the single message. :)
 

Blurry_Eyed

MS Sig #267, MX Sig # 761
Dec 29, 2011
588
308
Here is a thought. What if the nosecone is attached to the hood? On the Model S we know that the hood is a weak area where there were problems with creasing. It might make sense for tesla to attach the nosecone as a reinforcement for the hood. Also it might open up some space or some other function to have the nosecone lift up off the front rather than be attached.

Or it might just be the section that AnxietyRanger is speculating about it the reinforcement piece and is the only part that will lift off with the hood.

No more need for special instructions in closing the hood with two hands!
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
Here is a thought. What if the nosecone is attached to the hood? On the Model S we know that the hood is a weak area where there were problems with creasing. It might make sense for tesla to attach the nosecone as a reinforcement for the hood. Also it might open up some space or some other function to have the nosecone lift up off the front rather than be attached.

Or it might just be the section that AnxietyRanger is speculating about it the reinforcement piece and is the only part that will lift off with the hood.

No more need for special instructions in closing the hood with two hands!

It actually crossed my mind that the T logo in front could be a way to open the frunk, but interesting idea that the whole piece might be attached to the bonnet. Why not?

By the way, interesting to note how little the Model X mules have actually changed - here is the first Model X mule sighting (or plant) after the harbor video in early 2015... compared to the almost latest Model X mule sighting (before the production-painted looking one). Aside from the terribly botched white mule around March, none of the mules actually look very much like frankenmonsters at all. They're quite consistently remaining nearly the same.

model_x_mule_changes.jpg
 

vandacca

ReActive Member
Oct 13, 2014
3,371
2,248
Hamilton

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top