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Model X mules - is the nose cone gone?

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
With so many different mule spotting threads being filled with idle banter, I have been making new threads of some of the more interesting (personal opinion) details surrounding the Model X mules like the bumper cameras, rear spoiler area and cargo solutions. I hope these help the moderators as well as the conversation along.

Next I thought we could discuss the question of the nose.

Back in September the new member "insiderinfo" posted some drawing related to the Model X and this tidbit. The drawing was quickly pulled by request of Telsa, as doug put it "Sorry folks. Got a friendly request from Tesla to take it down as it's "proprietary info"." lending instant (if still suspect) credibility to the poster.

"insiderinfo" also had other things to say:

There are a number of BETA cars that are currently testing they would represent what you guys are calling "mule" They total 25 or so. Some are drivable some are not. They are used for different tests, the different engineering teams get a car and run their perspective tests on it. I can put up a picture, and I likely will very soon. But Just as a heads up, the front has changed allot, there is no more fake grill (nose cone). Enjoy the tidbits.

Teslarati toyed with this idea on a Model S back in the day - and I also made the point some time ago that if Tesla changes Model X nose, could the facelift Model S to follow suit...?

Tesla-Model-S-New-Nose-Cone.jpg


This has been in addition to several other sources noting clear changes in the Model X design between the 2012-2013 prototype and the eventual production version, others also have suggested a revised nose. Already the 2015 Model X mules show clearly different roof, hemline, shoulderline and side window shapes, as well as a new rear diffuser shape and rear spoiler area shape, some of which is listed on the http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/show...odel-X-prototype-(2012-2013)-vs-Mule(s)-(2015) thread. Now, these may of course change prior to production, but it speaks of development and design direction at least.

Even assuming the Model X mules on the road were to sport near final body panels, which they may not, the front of the car has enjoyed the most camoflage making it hard to determine what is going on there. Still, something obviously has changed - the bonnet now extends lower than in the old prorotypes before ending up in what would be anything from just a Tesla logo and a slit, to a re-designed nose cone.

The November 2014 update email image from Tesla may show the difference in the new(er) front (and falcon wing) designs - note how the November image doesn't have the old nose cone where it ends:

attachment.php?attachmentid=63999&d=14164339408.png


The Model X mules seen since show similar shape on the nose (as well as on the redesigned falcon wings) as on the November update image, supporting the idea that both at least represent similar timeframes of development, as an image from robby's post illustrates on the black-camo mule:

nonosecone.png


The white-camo mule seen more frequently since has been spotted with higher resolution and even on video:

Picture 1 - Spied: 2016 Tesla Model X

tesla model x in palo alto - YouTube

model_x_mule_nose_1.jpg

model_x_mule_nose_2.jpg


It seems like the fog-light areas have been redesigned into the Model S direction. As has been discussed, it also seems like there may be cameras in this area. The video shows better the camoed chrome trim extending from the foglight, Model S style.

What is happening in the nose cone area in these sightings is interesting. The re-designed bonnet on the mules seem to end up in a slit, where the top of a nose cone and the Tesla logo would seem to go. Aerodynamically speaking, putting a hole in there doesn't necessarily seem like something that would happen, but who knows. It could also be that a hint of the old nose cone design could remain here (and just is missing from the mule) and underneath some new nose design appears.

Underneath the slit and the heavy camo, which is so bumpy that it suggests decoy elements but also possible some new vents (notably the "D" radar is not seen, could be under the wrap here?), there is something that does still resemble a nose cone under the camo wrap. Could be real, could be old, could be decoy. Whatever is underneath, though, looks so badly mangled that it doesn't look like a real shape shining through, but something that is well hidden. I wouldn't put it past Tesla - had they removed the nose cone - to simply twist an old Model X prototype nosecone underneath and wrap it to look like it is a part of the design. Lowest of all, a new front spoiler completes the mule front - in any case, compared to the prototype, this lower area of the mule(s) is far more aggressive-looking.

If Tesla wanted to drop the nose cone, maybe they would do something like the Porsche Cayenne, only with sharper lines, smaller vents and less ugly:

640px-2010-2011_Porsche_Cayenne_%2892A%29_S_wagon_%282011-08-03%29_01.jpg
 
I think it will have a nosecone for a couple of reasons:

The bonnet slit looks to be part of a larger nosecone shape, a slit by itself (with no nosecone) would have been designed differently with a bit more radius at the ends. If there is no nosecone below the slit then I could see them making it a little more sophisticated.

Secondly (and the major reason IMO) is the new character lines above the new fog light air intake, which flow down below to where the nosecone would be. If there is no nosecone, the character lines would simply be emphasising an expanse of nothing. Hence I think the nosecone exists.


of course this totally mitigates the credible insider info that there is no longer a nosecone! And the Tesla Model S designer which questions having a nosecone.
 
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In the captures of the Mules driving the front area is always wrapped in camo. It also appears there is something along the bonnet (frunk) and the nose cone that doesn't fit to the fenders correctly. I guess some more camo under the wrapping. Given comments that the engineers found a means to reduce drag, it seems logical that the large frontal area had to be modified so the X is more aerodynamic. Not sure if the "cameras or other material spotted are test equipment or more camo applied along the wheel wells (just bolts).

Thanks for your analysis AnxietyRanger.
 
I could see them making a nosecone into a subtle T shape. Its a little generic as is.

i could easily see the idea of a nosecone being dropped altogether, too reminiscent of the old ICE way of designing a car - needing sufficient air intakes or grille for cooling the engine. An EV and especially a company like Tesla does not need to follow convention. The problem is making the front interesting with no nose cone. maybe a "T" design feature incorporating the bonnet slit?
 
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AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
I could see them making a nosecone into a subtle T shape. Its a little generic as is.

i could easily see the idea of a nosecone being dropped altogether, too reminiscent of the old ICE way of designing a car - needing sufficient air intakes or grille for cooling the engine. An EV and especially a company like Tesla does not need to follow convention. The problem is making the front interesting with no nose cone. maybe a "T" design feature incorporating the bonnet slit?

+1 to both points.

As for ICE needing air intakes, an ICE also needs air for "breathing". Not an issue for an EV, of course. :)
 

gjunky

Trifecta: Solar and both cars are EVs
Mar 26, 2012
1,258
425
Scottsdale, AZ
As for the model S: the nose is the ugliest part/apect of the car for me. I love the car from any angle, but the nose. The German licence plate doen't do anything to make it look better either.

So very happy, if the MX has a better solution.
100% agree and we don't even have front license plates. In my opinion, the nose cone makes an otherwise perfect design flawed. ( model s and I expect the model x)

- - - Updated - - -

A couple of - granted, very hasty - interpretations what a nose-coneless Model X might look like:

View attachment 76594

I like this front end so much better than a cone. Nicely done.
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
Thanks. :)

It should be noted that if the mules are anything to guide us, there may be more vents in the front, in the area between the "T" slit and the lower frontal diffuser - just like there are vents in the lower part of the Model S nosecone. These were ignored in the image, just to ponder what a simplified front might look like.

That said, the above image is totally speculative and there is nothing substantial to support the idea that a production Model X would have a T-like frontal design element. But it is fun to speculate.
 
At the risk of making no sense:

1 - I actually like the contrast of the black nose cone on my white Model S

2 - Is it possible that there is some sort of opening in the front of the X that will continue through to under the car to reduce air resistance/drag? The angle to bring the air through would be similar to the angle of the windshield. I know it seems far fetched but it would be inline with Elon's something we've never seen on any other car statement.
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
2 - Is it possible that there is some sort of opening in the front of the X that will continue through to under the car to reduce air resistance/drag? The angle to bring the air through would be similar to the angle of the windshield. I know it seems far fetched but it would be inline with Elon's something we've never seen on any other car statement.

Here are shots of the Model X mule nose again, this area has been so heavily camoed in the cars we've witnessed, anything is possible:

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


There is definitely the possibility of added vents in the middle. Just like in the Model S there are. What, if anything, they signify is harder to say.

article-2563725-1BAC635C00000578-280_468x286.jpg


Insane mode activated for a moment: There was talk of a sandwich-like design of the Model X that would allow for space under the seats and between the battery. Some speculated this space could be used to carry skis, but later someone else said hearing of it being put to other use. I believe these comments came from Tesla people are various events. Perhaps this hypothetical space could be used to pass through air... and then there was the hole in the rear bumper in one the mules (which I speculated at the time would be a service hatch for foldable tow-hitch testing)... ;) Now, what this would do to frunk space etc., who knows.

/end of insane mode
 

mrdoubleb

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jul 2, 2013
2,613
14,576
Budapest, Hungary
I may have said this before on another thread before the discussions were blown up to a million separate threads...

I clearly remember seeing or reading an interview with Franz some time ago when he was asked if there was 1 thing he could o back an dchange on the S or go back in time and do differently, what would it be? He said: the nose cone.

So as much as I like it (it is part of the Tesla look in my mind) I will not be shocked at all if the final X has a redesigned nose compared to the prototype. And i think this unnecessary heavy masking on the latest mules is a sign of that... looks like a fake body part to hide the change until they reveal the production version.
 

AnxietyRanger

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,978
EU
I may have said this before on another thread before the discussions were blown up to a million separate threads...

I clearly remember seeing or reading an interview with Franz some time ago when he was asked if there was 1 thing he could o back an dchange on the S or go back in time and do differently, what would it be? He said: the nose cone.

So as much as I like it (it is part of the Tesla look in my mind) I will not be shocked at all if the final X has a redesigned nose compared to the prototype. And i think this unnecessary heavy masking on the latest mules is a sign of that... looks like a fake body part to hide the change until they reveal the production version.

Good point. What are your thoughts - are we going to see a Model S facelift next fall with the nose redesigned as well...?

Maybe just in time to include DRIVE PX second-generation auto-pilot for Model S...? :)
 

mrdoubleb

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jul 2, 2013
2,613
14,576
Budapest, Hungary
Good point. What are your thoughts - are we going to see a Model S facelift next fall with the nose redesigned as well...?

Maybe just in time to include DRIVE PX second-generation auto-pilot for Model S...? :)
For the same reason as in my previous post, if I had to bet money on just one thing I am sure will look different on the next version of the S (whenever that may be), I would say nose cone in a heartbeat.
 

Red Sage

The Cybernetic Samurai
Jul 6, 2014
3,033
2,198
Los Angeles CA
The nosecone will be fine on Model X. I didn't like it on the Model S. In the course of creating multiple drawings of potential replacements for it, I realized why it didn't look another way. Then I finally saw a group of photos that properly accented the contours of the nosecone. Once I saw that, I've been happy with the design ever since.
 

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