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Proposed Model 3 concept 'clay' model (unofficial)

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Sunlight, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. Sunlight

    Sunlight Member

    May 7, 2014
    South Africa
    I have been trying to post some photos of a proposed design model but it appears on the preview to be 'over-sized' so this is a test! If it is over-sized any advice? If it is OK I will send the whole portfolio.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh good that looks OK so I will do the full thing now. Interested in members views!
  2. Sunlight

    Sunlight Member

    May 7, 2014
    South Africa
    OK let's go into the bear lair...............! I am planning to
    get a Model III so follow most of the threads to see what people
    would like to see in the new design. It is mainly performance data;
    interior comments; features; ACC; blind spot warning etc etc.

    But very little about what people would like it to look like –
    bar a few classy images. Many of these options are not viable as they
    are 2-door designs or too wide/low/long to be practical – too
    'concept'! Obviously the MS has set the bar high so many want a
    mini-MS but I think this is a bit of a cop-out. But clearly people
    want the M3 to look good.

    So I began to think what I'd like 'my' M3 to look like. It needs
    to have Tesla MS DNA as well as, and I think this is important, play
    to EV advantages/strengths. I cannot paint/draw well enough nor
    photoshop or similar so after messing around with some sketches, I
    decided to make a 1:5 scale model. I am only a hobby model-maker so
    excuse the basic nature of the beast. It lacks detailing; swage
    lines; creases; and final scalloping shapes to make it all hang
    together and have the wow-factor. In essence, this model is a
    conceptual design showing the architecture and the general basic
    shape. But it is an accurate and realisitic design - dimension-wise
    it is workable so not a big compromise.
    Side profile -Picasa.jpg

    General comments. The overall length is appreciably less than the
    MS as is the width – these are closer to a BMW 3-series/Merc
    C-class. However the wheelbase is longer than those cars although
    shorter than the MS. This will give space for the batteries between the
    wheels; improved ride and directional stability; better internal
    space useage at a small cost of agility. The resulting short
    overhangs front and rear will make maneouvering in urban environments
    easier but do pose some design issues.

    To give the design Tesla-DNA, I have used the side window/roof
    profile from the MS; similar scalloping on the side panels and a
    rounded tear-drop nose not unlike the MS. Personally I prefer the
    prototype MS nose so the MIII has echoes of this. The front and rear
    seat headroom has been increased (more so at he back) to address
    concerns about interior headroom with the MS. To give the increased
    rear headroom has resulted in a higher rear deck (and a Kamm chopped
    tail) which will improve rear luggage space. This car will, after
    all, be targetted as a 'family car'.
    Three-quarter front 2-picasa.jpg

    Importantly the windscreen has been moved forward significantly
    resulting in a cab-forward/mid-engined design look. With no need for
    a big hood other than access to the frunk this feature greatly
    enhances a number of aspects. Firstly safety as the windscreen head
    is further away in an accident and the A-pillar can be strengthened
    with a vertical support/frame towards its head. This is also a more
    aerodynamic shape – closer to a 'teardrop' – as well. Also it
    reduces the impact of the sun streaming in the windscreen and allows
    the (larger) pano roof to open far further forward giving a feeling
    closer to a cabriolet. When TV wide-angle rear-view screens arrive
    the forward windscreen will also allow better positioning of the
    screen at the head of the windscreen. The A-pillars are also less
    visually intrusive when they are further forward giving reduced blind
    Side view - high-Picasa.jpg

    The interior space with the windscreen position; roof profile and
    rear deck height will feel substantially larger than comparable cars
    – especially with the uncluttered Tesla internal space (flat floor
    and no tunnel/gearbox housing nor central console (!)).

    Overall I would like to see a “from follows function” design,
    simple and classic and departing from the 'trendy' slashes; huge
    scoops; exaggerated swage lines; over-large wheels arches/flares and
    scalloping and so on.

    I gave also grown to dislike the huge, over-sized, bulbous and
    unnecessary headlights (and tail-lights) that have become the current
    trend and already look passe. With LED/Laser the lights can be sleek
    and simple so I have minimised the lights into thin strips and
    included a Tesla logo and chrome strips at the front (reminiscent of
    the VW xl-1) – no faux grille which is the weakest design part of
    the MS. See the Peugeot HX-1 concept car for the general light design
    and front detailing. Optionally the lights could sweep into the front
    wings in a Ferrari-esque way and giving the M3 a very distinctive
    look (too radical for Joe-Public?)

    The front valance can include any grilles necessary for cooling
    various things (by looking at the MS this is more than one would
    expect) and any required high-beam/spot lights.

    At the rear the look is definitely 'way out'/radical and different
    but, hopefully, not too intimidating. Using the EV advantages of no
    exhaust boxes, outlet pipes or a huge gas tank, the rear undertray
    can be swept up to give downforce ground effect. This low-drag
    downforce will result in better cornering at high speed and improved
    stability. Furthermore I think it looks really badass.......... (To
    see this design feature done in detail, look at the rear of the EV
    Exagon Furtive e-GT – beautiful!)
    Picasa 2.jpg

    The rear has been given haunches like the MS to keep the Tesla
    DNA. As the rear deck is much higher and I wanted to keep the rear
    overhang short, there is a 'chopped' tail with a small vertical rear
    window similar to the Honda Insight-CRX/Z and the Volt etc. But I
    have gone for a look that pays homage to the Lamborghini Espada! Not
    bad influences.... The rear lights are mainly included in the rear
    window so avoiding the bug-eyed look.

    Finally there is the option of disc/aero wheels with pepper pot
    holes for brake cooling – and as a nod to the old XJ-12 and
    enclosed rear wheels – as a tribute to the Citroen DS and because
    drag is so important with an EV. As the design has such a short rear
    overhang and long wheelbase, this shape lends itself to enclosed rear
    wheels – personally I think it looks great!
    Three-quarter front-aero pack-picasa.jpg
    So clearly a Tesla; certainly an EV - unusual/radical and yet
    familiar and unintimidating.

    Frustratingly the photos do not do the model justice so treat with
    a positive disposition!
    Front detail-picasa.jpg
    I would be really interested in (constructive!) observations from members!
    Three-quarters rear low 2-picasa.jpg
  3. Ames

    Ames Member

    May 27, 2013
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Well done Sunlight...nice effort and a very plausible one.

    I would definitely not want the aero rear covers, I think they bring the car right downmarket.

    I didn't like the rear diffuser, I thought it was OTT and needs toning down. The rear reminded me too much of an 80's Honda CRX; an undoubtedly elegant car ahead of its time, but not a good fit for the M3.

    For the front grill, I agree with you that it's a bit of an eyesore on the MS, but you have to consider that people are used to it now and associate it with Tesla. I think you need to somehow work it in while keeping it the same, but making it less gaudy (ahh the impossible things designers have to do). Finally I feel that the nose drops too suddenly.

    In general I liked your design except for the front and rear. Excellent work!
  4. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

    Aug 17, 2006
    Slovenia, Europe
    I just canceled my order ...
  5. Tasdevil

    Tasdevil Member

    Nov 24, 2013
    1:5 wow, pretty big clay model!
    And your very brave to put your hard work up on here.

    I really like the side on view of the sweeping line of the windshield all the way to how the tail has a slight flick and then it drops. Always liked a tall arse on a car, used to give bad visibility, but we have cameras now :)

    Your thin lights that sweep around the corners of the car are nice too, something about the lights being straight and not curved looks "futuristic"

    The nose drops too quick for my liking, I know your trying to stick to 3 series dimensions, but everyone loves a big frunk :)

    What other cars have you made?
  6. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

    May 6, 2009
    Ancaster, Canada
    #6 mnx, Aug 13, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
    Nice work.

    My favourite part is the view from the rear. Love that rear diffuser! Tail lights are good too.

    I dislike the short hood/cab forwardness. Combined with the lack of a traditonal grille and tiny headlights it's rather ugly to me overall front the front.
  7. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2012
    Skaneateles, NY
    Good try. But it looks too much like a Prius or Volt. And the rear lower valence looks like my hair clippers. Sorry :/. I think it needs to look more unique and no so much like a Prius or Volt.
  8. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

    Apr 1, 2014
    Southern New Jersey
    Nice the rear diffuser. I'm not sure if Tesla will make the Model 3 look so similar to the Model S, but I think your model looks great. You have skills.
  9. JRod0802

    JRod0802 Member

    Dec 15, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Thank you for sharing your work with us! It looks like that must have taken a long time. It's really great to see other people's ideas of future Tesla stuff.
  10. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

    Apr 3, 2009
    I kinda like it, though it reminds me a bit of the original Honda Insight.

    As an aside: I updated the title so that folks don't get confused.
  11. jerjozwik

    jerjozwik Active Member

    May 12, 2014
    san gabriel valley
    you are very brave to post your hard work onto one of the most passionate forums i have ever been a memeber of.
  12. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

    Mar 24, 2013
    That's a lot of work!
    Two first impressions: that rear underside (is this what responders have been calling the diffuser?) is the most radical-looking element I've ever seen in a non-super-performance car. To me it's very catchy, in an appealing way.

    That segues into point No. 2, however. You wrote you tried to have form follow function, have you any knowledge that that set and kind of shapes would provide the ground-hugging performance you claim? I'm not challenging you - perhaps there are <200mph cars out there for which that work - I'd certainly like to know, however.

    And for the rest of function----->form. What matters to me truly is what's on the inside: comfort, usable space both for items as well as people (okay, and large dogs, too.......;)), and room for engine...err, motor + batteries. If I were brave and foolhardy enough to tackle what you've done, I would create that space first, and then design a shell around that.

    Now, perhaps that's what you've done, if only in your mind's eye. Did you? At least somewhat?
  13. gjunky

    gjunky Trifecta: Solar and both cars are EVs

    Mar 26, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I think you did amazing work and I agree with jerkozwik's comments, very brave.

    I think it is an interesting mix between the prius and the Tesla styling (and I don't mean this in a bad way). I also recognize a bit of Citroen in it (also good). I actually like the closed rear wheels in this design. The rear air diffusers might be a bit out of scale for the design. I don't mind them being there but I think they could be a bit smaller. I like the lack of nose cone in your design (I don't dare to call it a grill on this forum...).

    I really like the tail lights of the Model S and the ones in your design remind me of a civic which seems out of place here.

    My biggest concern with the model 3 is that is will have an at least somewhat useable rear seat and with a sloping design like this I am worried that there will not be enough room. I like the fact that your are trying to solve this by moving the wheels to the far corners. Good for battery placement and additional interior room as you mentioned. This is almost a little more X than S.

    A fantastic job I think. Still amazed you did this in clay!
  14. Mr X

    Mr X Future Owner

    Jan 18, 2013
    Simi Valley, CA
    Why did it have to be ugly? EV's dont have to be ugly!
  15. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    Herndon, VA
    He asked for constructive criticism not rude remarks !!!
  16. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

    Jun 28, 2012
    El Lay
    Tremendous effort, I almost love it! Several posters have compared it to the original Honda Insight (2000) and a Prius, both of which I own. I was looking at the pictures, and every one I looked at I was thinking "I could really get into this being the actual design"...

    But then I came across the rear view, which I really didn't care for. You can chalk me up as seeing things differently than most others here, since I like the front much better than the rear. Love the side view too.

    My favorite shot of all is this one:

    Three-quarter front 2-picasa.jpg

    To me this has a wonderful combination of both retro styling and a very futuristic look. All in all a very nice effort, and I would say without hesitation that I prefer this to any other version of the Model 3 that has been posted.

  17. GregRF

    GregRF Squirrel Power

    Jul 22, 2014
    That is a lot of hard work, well done! Love the amount of thought that went into the design and great to have a discussion on perspective styling.

    I agree that we'll be seeing this.


    Love all the thought that went into this. I totally agree that we'll see the short frunk with a forward cab (enabled by the short front overhang).

    The front end is going to be the most important style-wise and I can't wait to see how Franz can stylize this area. With a short frunk and necessary aero front slope it will be tough to get a design that doesn't look too much like a prius/insight. I'm hoping for a bit more flare over the fenders with stylish headlights incorporated in a more vertical LED strip like the Ferrari 458.

    I like the ideas on the rear end. The chopped kamm tail can look really good and the diffuser could aid in the style. Your diffuser looks like it might be a bit too aggressive on the upslope to keep the air stream attached. For some reason I've been really liking the look of the jaguar f-type taillights, stylish yet simplistic.

    Thanks for sharing,
  18. JST

    JST Active Member

    May 23, 2013
    I think we may all be surprised at just how much the silhouette of the Model 3 ends up resembling the Volt, Insight, and Prius. There's a reason that those cars all vaguely resemble one another, at least in profile. That shape--Kamm back, tallish roof, sloping rear hatch--is a pretty good solution to the aero and packaging constraints a car like this faces.

    I suspect we will see a variation on this theme, and if you are throwing darts at a wall I think it's better to start with this target than something like a shrunken Model S.

    Well done speculative model. I'm not sold on some of the detail, but I agree that the front 3/4 view looks great and I like the integration of the Tesla window line, which I can see becoming something of a signature. It's not as iconic as the Hofmeister kink, but it could grow to be close.
  19. DITB

    DITB co-founder

    Nov 13, 2012
    Hong Kong
    Great effort, Sunlight! Don't be shy about your performance, I am sure TM is watching here and having a good look to compare their own plans to your guess. Realistically, more as a curiosity, with all due respect, they have a lot more means available in terms of computer power and designer skills.

    Rear diffuser OTT? I thought it was more like ... under the bottom :tongue:
  20. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Supporting Member

    May 26, 2013
    Mission Viejo, CA
    I applaud your effort, so I don't want to come across as too disparaging, as I'm sure it took plenty of effort to do this. I'll keep my comments brief.

    Prominent "T" logo in front
    Overall shape of the greenhouse
    One-piece "seamless" appearance of front glass and roof (although I'd shudder to think what the replacement cost would be in the real world!)
    Rear diffuser (perhaps a bit more toned-down on the production model)
    "Cropped" rear tail

    Nose too short, doesn't "flow" with the beltline, overall proportions
    Axle-to-dash proportions. Front axle should be further forward
    Headlight design
    Taillight design

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