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Discussion in 'Model 3' started by ipdamages, Jun 10, 2013.
Some like it, some don't like it, and some are just fine with it. What say you?
Opinion: Yes, but a body-colored and/or matte black option should be offered.
i dont see why not, also dont see whats not to like about it looks great
I think it is the one part of the Model S design that doesn't look good. It is improved from the Alpha but it still needs work IMO.
It's going to be a matter of taste. Some will like it and others won't. The reason for it, is to have it look somewhat similar to a gas car. Changing peoples perception is going to take time and if you push it too far then you will lose a lot of buyers. The Gen III is going to need a lot of buyers.
The tricky thing is keeping the aerodynamics spectacular while making the car function well in a smaller size than the Model S.
I'd be against a grill just because it is silly in an EV and would ruin the aerodynamics.
Although I think overall Tesla's done a fantastic job with the design, the nose is the weakest part, where they capitulated to convention. My understanding is that an electric car needs some intake, but comparatively little to an aspirating ICE engine. I don't know what the Alpha looked like, but it seems the designers were caught in a dilemma of clinging to the visual reference of our car culture of large grilles while needing to minimize drag. Someone's Model S modification in another thread showed the nose repainted in the body color - it looked good and yet remained within the rest of the Model S design vocabulary. No nose with only discreet apertures for the AC and battery cooling would probably be the most pure design approach, but although there are examples to be had throughout the history of car design, it really depends on the style cues from the rest of the car.
One thing I am unclear on is if the nose cone acts as a form of bumper or whether it is rigidly mounted.
Personal preference - for sure..... Some purists will probably object to my nose cone enhancement. IMHO it just looked a bit too plastic (because it is). The chrome breaks it up a bit and you don't see the molded contours as much. Maybe Gen 3 could de-emphasize the nose cone. That would be my preference.
I like that better too !!
So do I. It breaks it up nicely. A good, simple and minor modification. Good idea.
As regards the notion that the Model S has no or very little need for air intake, that really isn't the case. Here is the front end without the body.
The "radiator" is about 8" tall and runs about as wide as the nose cone. Here is the production Model S (not sure if this is the Sig nose cone or the later version), with the air intakes showing - one just below the nose cone, and the lower air intake below that. There is a bumper section that covers part of the air intake.
Here is an Alpha Model S, which had air intakes above and below the nose bumper strip, which was later expanded to become the nose cone. I'm not sure if the upper air intake added much function as it likely wouldn't have directed air flow to the "radiator" if that was below the bumper strip. I like this version over the production Model S nose cone as it isn't so "in your face."
Here is the "mesh" version, which was criticized by many.
And finally, here was another shiny one.
The design team obviously tried out several alternatives. Here is a thread on Model S nose cone developments/options: Model S Nose Cone Designs (Prototype, Alpha, Beta and beyond))
As a result, it is pretty clear that there is a need for an air intake up there (though the Model S air intake needs decreased over time through re-engineering, which allowed for better aerodynamics - see post 166 of the thread above), and the nose cone probably doesn't need to be as big as it is. It also is clear that you can't make everyone happy, and compromises are necessary. Happily, I think that just about any of these would still result in a Gen 3 that sold well, and I expect that there may be aftermarket alternatives, like Letrit's chrome strips, or some of the developments/options in the thread cited above (e.g., post 161), including one by the Teslaccessories folks.
Like others I feel that the Model S's nose cone is the weakest part of the design. However, now that I've lived with it for several months I don't object to it as I did originally.
It should be noted that the nose cone is located in the place most likely to incur damage (with the notable exception of the turbine style rims) from bumping into things. So my point is that replacing the nose cone is going to be a lot less expensive than body work to an aluminum shell. In addition, it serve a function in providing easy access to certain components.
So my opinion has evolved from "No nose cone - I'd prefer as clean a front end as possible" to "I'm fine with it or with something else, assuming it is an attractive alternative".
I find it fascinating how small changes, such as the different nose cones, creates an entirely different "feel" for the car. I'm just glad we've got Franz to do it right.
The one with the lack of a Tesla T and no chrome really reminds me of an Aston Martin.
Actually, I think your photo series confirms my point that they started out with a lot of available area for venting between the nose, the underside and the two side intakes, and in the end covered up the majority of the nosecone. Yes, the heat exchangers still need some airflow, but for the size of it the openings are not all that large, at least compared to conventional ICE cars. Btw, it's good they didn't go with the mesh grille - too much bling and what a pain to clean of all the squashed bug intestines from road trips.
It's possible they came to the realization of reduced air intake late in the design process and that they could gain a lot in drag coeffiecient by closing a lot off, or maybe the nosecone design was always an issue of aesthetics, but they obviously struggled with it. I tend toward the purist camp and would argue for either continuous painted body panel or vent opening, but not a black piece of plastic. But I also realize for car designers the choice isn't so clearcut - there is a whole cultural psychology of the front of the car being the 'face' of the car that is ingrained, certainly in Western culture (even before Pixar) - Audi's even gotten into eyelashes now with its LEDs. The whole issue seems parallel with the debate raging now over skeuomorphism in Apple's and other computer and mobile OS's.
It's actually funny that everyone calls it a nosecone - I take this to be exactly because it is largely opaque - if it was a semi-permeable grille I think everyone would be calling it a mouth. Mouth or nose, still more evidence of the anthropomorphic identifications we make with our inanimate objects.
I just love that one. Reminds me of classic cars from days long gone.
Combine with the red paint ...
I had hoped the S would have a smaller nosecone, though it doesn't look bad. For G3 I'd love to see a more radical design and voted for no nosecone, but I'd be OK with a smaller smoother version of the S cone.