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Where are the (300?) M3 Beta Prototypes?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by boiler81, Jan 21, 2017.

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  1. boiler81

    boiler81 Member

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    I like to be optimistic, but don't understand how Tesla can start Model 3 production as early as July, if none of the Beta prototypes are built or in testing. To the best of my knowledge, only the two operational alpha (Reveal) prototypes have been seen in public. It was reported that Tesla ordered parts for 300 Beta prototypes last August after "pencil's down" in July. If these cars don't start to show up on the roads in the next few weeks, I don't see how Tesla can be adequately test the M3 and meet their delivery commitment. I realize subsystems can be tested on the existing M3 prototypes and on a fleet of MS's. However Tesla needs a fleet of actual beta prototypes to have an meaningful integrated testing of such things as real world chassis dynamics, range, aerodynamics, crash worthiness, temperature extreme testing, durability, reliably, maintainability, etc.,

    Help me stay optimistic...where are the Beta prototypes??
     
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  2. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    Probably hiding in plain sight ... under the skin of a Model S test mule :cool:
     
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  3. McFlurri

    McFlurri Member

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    There wont be 300 prototypes. Im sure a lot of the parts are to be used for verification of fit and finish/ quality.

    It's hard for them to build the prototypes, when the assembly line is not 100% up and running yet.
     
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  4. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    July 2017 is the target "impossible date" for internal parts and suppliers to be ready, rather than the production date.
     
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  5. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    When I was at the factory getting a VIP tour, we were talking about the M3.. and this is EXACTLY what they told us... that the M3 would be tested most of the time in a well disquised Model S. Unless you looked really closely, you wouldn't be able to tell it was an M3 "inside".

    So yeah, hiding in plain sight.
     
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  6. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    Who wants to bet against them having a set of slightly scaled down Model S bodies that fit the Model ☰ chassis
    Does that mean we will all have to be peering inside every S that drives by?
     
  7. Trev Page

    Trev Page Member

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    I very much doubt they would be testing Model 3s under a Model S skin. People were saying all sorts of crazy things about "fake" body panels on the Model X when they were testing them on the Bay Area streets in 2015. Lots were under the impression that the final Model X would look very different from the shown prototypes and that was not the case. Only the interiors change significantly with Tesla.

    We should start seeing real beta Model 3s being driven around in the next few months. Keep your cameras and cell phones ready.
     
  8. Alketi

    Alketi Member

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    Isn't it obvious? They're all silver. ;)
     
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  9. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    IMG_0618.JPG
     
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  10. Alketi

    Alketi Member

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    #10 Alketi, Jan 22, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
    Assuming Tesla has some beta prototypes, the issue for them would be whether or not to let them loose before the "final" Model 3 reveal.

    There are a number of features, including updated exterior styling (trunk, nose cone(?)) and the final interior (steering wheel/HUD) that they'd probably like to keep quiet until their planned live unveiling.

    Assuming an end of March reveal, then we probably shouldn't expect to see the beta prototypes on the road until after April.

    It's also noteworthy that Tesla reportedly has a test track on an additional 35 acres at their Fremont compound.
    http://jalopnik.com/tesla-just-bought-a-test-track-next-to-their-factory-840621863

    Self-driving + self-fueling + closed course = lots of good test miles. :)

     
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  11. Wolverinegeoff

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    Probably can leave out "reportedly" said nice you attached a wonderful confirmation video. ;) I wonder if they have to worry about drones or helicopters videoing their demo cars there. Wasn't there footage awhile back of them testing AEB on rigs that had a fake rear end suspended next to a real car?
     
  12. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    Isn't that the secret SpaceX facility? Could they be launching Model 3 betas into orbit to test them away from prying eyes... hiding them in plain sight? :)
     
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  13. melindav

    melindav ☰ reserved

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    I think that was at the Alameda Naval base they've also used for a test track
     
  14. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    Ah, the once-favorite haunt of "MythBusters"! :)
     
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  15. dsvick

    dsvick Active Member

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    They weren't going to build 300 cars from those parts, it was merely stated that they ordered that many parts. As was mentioned above the majority of those will be used for testing, compatibility, fit and finish, sent to other parts manufacturers for testing, and a variety of other things. At this point it doesn't do them any good to create another hand-built car so you won't see another actual test vehicle until the line is ready and they can produce them there. At that point you may be able to see them on test tracks and other closed areas. There probably won't be any on the streets until after the next reveal.
     
  16. schonelucht

    schonelucht Active Member

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    If you see the issues with the camera calibration on AP2, at some point you really need to start testing the real deal... Not sure when that is going to happen.
     
  17. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Absolutely. But according to the OP, we're not going to suddenly see 300 M3 test mules on the road. It will be a very controlled release, just like Tesla likes to do. I also agree that we won't see any in the wild until the production line is running.

    Even still, they can camouflage the real M3 pretty well for real-world testing. A good friend of mine works for BMW-USA as a test driver of all their new cars in development (it's like 'the best job ever').. and the cars he drives are always highly camouflaged outside and inside (dash, console, etc). Most of the time he has to cover the cars up with a locked car cover if he's just going into a restaurant to eat.

    When I got my P85+ I let him take it for a drive... and he was speechless. And this guy drives the newest, decked-out M cars that BMW has to offer.
     
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  18. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

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    The X prototypes were sporting fake nose cones and presumably vinyl wrap over the top part of the windshield right up until the production reveal. Definitely not drastic changes that were hidden, but details that were hidden none the less.
     
  19. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    It's kinda hard to conceal a Model X inside a Model S. :)
     
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  20. yesup

    yesup Member

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    I don't think so. The shorter wheel base and track of the Model 3 should make it easy to spot from a distance.
    They usually use fake panel to make it less obvious, but a Model 3 mule definitely would not look like an ordinary Model S.
     

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