There has been much speculation on the WhiteStar, with the usual cloak-and-dagger “inside scoop” stuff showing up in places like AutoSpies.com (http://www.autospies.com/news/Spies-break-biggest-scoop-so-far-in-2007-We-spill-the-beans-on-the-upcoming-Tesla-Electric-Sedan-14898/). This is natural, of course, considering the century old tradition of secrecy surrounding vehicle design. However, I feel that Tesla Motors should take a Silicon Valley/Web 2.0 approach to designing the car. Spill it all out on the Web! Engage the future customers to help design the car. Engage the designers at every step of the way. Find out what people want. Bounce ideas off us. Tesla is already the most transparent auto company in the world, opening the company up to an international public through their blogs. This has worked well for them so far, and I feel they should extend it. A technical discussion may lead an army of thousands to search for lighter materials or interchangeable batteries. A features discussion could point to adaptive cruise control and keyless ignition. A body design discussion could eliminate rear-view mirrors in favor of tiny cameras, or maybe just mounting them inside the car for better aerodynamics. Who knows? The point is that the 60-some-odd designers they are putting on the project are just 60-some-odd minds; some with preconceived ideas. But just suppose a designer says to us, “Folks, we want to cover the wheels, but don’t want to look like the Honda Insight. Thoughts?” Of course this doesn’t mean posting the recipe to the secret sauce. Nor should they open themselves up to rants from every garage physicist with a perpetual motion machine. But a well moderated discussion board and some blogs about real-world design trade-offs would be extremely helpful in keeping ideas fresh and minds open. Not to mention the excitement they’d generate! Thoughts?