IMO ... the biggest exterior disappointment is the Tesla emblem on the quarter panel that was lit up and three dimensional ... . that was very trick looking!
Wow, really? @SoCalGuy, that is some serious nitpicking! As a matter of fact, I had the opposite reaction. I went to Fremont and saw that big concept painting on the wall behind the car and was struck how similar the final thing was to that painting dated 2009. Concept designs are usually so far from the final product and this is amazingly close.
I agree that the 3-D logo on the side in front of the drivers side door was cool (and highlighted in that painting), but they have tried so hard to reduce the drag coefficient, that I'll bet that's why it was eliminated. Anything disrupting the laminar flow of air over the car that could be eliminated, was eliminated.
My guess is bumper standards made both the front and rear less tapered. There's extra definition under the headlights that was not there in the prototype (it's subtle though). The rear end also has the trunk more recessed and the rear bumper more extended, rather than a smooth tapered surface. I remember this thread where someone made a big deal about the crash worthiness of the front end of the prototype:
Overall, I think the changes were fairly subtle though. And the changes they did make seemed to be absolutely necessary for the functionality.
Because there are tons of crazy people in this world...
The prototype was a good start but the production car is a great finish.
I like the new design. It's more sporty looking. Then again, I also liked the aggressive nose of the alpha. Can't please them all
The prototype was a some beauty, I'll give you that. Especially the white one.. The silver (now painted sig red) one was nice too. These two visions were what got me to put the deposit down without skipping a heartbeat.
But I have to say the production version is really gorgeous looking too. Its still got that "jaguary" look that I was attracted to. Yeah, its different than the original prototypes, and I got over that so long ago I can't remember how long its been now since the alphas were first shown (was that Feb of 2011?? Geesh, I can't believe it). Sure, there are some things to nitpick about the production model (we've done that 2-3 times over since Feb 2011), but nothing is changing my view of what Tesla has been able to pull off with Model S. They have met and went way beyond my expectations. Job well done Tesla!!
I have to say that I agree in general -- I wish that the original design prototype could have been preserved. Particularly the front end, and the sleeker side treatment (without the black strip under the body color, and the chrome piece under the doors).
That said, the production car is still beautiful and I look forward to taking delivery of mine!
I actually like the look of the finished product more than the look of the prototype.
In doing some googling, it looks like the Cd of the alpha was 0.26-0.28 (conflicting interviews/articles), so perhaps many of the changes were made to reduce the Cd to the current 0.24
I actually prefer the production version vs the concept. I guess different strokes.....
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