Model 3 BETA (RCs) Watch Thread

John

Tech Founder
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
1,633
Location
California
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
Black Tesla Model 3 Sighting!

Today I took a Saturday drive by Tesla headquarters in Palo Alto on the off-chance that a Model 3 might be in the neighborhood. I didn't see any as I approached, so I pulled into the parking lot to turn around and head back. Right as I did so, a black Model 3 (no number in the window) glided from behind the building and passed in front of me to leave the parking lot. I pulled in behind it, and followed it. It went up into the hills for about 5 minutes, pulled away from me (it was much quicker off of all of the stop signs than my car), and then as I came around a curve it was flipping a three-point u-turn. I passed it by and did a u-turn a bit further up the hill, then chased it back to HQ and saw it go back behind the building.

No pictures (honestly, I'm not a good picture/video taker), but I can give you my first-hand impressions.

I have of course read other folks' first impressions, so I had some points of reference in my head already. I was wondering if it would be drop-dead gorgeous or look like a Panamera or some other Porsche, or remind me of a Model S, or look like a Mitsubishi Eclipse from the rear. None of those ended up really applying. My main impression was that it is a very attractive and distinctive car from the front; it doesn't remind you of another car. I did not miss it having a grill, and you instantly notice that it has a lot more shine up front than other cars. We're all used to seeing grills, and grills have gotten quite decorative, but this car has a nose that shows off its paint in a way that makes you think a grill would spoil it. We are used to seeing curves on the shoulders and sides of a car; this car has curves upfront, too. That makes it distinctive. Franz deserves a lot of credit for making this simplification, and I think he's designed a nose that flows and integrates much more elegantly with the rest of the car than what we're used to in mid-range sedans.

Size-wise it seems to look about the size of BMW 3-series. Size looked good to me. Not tight, not big. Mid-size sedan.

I would add that to me it was not dramatic or "flashy," in the way that a Ferrari (flowing curves) or Prius Prime (robot nightmare) are. instead, my overall impression was of cool elegance. It is a very classy car without gratuitous showiness or gaudy details. Some folks may wish for something more overtly eye-catching, but—at least in the case of this black one—it looks like a much more expensive car. The rear end as you follow it looks much more elegant and less generic than I thought it would.

I'm not doing a great job of conveying the "emotion" of what seeing it was like, I know. I saw it and I thought, "Oh, crap—there it is!" I thought I might take a second or two to figure out if it was a Model 3, but I did not. After all of the waiting it was a bit like seeing a ghost, so I was in shock at first. For instance, I have no idea which wheels it had (I only thought of that later).

Okay, one minor observation, with a caveat. The only new thing (to me) that I noticed was that the rear window defroster traces were very thick, orange, and obvious. Yes, yes, I know: they were most certainly NOT production-final, because you don't see the defroster traces on cars these days, they are too thin/dark/subtle in the final implementation. These traces were about 3mm thick and bright orange. I saw it, so I'll pass it along, even as I seriously doubt they are a final implementation.

Overall Impression of Model 3 in Person

As far from a weird-mobile as you can imagine. Super, super elegant and modern. Looks like a more expensive car. Classy. I think it will look just as good 10 years from now.

I realize that Model S has "more of everything." But the Model 3 I saw today looks like a crazy, crazy good value. A market-changer.
 
Last edited:

ModFather

old CARmudgeon
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
Messages
853
Location
SoCal Inland Empire
Country
Country
If you look at the rear wheel,it has something hooked up to it.
I have a client/friend who was a VP at REI headquarters in Seattle. This post reminds me of a story she told me. REI was invited to be a feature on one of the old Oprah shows. REI took a bunch of gear to set up on stage. A REI public relations guy was selected to do the interview and show and tell. As the PR guy and Oprah are looking over the gear on national television camera, Oprah stops at one piece and asks him, "now what is this?" The PR guy replied dumbfounded, "that's called...........A TENT......Oprah!"

(I guess Oprah had never been camping before!)
 

ModFather

old CARmudgeon
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
Messages
853
Location
SoCal Inland Empire
Country
Country
I'm not doing a great job of conveying the "emotion" of what seeing it was like, I know. I saw it and I thought, "Oh, crap—there it is!" I thought I might take a second or two to figure out if it was a Model 3, but I did not. After all of the waiting it was a bit like seeing a ghost, so I was in shock at first. For instance, I have no idea which wheels it had (I only thought of that later).
John, reading your post gave me chicken skin all over! I think you conveyed the emotion perfectly. I felt like I was riding in the car with you. Best verbal description yet and in a different way, better than photos. "like seeing a ghost" is a powerful descriptor! Kudos.
 

Red Sage

The Cybernetic Samurai
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Messages
714
Location
Los Angeles CA
Country
Country
Black Tesla Model 3 Sighting!

Today I took a Saturday drive by Tesla headquarters in Palo Alto on the off-chance that a Model 3 might be in the neighborhood. I didn't see any as I approached, so I pulled into the parking lot to turn around and head back. Right as I did so, a black Model 3 (no number in the window) glided from behind the building and passed in front of me to leave the parking lot. I pulled in behind it, and followed it. It went up into the hills for about 5 minutes, pulled away from me (it was much quicker off of all of the stop signs than my car), and then as I came around a curve it was flipping a three-point u-turn. I passed it by and did a u-turn a bit further up the hill, then chased it back to HQ and saw it go back behind the building.

No pictures (honestly, I'm not a good picture/video taker), but I can give you my first-hand impressions.

I have of course read other folks' first impressions, so I had some points of reference in my head already. I was wondering if it would be drop-dead gorgeous or look like a Panamera or some other Porsche, or remind me of a Model S, or look like a Mitsubishi Eclipse from the rear. None of those ended up really applying. My main impression was that it is a very attractive and distinctive car from the front; it doesn't remind you of another car. I did not miss it having a grill, and you instantly notice that it has a lot more shine up front than other cars. We're all used to seeing grills, and grills have gotten quite decorative, but this car has a nose that shows off its paint in a way that makes you think a grill would spoil it. We are used to seeing curves on the shoulders and sides of a car; this car has curves upfront, too. That makes it distinctive. Franz deserves a lot of credit for making this simplification, and I think he's designed a nose that flows and integrates much more elegantly with the rest of the car than what we're used to in mid-range sedans.

Size-wise it seems to look about the size of BMW 3-series. Size looked good to me. Not tight, not big. Mid-size sedan.

I would add that to me it was not dramatic or "flashy," in the way that a Ferrari (flowing curves) or Prius Prime (robot nightmare) are. instead, my overall impression was of cool elegance. It is a very classy car without gratuitous showiness or gaudy details. Some folks may wish for something more overtly eye-catching, but—at least in the case of this black one—it looks like a much more expensive car. The rear end as you follow it looks much more elegant and less generic than I thought it would.

I'm not doing a great job of conveying the "emotion" of what seeing it was like, I know. I saw it and I thought, "Oh, crap—there it is!" I thought I might take a second or two to figure out if it was a Model 3, but I did not. After all of the waiting it was a bit like seeing a ghost, so I was in shock at first. For instance, I have no idea which wheels it had (I only thought of that later).

Okay, one minor observation, with a caveat. The only new thing (to me) that I noticed was that the rear window defroster traces were very thick, orange, and obvious. Yes, yes, I know: they were most certainly NOT production-final, because you don't see the defroster traces on cars these days, they are too thin/dark/subtle in the final implementation. These traces were about 3mm thick and bright orange. I saw it, so I'll pass it along, even as I seriously doubt they are a final implementation.

Overall Impression of Model 3 in Person

As far from a weird-mobile as you can imagine. Super, super elegant and modern. Looks like a more expensive car. Classy. I think it will look just as good 10 years from now.

I realize that Model S has "more of everything." But the Model 3 I saw today looks like a crazy, crazy good value. A market-changer.
Very good descriptions throughout. Thank you very much. Too many good points made for me to single them all out.
 

Daliman

Top-Contributor
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
442
Location
Mississauga
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
Hi John really great post, very evocative of what the 3 will be. Elegant, unique without being weird. You made me feel the car emerge out of the fog and be real. I am sure the orange lines are testing equipment no one else has mentioned them, not in the photos.