Last week, a roadandtrack.com article displayed a picture of this vehicle in its new and future cars section. People are having a tough time nailing down where this rendering came from and its legitimacy. Was it released by Tesla Motors? Or is it just somebody’s best estimate of what the car could look like? A couple months ago, I wrote about some rumors swirling that Tesla had possibly leaked information on the Model S design. I must say, the rendering does share some features with the Rapide: a large, low grill, long, narrow headlights, and four doors. But there are also some disparities: more angular, Asian design influence, and smaller back seats.
I don’t believe the final Tesla Model S will actually look like this rendering for a couple reasons. The Model S project was created to bring a luxury, four door sedan to the electric car market. The rendering shows that the back seats are not really sedan worthy, but more like those you find in two door sports cars like the Nissan 350Z and Audi TT. The photo has been stretched and altered by many websites so it is hard to estimate the length of the vehicle, but the Model S is meant to be a very long and large vehicle. The rendering looks a lot like a Mazda RX8, which is by no means a family sedan.
To add to the confusion, a picture in businessweek shows Chief designer von Holzhausen supposedly with a prototype of the Model S. What we see is the rear of a vehicle that looks like a full on hatchback, nothing like the rendering or the Aston Martin speculation, but more like a Toyota Prius. So it looks like everybody is back to the proverbial drawing board.