Waking up to breaking news is always exciting, especially when it’s a video of a brand new unreleased electric car being put through its paces in some high-speed handling tests.
And that’s exactly what we woke up to this morning, courtesy of a video sent to us of San Francisco Bay area resident Juan del Real, which shows Tesla Motors testing its latest prototype car on the former U.S. Naval air station based in Alameda, California, favourite outdoor filming location for popular TV show Mythbusters.
What we can’t tell quite is if the heavily-camouflaged car is a heavily modified 2016 Tesla Model X, or the very first glimpse of the much-hyped, long-promised $35,000 2018 Tesla Model ≡. If we had to guess however, we’d say it was the latter.
Located on the east side of the San Francisco bay, the former U.S. Naval air station is the perfect open space for Tesla to use as an additional test space, being just 25-miles from the Fremont facility where the Model S is made. And while Tesla already has an extensive test track at its Fremont facility, it doesn’t have anything quite as wide and open as the former Alameda runway.
In the description for his video, del Real says that he was at the skatepark adjacent to the runway Tesla was testing on and ‘just happened to notice’ the camouflaged electric car being tested at high speed. But while de Real says he thinks this car is the Model X, another eagle-eyed local by the name of Brandon Kiehne was able to snap a photo of the same vehicle being loaded back onto a Tesla trailer near to the entrance of the closed field after testing. Like us, Kiehne says he thinks the car is the as-yet unveiled Tesla Model ≡.
I believe this is the first photo of the #Tesla #model3. The only other photos are from #autoexpress.co.uk that Telsa claims are complete speculations. I saw this one being pulled into the trailer at #AlamedaNAS at an entrance to the closed airfield. The truck pulling it was a Tesla vehicle. After it was closed up I asked if I could be nosey hoping to find out what the car was but I got a quick “not on this one.” As if this is far different from normal for them. #telsamodel3 #Alameda #modelE #modelIII #California #ca #cars #car #automobile #teslamodelE #caranddriver #motortrend #Edmunds #teslamotorsclub #Fremontca
And while some media outlets are already mocking that particular evaluation, saying that they believe the car is ‘clearly a Model X’, we’re going to side with the folks at Jalopnik, who note that the car seems a little out of proportion to be a Model X given the fact that there’s a production Tesla Model S in the background of the shot which seems to look larger than the prototype being loaded up. Either that, or it’s a trick of the camera.
But then there’s the video, and the proportions of the unidentified car. From where we’re looking, the car seems to have a different nose and rear to the last Model X prototype we saw in public. Unlike the sweeping X5-esque hatch of previous Model X cars prototypes, this car seems to have a shorter, snubber rear that’s almost Toyota Prius-like.
What we can tell you from the excellent video however is that this car does seem to demonstrate a little more body roll than the Model S, lending us to believe that it’s more likely to be an early prototype Model ≡ than a near-production Model X .
But like everyone else, we’re just guessing. Only Tesla and its employees truly know what the car was — and they’re not talking.
Which car do you think it is? And what do you notice from the spy shots above?
Let us know in the Comments below.
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