Want Your Tesla Model 3 With A Front Grille? Suggests Abound, Even A Way To Make It Happen

APR 7 2016 BY JAY COLE 131

Tesla Model 3 - Looking Natural...not suspecting the Internet was about to come for it

Tesla Model 3 – Looking Natural…not suspecting the Internet was about to come for it

Tesla CEO Elon Musk opened the door recently for soliciting ideas from the community (via Twitter) on improving the freshly debuted Model 3…and the Internet did not disappoint.

Today, Aaron Gold at Forbes highlighted some more “improvements” suggested for the lack of front grille on the upcoming inexpensive Tesla, many via a TeslaMotorsClub thread (here).

And like the image above, some caught our eye as well, such as this render (below) from James Anders:

Tesla Model 3 Front "Grille" Render (via James Anders/TeslaMotorsVlub)

Tesla Model 3 Front “Grille” Render (via James Anders/TeslaMotorsClub)

Again, we personally like the Model 3 front end just as Mr. Musk intended it to be….we find it refreshingly unique, saying “hey I’m different, I’m an electric car”.

With that disclaimer out of the way, and acknowledging we aren’t the final say on the front end design of the Model 3, we also just have to pass a long this enterprising idea from David Burns (via Jalopnik – who also highlights many of the Internet’s more ‘artful’ solutions)

Burns suggested a line of stick-on grille graphics recently envisioned (a selection of which below) – of which he is selling online to finance his own Model 3.  And also of which, you can “reserve” today for $5…with a balance of $70 due when production begins.

Says Tesla3Grilles on the product:

Tesla Model 3 Grille - "Hex Mesh" (via Tesla3Grilles)

Tesla Model 3 Grille – “Hex Mesh” (via Tesla3Grilles)

“The reviews are in: you pre-ordered a Tesla 3 and it’s going to be amazing…other than that front end. Don’t say they forgot the grille, killed the grille, or made a design fail. Instead, turn that big blank space your canvas. Express yourself with a vinyl graphic from Tesla 3 Grilles and create a Tesla 3 that’s all your own, as unique as you are.

Tesla 3 Grilles are available in more than a dozen styles in multiple colors. Or have us design something completely original just for you. (COMING SOON)”

Tesla3Grilles further adds Tesla 3 Grill will be:

  • High quality exterior-grade vinyl
  • UV Resistant – take it to the beach
  • Waterproof – park it too close to the waves
  • Removable – no glue or residue left behind
  • Designed and produced in the USA
Tesla model 3 Grille "Hex 3 Dots" (via Tesla3Grilles)

Tesla model 3 Grille “Hex 3 Dots” (via Tesla3Grilles)

Having "Fun" With IT - Tesla Model 3 Grille "Fangs" " (via Tesla3Grilles)

Having “Fun” With IT – Tesla Model 3 Grille “Fangs” ” (via Tesla3Grilles)

Forbes, Jalopnik, hat tip to sven!

Categories: Tesla


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131 Comments on "Want Your Tesla Model 3 With A Front Grille? Suggests Abound, Even A Way To Make It Happen"

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James is right. The greenhouse needs lowered a couple inches, with the nose expended by about the same amount.

More Porsche, less Aston Martin with something clearly missing from it. No more weirdmobile.

It’s UGLY…It’s a Parachute! N F G …Leave it alone before you go with that air catcher !

It should be all about utility. Does the grill complicate things more than it benefits the end-user?

The idea of stick-on grille is the worst though.

Soon front grills will be a synonym for outdated technology and will look very old fashioned. The same will happen to long flat bonnets as they will no longer serve as engine covers.

Why Tesla designer has so many issues with nose cones, the render above like a Porsche is the right one beautiful or at least normal. I have to accept that even the new nose one is way better than model S.

Drag coefficient will suck with a grille.

Not if it is closed grill.

Unless its PAINTED ONTO it will affect negatively the air flow and thus coefficient.

As long as there are no air flow through it, it won’t impact Cd…

You can for sure to put logo on it without measurable impact.

Fake grill can come in many forms and shapes…

Jame Anders has the BEST grille design BY FAR >>>>>Tesla should use it ! A no charge engineering feat ….& a beauty !

I second that. That front end is really nice. Similar to the Panamera.

James Anders’ version is THE one.

Hands down.

Truly, the main “gripes” , if you can call them that – with the 3 has been the blank nose with kind of a grille outline with nothing in the center but – paint…And the too-sparce dash with no head-up display or even a small speed indicator directly in the driver’s view. The landscape screen is too high…Look at the test drive videos to see one Tesla employee whose knees are touching the edge of the screen! The one screen cuts costs, but is awkward to glance to your right to see your speed and charge info.

The Anders front end rocks. No grille – perhaps more downforce – but that can be tweaked in the wind tunnel.

I have to agree Anders has done the best design as yet, though from some angles it does look a bit too soft, maybe too girly. Would need a few touches of tightening and sharpening, then it would sit amazingly. Good work Anders.

Likewise. It seems logical to continue the line along the front side of the car to continue all the way around. The one above isn’t bad either but the grills suck.

Grilles should be the biggest problem Tesla should ever have!!!!!!!!!!!!

People are going to get over the front look, the moment after they put a front license plate on. X looks better with a plate, IMO.

I wonder if I can get my Model 3 in Stargazer Beige?

N0 GRILLS PLEASE !!!! it’s N0t an Ice Car , so Stop pretending that it is an ICE Dinosaur Car ! THANK GOD FOR N0 GRILL ! Grills are Ugly !

Personally it’s not the fact that it does not have a grill opening that is really non consequential. What is wrong is that the front end just seems off, it doesn’t match the lines of the rest of the car looks like a designer was trying too hard or something I hope it gets modified before final production.

There are a lot of ICE cars without grills, Ferraris and Porsche’s come to mind. Since they are mid or rear engined they have the same issue and with a Ferrari it usually looks amazing.

deborah crazy train flower power

Yeah….No more bug catchers 🙂

A grill! What next a dip stick? Just let go of unnecessary things for Fox sake.

Indeed! For example, we need to get rid of the oversized waste-of-space shifters in EVs. That space could be used for a cup holder. Or a cellphone holder.

Yes! I SO hate the shifters in most EVs. Big, space wasting, horizontal, dirt collecting, and useless. So thankful the Model S has a small shifter built like a turn signal behind the steering wheel. Just like gen 2 Prius which I also loved.

As for M3’s nose, I like the existing design because it makes the car more noticeable and noticeable is good when you’re trying to spur a revolution. But I must admit the James Anders design looks “better” aesthetically. I also suspect the original design provides more room for electronics and parts whereas the James Anders design would probably cause the frunk storage space to be reduced.

Perhaps a crankshaft handle and some running boards, as long as they’re going to go steampunk.

Good one!

Some type of grille opening is necessary in the car as you can see from the opening at the bottom. it still has AC condensers and radiators for cooling the electronics the battery pack and the inverters etc. so yes it doesn’t have to have as large an opening but it does need to have some way to get air through the radiators

I like my electric cars to look like electric cars, not like converted ICE cars. I think the Model 3 front end looks they forgot to install the grille or that someone filled in the grille. I think the front should be rounded so that there is no question whether there was supposed to be a grille.

In case you’re wondering, I don’t like the fake grilles on the Bolt or the FFE. I’ve looked for a body colored panel to cover the grille opening on my FFE but I haven’t been able to find one.

Agreed. It looks like the car was originally designed with a grill and then someone filled it in at the last second.

Agreed – it already looks like a “normal” car with the frunk.

I like the idea of custom stickers.

The fangs are just the tip of the iceberg 🙂

I prefer a full set of chompers on the Model 3 myself. And if the federal government mandates that all EVs must come with noise makers to warn pedestrians, then I want my Model 3’s sound to be the theme from Jaws! 😀

People seem to be forgetting that stickers with curved teeth will look completely wrong when viewed from the front or from the other side of the car…

deborah crazy train flower power

LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would gladly buy such a decal for the front of my future Model 3. I hope many choices are available! 🙂

People in England could buy a decal with Austin Powers teeth! 🙂

(I bet Elon designed the M3 with this in mind.)

James Anders is perfect! hop Elon makes it look like that!

+1000! That render by Anders is exactly perfect.

Make it +2000.

Add another 1000 from me!

Oh wait.. I spent it on a reservation

I totally agree, that looks great!

You get a free eye exam & 2 pairs of glasses In Detroit Michigan for $69.00 ….what a deal! to see things straight!

Agreed. That’s what the MIII should have looked like in the first place.

The best of all possible front ends.

Yes, the rounded front reminds me of the LEAF. IMO it’s very well balanced and attractive.

That Andrews take on the front end looks beutifull.

No grille! No buggy whips or leaded gasoline either!

Agreed. Some are going to be dragged into the future kicking and screaming.

Nah, I want the Deliverator’s car: “enough potential energy packed into its batteries to fire a pound of bacon into the asteroid Belt.” and nothing “where the grille would be if this were an air-breathing car”

I really like the hex grille.

I like it the way it is – no grille please.

No one seems to be considering the possibility that the shape of the front end was chosen specifically to improve aerodynamics.

I don’t know that to be the fact, but I’d be much more accepting of an unconventional design style if there was a purpose behind it. That said, I think it looks fine as is.

Most jurisdictions where the Model 3 will be sold require a front license plate whose dimensions depend on the jurisdiction. It would be nice if the Model 3 had an aerodynamic provision for a front license plate (e.g., recessed into the bumper cover with a clear aerodynamic cover whose dimensions depended on the jurisdiction).

I like the idea, but Tesla can’t, as it’s illegal to cover or coat a license plate with anything.

I’m no attorney, but summaries of states’ laws regarding license plates as shown on various Websites suggest that a cover isn’t illegal unless it obscures the information on a license plate. There are certainly plenty of covers available for purchase, so Tesla could design an aerodynamic one that could be removed if it doesn’t comply with local laws.

Hate to say it but one buffoon on TMC suggested that the steering column needed paddle shifter – so TMC isn’t always the source of useful feedback.
really seems to have gone crazy over there with all the M3 stuff

Most EVs need another gear, by highway speeds. Some include paddles for regen, or possibly even trail-braking…

No, most EVs really do not need another gear. Only electric racing cars need that.

Seriously, Tesla can do 80-100 mph quicker than most cars with just one gear.

Yeah they absolutely need to tone down that “lip” on the front of the model 3. James Anders’ version looks awesome!
The Knight Rider look (Forbes) is pretty cool too.

The only one that I liked was the one that got rid of the flare on the anti-grille. This one:

That’s what the rest of the car says the front SHOULD look like. 😉

It’s still a Tesla, but that nose tweak makes a WORLD of difference when my brain looks at that car.

Right. If something seems out of place your eye is immediately drawn too it. The continuation of the curve, rather than it’s disruption, looks more natural, less jarring, than the original, squared off nose.

You might argue that this is what everyone else does and I would agree, but sometimes, and I think this is a fine case in point, going with the flow, rather than against it, is a better choice.

that’s a nice one too.., speculawyer

Thst one would be nice when go to SJ Sharks games. Loke I am right now.

Thst one would be nice when go to SJ Sharks games. Like I am right now.

That is quite nice – I’m happy with the prototype or this.

I prefer the James Anders one.

Brilliant! Best one so far and pretty close to the rounded off Porsche front. Maybe the nose should stick out a bit less… Clean simple lines are what this car is all about. It would be disappointing to see any grill or even the Model X mini grill (not a fan at all).

Special lawyer, I like this one also. Anything that gets rid of the flare. I also like Jame Andrews Grille design.

I like that one better than Tesla’s choice. But as I said before, the James Anders version isn’t Porsche-like, where this one is because it’s rounded. The Anders solution carries that body crease right on around the car and there is one other rather large consideration – Cars like Ferraris, Corvettes and Porsches need downforce to stick the car to the road at 170mph. Those cars have no need for a practical “frunk” space either. While a Corvette or a 911 have a low profile, the Model 3 has a much higher profile to befit it’s practical intentions. The need is to balance downforce with aero slickness to further range. To find a balance, it appears Tesla gave the 3’s frontal fascia a backward cant – producing slight uplift to counter the downforce of the sloping hood. it looks like the air would break off the edge of that flat, “place grille here” space and flow around the rounded corners balancing out the forces as well as possible. So I think function went before form. That said, we buy cars because they look good, and the Anders approach gets me vote – creating a very sexy-looking car that carries 5… Read more »

Aerodynamics and headroom should be priorities.

Not aping ICEv.

As is with bigger trunk opening would be cool.

The trunk is horrible. Wide and long, like a mail slot. That low reinforcement for the glass roof, makes the opening very short and ultimately hurts the vehicles’ utility.

Sadly, my VW Beetle is more cargo capable. 🙁

Yes, and add also fake tailpipe 🙂
Lol this is silly.

You beat me to it – I was going to say, “Seriously?!? What’s next? Fake tailpipes?!?”

I wouldn’t mind a variation of the nose contours, but this is not an ICEV. It’s an EV with a frunk. That’s what it should look like.


Even putting on a flat plaque that looks like a Model X Intake, would at least help give that nose a reason to exist as it does.

Without it, the shape of the snoot looks incomplete. Other than evolutionary design history, there is no reason to leave the greenhouse so high. Lowering it may actually help with improved airflow– it certainly works for Porsche.

scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!)

“Even putting on a flat plaque that looks like a Model X Intake, would at least help give that nose a reason to exist as it does.”

1. Keeps the pedestrians you run over out of the front seat.

2. Keeps people in the car ahead from looking up your wife’s skirt.

3. Tells you when you are too close to a wall (thunk).

The Model X grille? Bleah.

Agreed – if it must be changed, keep it solid, like the rendering you posted.

Yeah, when you add that grill, makes it look like a mouse. I don’t get why a lot of people absolutely require some sort of a grill… Maybe it’ll help if someone adds a plate with photoshop to illustrate that most of the flat area will be used by the plate anyway.

Aerodynamics are very critical on this car. If you want it to deliver the range at the cost, you need to have a very low consumption car. You can’t just change the chape and placement of things without that having an impact on the aerodynamic performance. In aerodynamics, very small changes can have very large effects.

I really hope we are not pushing Elon to make a car full of compromises that is mediocre at a lot of things and good at very little. The III shows great potential, but the danger of messing it up lurks around the corner. I have the feeling that it has been designed juuusssst right.
So often, trying to improve an outstanding design, actualy makes it worse.

Let’s keep our heads cool, and try to understand what we are talking about before we critisize.

Q: What flies further when you strap it onto the end of an arrow? A blunt Wedge, or a sharp Triangle?

This. I want whatever is aerodynamically best.

Your aerodynamic argument flies out the window as soon as you screw a license plate to the front.

Perhaps a few tweaks could sell more units, but with 300k+ pre-orders in just a week, do they really need to change anything. I think not. Go Tesla Go.

If they had a Model 3C (Cargo) version with hatchback instead of the glass roof as an option– many more people would order it.

Well, unless they surprise us with a structural modification this close to launch (like a bigger trunk opening), I think you are referring to the Model Y.

IMO, Cheese grater grills look terrible. I like the Model 3 front end as is.


I finally figured out what NPNS means. No plug, no sale. As for SBF… I don’t know. Single black female? Why do you even bother copy-pasting that acronym signature into every comment you make when nobody even understands what it means unless they decide to do some research?

I’ve been on this site a long time, and I remember when he first did that.

The SBF was added later in response to something significant at the time, but I cannot remember what it means anymore.

If any front end chages are made it should be to allow the car to slice through the air for better Cd.


“we personally like the Model 3 front end just as Mr. Musk intended it to be”

Aside from the shape itself of the nose (which is clearly designed to reduce the drag coefficient), I personally believe that the nose was left INTENTIONALLY as a blank slate, with Musk fully intending on leaving it uncompleted.

I believe that the final cosmetic nose design is intentionally being left for Phase 2. It will give Tesla a big bang for the buck in the Phase 2 release to put an official nose on it.

I don’t think Elon ever intended for the nose to be the blank slate that it is now, cosmetically speaking. I’m pretty sure he is just saving some of the design final bits to closer to actual release.

Not only does that give a chance for this exact type of feed-back, but it also keeps other car makers from copying them before they can go into production.

Don’t forget that Franz’s initial design sketches for the Model 3, have a BLANK area where the grill would have gone. The design was clearly deliberate from the beginning and executed almost exactly.

There clearly was never any intention of putting something there.

If people’s innate design senses weren’t tingling from the self-evident wrongness of the nose– we would not be having this much discussion over it, and how to fix it.

Well, one thing that needs to be considered are regulations. Apparently the insurance has pushed through various regulations that require bumpers be at a certain height and fulfill other requirements.

Yes, the insurance companies were among many groups who successfully lobbied decades ago for bumper regulations to reduce damages and injuries in accidents.

Along with crumple zones, 5 mph bumpers, etc, was this provision for bumper height, which is designed to better match bumpers in cases of collision:

“The standard requires protection in the region 16 to 20 inches above the road surface”


Then I will refer to the Model 3 snoot, as a “Cow Catcher” from now on. 😉

Perfect! 😀

Well, a real grill with cooling fans behind it with radiator connected to the motor’s cooling system would actually be useful to finally prevent them from overheating.

scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!)

Why not just put an exhaust pipe on the back. And while we are at it, put a hand crank on it, those used to be quite popular. How about go back to the days where a guy with a flag had to walk ahead of your car to warn horse and buggy drivers you are coming.

scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!)

Sorry I see I missed a few:

– Dip stick, showing on the outside, of course (otherwise what is the point).

– One of those pretentious hood vents.

– A container under the car that dribbles oil on parking spaces.

– Running boards.

– Stick shift.

– Sound effects, a really loud, annoying engine roar proportional to the speed.

– Black smoke that comes out when you gun it, to simulate worn cylinder rings.


Spark advance lever.

Wooden wheels.

Protruding radiator cap with winged hood ornament decoration.

Hand brake lever mounted on the outside of the car.


* * * * *

But that shark’s nose shape (the existing design) is just fugly. I accept that Tesla needs to streamline the car as much as possible, but the noses of the Model X and the ≡ really throw a spoke in the wheels of Tesla cars having a “sexy” look. I hope they can figure out a more attractive way to give the car a low Cd.

Sounds perfect to me – steampunk it up!!!


I can’t believe you missed putting a huge Supercharger sticking out of the middle of the hood….


Now that’s funny!

Yes, it is. Is that Sponge Bob?

Tow Mater from Pixar’s Cars

Everybody wanted a state of art affordable electric car. Now that they see what the car will look like, they want to add cheap decals to it. If I ever get one of these cars and it already has decals like this the first thing I will do is pull those decals off.

Agreed 100%.

Do whatever is the most aerodynamic. I want range.

That render by James Anders looks very nice indeed! Perhaps inspired by the Saleen aftermarket modification of the Model S?

However, Tesla is not going to sacrifice superior Cd (coefficient of drag) for something that looks better. Would a more torpedo-shaped nose be compatible with very low drag? I don’t know, but unfortunately I’m guessing “no”.

Of this I’m sure: If Tesla keeps the current design of the Model ≡’s nose, then there’s going to be a lot of demand for aftermarket mods for the nose of this car!

That much is certain – Tesla Motors already sacrificed the useful hatchback (a la Model S) for drag and headroom. Why start now?

The nose struck me odd at first, but that feeling went away rather quickly. I’m quite content with it.

If they went to James Anders’ rendering, I certainly would not complain.

But they can shove the grilles and faux grilles firmly up their posteriors, as far as I’m concerned. If it was an ICE, then the hex mesh rendering would be my choice.

The only thing that has kept me from being shocked and appalled by the outpouring of criticism for the nose, is that I remember the Model S unveiling back in 2009 or early 2010 – the forums went NUTS over the mouthguard appearance of it. Not that I necessarily disagreed with the criticism, but it was their first car, and not even in production, and the polarizing criticism that followed amongst fans and supporters was crazy.

The Model S nose has grown on me, and I’m already liking the M≡ nose after having a Colbert Emoji moment when they first drove on stage.

My first impression of the model 3 reminded of Voltemort. Sweet!


I think the James Anders design does NOT look like a Porsche, since there is a sharp character line and not the rounded form that Porsche uses.

The render above of his improvement sexes up the Model 3, and makes me want one even more.

I remember how the nose of the pre-production Model S changed ever so slightly, and actually added more bling. The beauty in James Anders’ render is the simplicity yet style it evokes. The current version takes TOO MUCH FROM THE X, and makes the 3 look more “cul-de-sac” and less sleek.

This too can be the mid-cycle restyle of the S front end. Very nice!

Great Job James – From another James.

Just round it off a bit and you’re good. See Porsche 550 and Mission e for inspiration. No unnecessary grill please, it’s not a gasmobile.

No grill! The only thing that really needs a change is the trunk, it needs a proper hatch!!!

Needs somewhere for a front license plate.

Not in my state 🙂

I love the looks of this car..

Other people that I talked to didn’t say a word about the nose. I don’t know what people are up to, but I sure hope tesla won’t change a thing about the looks.

Trunk entrance space may need to increase a bit though.

I also thought the interior looks already great as it is, but most of the comments about that are again about the utility anyway.

Well we’ll see about it. I have confidence it’ll look better then any 35k car on the market. Probably better then any 50k car as well!

Worry about the utility but not about the looks… really they are awesome!

Pointy in front and fat in back is exact opposite of how wings are shaped, so within Tesla’s Design Studio, you must know that they us both FEA (Finite Element Analysis), and CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) modeling to get strength and airflow right!

Beyond that, as they plan a reveal #2, closer to production, we will all discover the more finalised look then!

FFS people are resistant to every little change! So what if it has not grill? It doesn’t need one.

Musk already said that the front end will be tweaked for the production version. I’m sure it will be fine.

I like it as is. Why does a grill absolutely need to be on the front of a car when it doesn’t need one.

It’s not the lack of a grille – the world needs to learn a car doesn’t need a “mouth” to it’s “face”. EVs/PHEVs bring a paradigm shift to people’s expectations of what a car should look like.

For me, it’s the way Tesla removed any semblance of a grille. Surely a swooped nose would add too much downforce for a car that needs a balance of aerodynamic slickness, but not too steep of a sloping hood. Plus, there needs be room for the “frunk”. This preproduction solution seems to direct the air down and around the curved corners, almost producing lift to counter the downforce caused by the hood.
Their solution creates a sort of “faux grille” space – only with just a flat canted surface – which looks to invite the, “add your grille detail here” response the sticker guys created.

I don’t like the look. I prefer the James Anders rendering or the one Speculawyer showed. Though those may create too much downforce for prime range.

I hate putting a license plate up there in any car – a big, flat signboard to push air.

This is an ugly electric vehicle:

Oh wait even that one has a grill… it’s fully autonomous though!

I get the Anders attraction, well described by James with reference to the line(s).
On the other hand, we are seeing only One angle, and my challenged 3D space module is seeing MiEV et al smiley face/cute bumblebee angles here that make my nethers tense, (but I don’t find the current nose to be Unpleasant, just obviously unfinished).

I would want to see Ander’s vision applied to All the very many angles-of-view photos of the car available before I could jump on the bandwagon – I remember Too well MB’s foray in asianizing their classic lines to better appeal to that audience. Horrific is as kind as I can offer.. with the headlights already stretching ba-ack, it is a slippery slope to yet another car-toon face.

Something as simple as relocating the Tesla logo from the edge of the “frunk” a few inches down, to the top of that front space, and flanking it with two horizontal lines similar to the “grille” design of the Model S would do wonders for its appearance.