Tesla Model X Spotted At Gilroy Supercharger – High-Res Images


Tesla Model X Charging - Click To Enlarge

Tesla Model X  – Click To Enlarge

These high-resolution images of a Tesla Model X prototype charging at the Gilroy Supercharger come to us via Sluggo on the Tesla Motors Club Forum.

Sluggo states that this is a test mule that’s being used by Tesla to accumulate miles prior to the Model X’s launch.

What catches our eye in the photo below is the front windshield’s curvature and how far back it extends.  Clearly this is a production element of the final car.

Tesla Model X Charging - Click To Enlarge

Tesla Model X  – Click To Enlarge

Close-Up Of Front Windshield

Close-Up Of Front Windshield

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Categories: Tesla


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87 Comments on "Tesla Model X Spotted At Gilroy Supercharger – High-Res Images"

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Hmm, electronically tinting? likely improves the airflow over the roof.

Whoa! Think of the replacement cost of THAT windshield when a rock chip turns into a large crack!

Not sure why they’re doing the humongous windshield…Another Musk flourish for “wow-factor”, me thinks. The trim between windshield and roof can’t be THAT much of a drag-inducer…

Not that I would ever be in the market for a CUV or SUV, but a windshield that extends to become part of the roof would be a deal-killer for me. I like to have actual shade inside the car, during hot Kansas summers. Not just a tinted windshield between me and the sun.

But that’s okay, even aside from that I’d much rather have a Model S. I don’t need to tow a boat or haul around a soccer team.

I would probably stick with the Model S myself. Plenty enough seating and cargo but better range and performance for the price.

The windshield in the photos does appear to have some sort of gradient of tinting. It could be that by the time the glass reaches where the windshield would normally terminate it becomes heavily tinted to where you visually can see through but with almost no glare or infrared heat.

If that is the case I wonder asthetically what that would look like in any other color than black.

it’s hard for me to believe that there is not some internal structural member underneath the front windshield to provide protection in the event of a rollover collision.

Not really seeing how you’re not gonna get infrared heat radiated from black glass on the roof of a car in direct sunlight, even if it has a reflective coating.

I recently saw an article showing that for a car sitting unoccupied under a hot summer sun, a white or silver paint job results in it being 20 degrees cooler inside than one painted black. So black glass on the roof would be another deal-killer for me.

But perhaps that extended windshield is an option, not standard equipment.

I suppose there are a couple of possible ways to deal with sunlight, especially the sun in the driver’s eyes while driving. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Model X has a retractable ceiling that can extend as far as needed to block sunlight from the driver’s eyes, and go far back when the sun is not in the driver’s eyes to create a panoroamic view from the front seats.

Personally, I would like something fully manual, where the driver can pull the ceiling forward or back as needed. Knowing Tesla’s penchant for electric motors and unreliable, useless gadgets (e.g. retractable door handles, motorized door latches) I speculate the following: The ceiling can be retracted via the center display, just like the sunroof today. Additionally, an ‘auto’ setting will be linked to a light sensor in the driver’s headrest to move the forward edge of the ceiling to a point where the sun won’t be hitting driver in the eyes.

Of course the leading edge of the ceiling will still have flip down visors for fine-tuning, and when the sun is below a level that the ceiling won’t cover.

It could be some SpaceX technology borrowed from astronaut’s suit sun visor.

I am guessing the top of Model X is like the pano roof on Model S. It blocks 98% of visible light and 81% of heat.

Most people’s complaint about the pano roof is only back row passengers could see out of it. Looks like they fixed that for X.

I agree that the sunroofs these days aren’t really a benefit to the driver. It seems that car roofs extend so far forward these days (due to aerodynamics is my guess) that often I can’t even see an overhead stoplight when I’m at an intersection without ducking my head down.

If the Model S truly has a windshield that the driver can see almost vertically out, that would be one sweet benefit for the driver.

reflective coatings are highly effective at blocking infrared wavelengths. that’s why so many glass curtain wall buildings in the southwest have reflective glass. that reflective material that you see on buildings is a pyrolytic coating that has to be baked on to the glass surface.

you could not coat an entire windshield with such a coating so if a reflective coating were applied, it would have to be applied to only the part of the glass that is where the roof would normally go. i would imagine that it would be extremely expensive to process a windshield (and keep in mind that the front windshield is laminated glass) such that a pyrolytic coating was applied to part of the window.

Covering the entire windshield with a reflective coating would be simple, but regulatory approval is another question. GM did this somewhat inadvertently with their Electriclear system used on the EV1 and other high end models, as the resistive film laminated between the glass took on a golden hue as it aged.


I love it!

I think putting the cover on the car likely drew more attention to the car. If they didn’t want people to take notice, they should have left off the cover.

I often wonder just how many of these pre-production “spy photos” are a case of the auto maker trying to get free publicity by deliberately exposing the cars in places where people will photograph them. And I don’t mean just Tesla, by any means. In fact, I wonder if some of the paparazzi shots taken at abandoned airport tarmacs and other lonely places are a result of someone working for the auto maker calling the photographer and tipping them off.

I have wondered the same thing.

The 2016 Cruze photos ( N. American version ) were taken when an ad/promo film was being filmed in extreme secrecy. Nobody saw any advantage to those photos coming out, as the Cruze was revealed only 3 weeks later.

Spy photographers are like TMZ goons – but good. They own expensive lenses longer than my front yard, and camp out on hillsides and buildings, and occasionally get lucky seeing a car on the streets, or get a tip. They ask big money from publications for their handiwork, and automakers go to uber-extent to place fake pieces, foam, cardboard, wraps with swirls and black car “bras” all to thwart these guys.

They have to road test their products in real-world conditions and there is no way that nobody is going to see these test mules.

Nice to finally see some reasonably high-res photos with the car sitting still. That’s much better for seeing what it really looks like than a low-res cellphone video!

Interesting that Tesla apparently is worried about other auto makers copying the design of their headlights; worried enough that they mask them for these pre-production road tests.

True about the black tape over the head and taillights. By now, we know what the car looks like, even the taillights. So why the tape that doesn’t even conceal? Only some fine detail is left to the imagination, and not much of that.

Reminds me of strippers who wear pasties. I mean, why bother? Literally everything is out in the open and what’s not isn’t a mystery*.

* Not that I go around looking at such things – banish the thought! 🙂

In some cases, strippers wearing pasties is (or at least was in the past) a result of State law, not choice. At least, that’s what one of them claimed in my hearing, and I suppose it was true.

I agree about the partial cover of the taillights. Why? Perhaps they think by covering that up, the car will be less recognizable and less apt to draw attention. Since official renderings and photos of prototypes of the Model X have been published, perhaps Tesla thinks having a car with what are perhaps distinctive taillights on the road will attract attention it doesn’t want. Seems to me, though, the very fact it’s covered up will draw even more attention. So again, I have to wonder if the actual motive of the auto maker isn’t to draw attention to the pre-production car… not really to hide it.

That, is one BIG piece of glass… Looks very sleek. Anyone wanna guess what the drag numbers will be? Cd = .24, .27, .30, .32???


I would guess to be 0.28 (That would be excellent for a crossover).

Don’t confuse Cd with CdA. They might still get a great Cd number with the taller vehicle, but drag will be worse because of the increased area.

For example, Dodge Viper 0.45 vs. Toyota Prius 0.25.

Anyone want to guess how much that windshield costs to repair/replace? More area means more places for rock strikes.

Nice to see you just get here, what planet are you from.
Glass roofs are offered on a number of US cars.
Thanks for playing.

Which cars? I’ve never seen a glass roof on any vehicle. Now I’m curious.

Under $1,000 to replace the roof, my guess. Likely due to the angle it will get less chips and cracks than a more up right windshield.

Mustang has a glass roof. http://www.caranddriver.com/news/2009-ford-mustang-with-glass-roof-auto-shows Much easier and cheaper to replace than a metal roof.

Why would you ever replace a metal roof?

Rust worms. 😉

I have seen plenty of older cars with floor pan rusted away (in the 80s and much less today), but I have NEVER seen a roof that is rusted away…

I have. Many old cars have rusted out roofs.

The roof on my E350 rusted through before she got to 100k miles. Paper thin.

I think he’s from Uranus.

given the gull wing rear doors in the tesla model x, it makes to use a continuous piece of glass. the alternative would be to put a short roofing piece between the end of front windshield and the gull wing doors. i guess for consistency, that is probably why windows were put at the top of the gull wing doors.

i’ve never been a big fan of horizontally mounted glass seals: the are water leaks waiting to happen, although with decent seals (and from what i’ve seen, it looks like tesla has done a pretty decent job on this aspect), it would probably take 15-20 years for leaks to develop, which is longer than most people keep cars.

I like it … but it doesn’t look terribly roomy for the 3rd row. Maybe it was never meant to be … but I just wonder how they can jam a bunch of people back there. I hope they can get a bunch of people and/or a bunch of stuff in there.


Recent video and pics of another Model X revealed that it has an active rear spoiler. The spoiler was up even though the Model X was traveling slowly on city streets in stop and go traffic, as opposed to driving down the highway at a fast speed.



…I confess, I laughed

Yeah, literally. Good one!

Great one!

And great picture. As an aero guy, I love the active spoiler. I would prefer controlled energizing of the boundary layer (better for drag), but that might not be practical (or reliable) on a car.

I like the photo from the link below the photo even better – a more full view. An active spoiler seems yet another flourish on a CUV – only driving up complexity and cost. Most active spoilers are on really fast cars to increase downforce over 100mph. This has to be an attempt to decrease turbulence as the air departs the Model X. Hmmmmm… Will it’s benefit be worth the cost?

my prediction is that the base model x will be around the price of an e-class benzo (with loads up up charge items). then you can knock off about $10k or for incentives.

I’m concerned about ice/snow getting stuck in there. Again K.I.S.S. I wonder how much it actually does help w/the drag & range.

Do the Porsche’s with active wings have issues in the winters?

That’s the same car, or at least the same license plate.

Interesting. Similar to the front, the glass expends to the very tip of the end of the hatch. It looks like the spoiler snugs against the window when it’s retracted. Just a long continuous surface with nothing to cause unwanted drag…

Verrrrrry sleek.

Yes, the spoiler looks alert to me. Or at least aroused.

I don’t know, it still doesn’t look good to me.

The other picture with a bunch of dirty on it actually made the car look much better to me…

I know its an SUV so by definition can’t really be beautiful but this car seems to me to be a mix of impractical and ugly. It might just be the angle of the photo but why put such a long nose on a car with no engine? The massive area’s of glass will make it hot in the car all the time and the roof is curved so you won’t be able to put anything on it. The S is beautiful and practical I can’t really see the point in this. It just looks like a fatter taller saloon or maybe a really over weigh hatch back. Why buy an uglier version of the S if you can’t really do anything different with it.

I don’t know, I am sure there are those that will love it but not for me.

I love the Model S but am not a fan of the X either. And that huge windshield looks really weird, like the car has a seriously receding hairline.

I also agree. I would say that the Model S is as close to perfection as possible (from a powertrain perspective of course, but in this case i’m talking about aesthetic design), whereas the Model X just has really awkward proportions. Maybe i’ll change my mind when I see one in person, but so far I’m not buying it. They basically just took a Model S and stretched it upwards, and it doesn’t work for me.

i don’t think the model x looks that bad, although the front windshield does look a bit odd. as far as the length of the front end goes, it is to make room in the frunk so that you can store stuff.

“…why put such a long nose on a car with no engine?”

In the Model S, a long front crumple zone gives the car an outstanding crash test rating. Presumably the same will be true for the Model X.

I’m not saying that this necessarily makes it a good design for a BEV, but that’s the reason.

Elon did say that women were more of a driving factor in the design of the X. Maybe if we heard from more women on this design we could gauge if he succeeded or not.

Good point I’ll ask the wife

She loves it, go figure?

Especially the nose front windshield, wtf?

Excellent fitting on the car cover.

I think a structural reason is what explains the supersized windshield going deep into the roof. Notice that it goes all the way up to the falcon doors – Tesla probably beefed up the B pillar basically turning it into a roll bar to give it a rigidity that the falcon doors require.

At any rate, it will be interesting to see what Tesla exactly did to clear away the falcon door issues which have caused the big delays

Note, that is still speculation. The doors have never been confirmed as causing delays.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for an official company explanation. There have been unofficial confirmations from inside sources which you can check out. As well as simple common sense as to the difficulties of anchoring, aligning, sealing, etc. the doors.

The perfect vehicle for men with receding hairlines. Now your car can have one too!

I dunno, I don’t like the swept back windshield. It looks like a giant “forehead”.

one of the things that i find appealing about tesla is the willingness to do things a bit differently. the “half dome” is certainly something that would have to “grow on you”.

Not seeing it. To me, it looks like a completely BALD HEAD here– it’s all glass. From front windshield to hatch, smooth shiny glass. Just a few seams between panels…

The Model S is quite similar, actually.


Sitting inside the X might feel like driving a convertible with all that glass. I still think you should wait on your final assessment of how it looks until they unveil its final looks. There is stuff that they are hiding here.

Agreed. The Model X could have the best driver-visibility of any vehicle on the road. Well, except for the Homer-mobile:


Is that a head up display at the drivers place?

Possibly a laser / Radar detector, for testing “Ludicrous” mode?

Looks like a camera to me, possibly professional grade.

…oh, the thing above the camera. Nevermind!

Above the camera looks like the http://www.mobileye.com sensor for the autopilot.

So aren’t roof racks impossible to mount if the X has the falcon wing doors (and now a seeming glass roof)? A SUV that you can’t mount roof racks on…..that seems like a big negative.

Probably why they went to all the trouble to make sure this thing is towing capable.

I wouldn’t say impossible. I have seen some interesting concepts for roof racks that slide back and forth, but it does make for a more complex situation. I would think that you are right as to roof storage or lack there of as being part of the reason towing was a big focus on the X.

Oh god, you can sense that there will soon be a tesla roof box, it’ll be the only roof box that can fit the s and x and cost double a regular roof box.

Roof mounted storage would be hell on highway range. I expect them to have a non-trailer hitch attachment that acts both as an aero enhancement and extra storage. Easier to access too.

Looking at that extreme rake of the windshield, I wonder how difficult it will be to enter and exit.

It’s not one big piece of glass. You can see the seam between the windshield and the roof if you look at the passenger side.

No one said that. We all see the seams. Please re-read. 😛

“What catches our eye in the photo below is the front windshield’s curvature and how far back it extends.”

I also see the seam. It may be glass on the roof, but I don’t think it’s one single unit.

It seems that most of the people here think the roof and the windshield are one piece of glass, even to the point of asking were the supports are in the event of a rollover.

i’m not seeing the “seam” to which you are referring. i looked at the high res image and that front windshield is a single piece of glass that runs continuously from the front hood to the gull wing read doors.

About 1/2 way up on the left side of the windshield you can see a line. But I agree, this is not a “seam”, because under magnification you can see that the ‘line’ extends to the A-pillar and aligns with a bright reflection on the chrome of the A-pillar. I’m thinking this is s reflection of some sort that people are seeing as a ‘seam’.

my guess is what they are seeing is a mount for a sun visor, which would be in the interior of the car. if that were actually a seam in the glass, you would see refraction across the width of the windshield.

Elon said he was inspired by this.


I think it’s glass from the cowl up and over to the tail end. Looking at other pictures it seems the rear window extends up to the rear of the falcon door… leaving only the roof part of the falcon door to wonder about if it is also glass or not. I think it is.

Maybe Elon was influenced by the Bolt.

Saw it cruising on I880 yesterday. Looked like it was all pieced together — nothing seemed to fit right.