Noses and License Plates


Model X Nose with a License Plate

The nose design of the Model S has always been my least favorite part of the car.  An electric car does not need a large open grill to cool off the non-existent engine, so for aerodynamic purposes, the front nose is a solid piece.  I liked the Model X nose a little better, and now the new Model S’s have this same nose.  I was noticing that the nose looked quite different on the cars depending upon the exterior color.  I recently was down in Monterey for the weekend and charged at the local supercharger attached to the service center.  To my surprise I really like the new nose WITH a license plate.  The license plate fills in the awkward blank space nicely, and I think it would also apply to license plates of different shapes like the ones in Europe.

Many drivers prefer a car without a front license plate largely for aesthetic reasons.  The license plate will affect the aerodynamics of the car, thereby technically reducing efficiency and range by a tiny amount.

In some states and countries it is illegal to drive without a front license plate and the law is rather strictly enforced. Throughout most but not all of California, many people drive without a front license plate without any problems or tickets for years. Steve Jobs actually drove around for years without any license plates by changing cars every six months.

I’m including a photo of the Model S with both noses and the Model X with the new nose.  The black area of the new nose with the Tesla logo looks a little thin and unbalanced without a plate.  Anyone else like the new nose more with the license plate?


Classic Model S, Model S with New Nose, Model X




3 thoughts on “Noses and License Plates

  1. I prefer the original look. For sure, the Model X prototype looked better than the production versions. I suggest Tesla should have referred to the grill as a “sensor panel” instead. It should have had an integrated license plate location – different for US vs Europe vs Asia – designed to maximize appearance and aerodynamics. As new features/solutions require new sensors on the front of the car, the panel might even be replaced to keep older cars up to date.

  2. I like the new nose without the plate. (Here in Arizona, the front plate is not required.) I don’t dislike the plate there, but I think the car looks more distinctive without it.

  3. Definitely looks better with a plate than the old style with a plate. I suspect the 3 will be the same as that front is asking for something to be added on it (unless they tweak the design).

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