Robert Cumberford, a long-time car designer turned design critic, turned his sharp critical skills to the Tesla Model 3 for his ‘By Design’ column this week. While Cumberford had a prolific career as a rcar designer, he is now best known as a respected car design critic writing for Automobile magazine.
With memorable passages like “the Jaguar E-Type is elegant, extremely phallic and a great middle-aged man’s compensation… the ultimate automotive expression of phalliform perfection,” his vehicle design critiques are widely read in the industry.
And now he has something to say about the Tesla Model 3: “It is an excellent design.“
Despite not liking the “nosecone”, Cumberford had already praised the exterior design of the Tesla Model S years ago. The Model S and Model 3 exterior designs were both led by the same designers: Franz von Holzhausen and Bernard Lee. And they’ve done it again, says Cumberford.
He was particularly impressed by the front-fascia:
“There is a lot of equally carefully considered and beautifully executed sculpting ahead of the front-wheel centerline. An unobtrusive little crease in the front fascia skin just below the headlamp openings gives some direction to the plain surface, with more thrust provided by the headlamp covers ending in a point inboard and forward.”
He broke down his critique in 23 design notes about the vehicle with comments like “controversial but brilliant, this near-vertical plane leaning slightly forward produces a shadowed effect infinitely superior to the painted surrogate grille of the original Model S”:
You can read each point on Automobile Mag and let us know in the comment section below if you agree or disagree with the comments.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.