Where's the Grill?

By now, as you are reading this, you've likely become bored of the Tesla Model 3 coverage. I will summarize it very quickly so you don't leave just yet. Tesla has introduced their $35k car for the masses (to the tune of over 300,000 pre-orders as I type this); its got one giant screen, and looks like an upmarket version of the new Mazda 3 (this is a good thing). One of the most stunning design elements of the car is the lack of front grill.  It has also caused a lot of uproar in the enthusiast, and non enthusiast community. So much so, that Elon Musk himself has responded to the squeaky wheels via Twitter, commenting that some  tweaks to the front end are being considered.

Hopefully none of these "tweaks" include adding a faux grill. The omission of a grill is an incredibly bold and exciting design decision that makes onlookers feel, well, rather uncomfortable. That uncomfortable feeling is one of the most exciting reactions that I have had when reacting to an automobile in a long time. It was like seeing the Ferrari FF (2 door hatchback) or angel eye headlights on the 5 series BMWs in the early 2000s. This lack of design element is not only fun and cool, but its functionally sound. The Tesla 3 (like all Teslas) has no internal combustion engine, therefore no radiator that necessitates a grill to feed it air. The Model S has a faux grill, which I can forgive, as it was Tesla's first large scale roll out and taking a chance like this was riskier at the time.

With billions of dollars of orders on Tesla's book, there shouldn't be any motivation to pander to the haters. Just because we've been conditioned over the years to expect to see a grill in that spot doesn't mean one should be inserted artificially. My hat's off to the design team at Tesla for making such a beautiful decision, and it will be off to Mr. Musk as well, if he stands by his guns.