Perfection is a word that accurately describes Tesla Model S designer Franz von Holzhausen. He sits in a photography studio studying every detail of the Model S sitting before him and wonders how he can improve on an already remarkable design. Knowing that work is still needed and modifications will be made, Holzhausen's job is still imcomplete.
The prototype Model S sitting before him will go into production soon, so he studies everything with a keen eye and attention to detail. A lot of work has gone into the design at this point, but more work is needed. The development process will continue as he and others fine tune the Model S.
Holzhausen left Mazda last year to begin his work with Tesla. His design parameters for the Model S were simple. Design a mid size sedan that seats 7 people and their luggage in a design that's functional and engaging. With an emphasis placed on looks, the Model S had to be a stand out among cars on the road. With the simple instructions he set about his work.
Holzhausen along with a team of 11 designers set out to accomplish their task in the back corner of the SpaceX rocket factory in California. Through hard work, long hours, and endless nights, they accomplished their goals in designing the Model S prototype that has been on display since March 26th. The entire design process was completed in a short 8 months. Compared to the years it would take for conventional car designs to reach the market.
The short time frame is partly contributed to the simplicity of the electric drive train. The simplistic drive train allows the car to be more functional due to the small packaging requirements and extra passenger space afforded by the compact, space efficient system. In a way, the designer had more room to work with than in a traditional car.
The biggest challenged faced by the team of designers and most every designer is how to make a vehicle that stands out on the road. Creating a car that is futuristic, yet universally appealing at the same time. The Model S is timelessly modern, yet classic according to Holzhausen.
The end result, the Model S with its fastback body style, delivers unmatched interior volume in a package that is strikingly beautiful and functional. A rarity in cars. The Model S delivers a family sedan sized interior wrapped in the exterior of a sports coupe.
Even now, Holzhausen continues to look for ways to tweak and improve the design of the Model S. Production begins in late 2011, so there is still time left for the perfectionist in him to pour over every detail and spend countless more days and nights until he is satisfied.
Source: Tesla Motors