Sharing parts between models is a common practice in the auto industry, though it can be taken too far–just ask the “old” General Motors. But in Tesla’s case, sharing 60 percent of the parts between the Model S and Model X makes great sense.
Tesla will expand its model range to include two new vehicles alongside the current Model S, with a sports-utility vehicle and small saloon planned.
The first model to join the existing S luxury saloon will be the Model X SUV, arriving next year. Company insiders indicate that it will be close to the concept car that’s already been widely displayed and is set to keep its gullwing doors too.
Design and engineering work is set to start on the small saloon at the end of this year and it’s likely that a good deal of the work, including dynamic tuning, will be done at the company’s forthcoming UK research and development centre.
Tesla Motors is succeeding where other electric car companies have failed. And by succeeding, we mean Tesla is actually selling cars, with the Model S sedan reportedly receiving over 10,000 $5,000 deposits to date. At $50,000 after tax credits though, the Model S is still well beyond what most people can afford. So what is Tesla planning to build next? From the sounds of it, an all-electric BMW 3-series rival.
Tesla’s chief designer Franz von Holzhausen said that after the Model X SUV (which has also received plenty of deposits), the electric automaker would focus on bringing an event cheaper vehicle to market. The targeted price range is around $30,000, which judging from Tesla’s record on pricing so far, probably includes the $7,500 Federal tax credit.
Elon Musk, who has recently purchased the Lotus Esprit submarine model featured in the James Bond film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ also admitted that he plans to create something similar that works.
“It’s a low priority project but we can create a transformation amphibious vehicle using Model S electrics. It will look like the Esprit too but 10 per cent bigger and we’ll make it in single digit numbers, but it can be done,” he said.
So far, Tesla’s recipe for success has been simple; produce good-looking electric cars with enough range to justify a premium price tag. The result is a long waiting list for Tesla vehicles, and CEO Elon Musk has always intended to work his way into the lower price brackets. And going after the BMW 3-series only makes sense; it is the dominant luxury sedan in the $30,000-$40,000 price range. Considering that the average new car sells for over $30,000 these days anyways, Tesla might be able to move quite a few reasonably-priced electric luxury sedans with more range for more money.
The Tesla Model X is a full-size crossover utility vehicle (CUV) in development by Tesla Motors. The prototype was unveiled at Tesla’s design studios in Los Angeles on February 9, 2012. The Model X is being developed from the full-size sedan platform of the Tesla Model S, and will be produced with it at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California.
Prices for the Model X have not been announced but Tesla is taking reservations. The standard Model X requires a US$5,000 deposit, and the no longer offered Signature model option requires a US$40,000 deposit. As of April 1, 2014 more than 13,000 Model Xs have been reserved.