The upcoming Tesla Model 3 is designed to do battle in the ultra-competitive compact sedan segment with the 3-series, C-class, and A4. Tesla knows that sales volumes are not made on sedans alone and the brand is considering other variants to the Model 3, such as a crossover and even a wagon.
Chris Porritt, Tesla's vice president for engineering, told Auto Express that the Model 3, due to be launched sometime in 2017, should spawn a number of other body styles based on the sedan.
"We don't know what type of customer we're trying to appeal to yet, but we want to speak to more customers… Lots of them!...We've got specific customers for Model S, we have an idea with Model X, but we need to appeal to more people with Model III...We want this car to be £30,000 to £35,000 with derivatives which will appeal to all sorts of people. SUVs, estates – who knows?"
There is no confirmation as of yet what specific body styles will be launched, but having a compact crossover in the US market is almost a no-brainer and while long-roofs don't sell well here, they are very popular in Europe. What is certain is Tesla needs to find away to distribute the cost of the Model 3's development.
"The type of technology we have now is quite expensive. To enable us to sell Model III for a more cost-effective price, we need to take the cost of building it down as well...We've got to be more efficient in the way we build it and we will have to use more cost-effective materials and/or be cleverer with the materials we use."
Given that the power-train and chassis components for the Model 3 would essentially be unchanged, wagon and crossover versions of the Model 3 would be an efficient way to manage those platform costs.
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