With the facelifted Tesla Model 3 already unveiled and the Cybertruck nearing the start of customer deliveries, Tesla could soon free up resources to complete development on what will likely become its most important car, the long-awaited $25,000 mass-market EV. But what will that car look like?
Walter Isaacson’s recently released Elon Musk biography might offer some clues. It provided an unprecedented first look at Tesla’s robotaxi concept, which is expected to preview the brand’s self-driving car that will share the next-generation platform and assembly line with the $25,000 model. But besides revealing the robotaxi concept’s shape, Isaacson’s book also offered key information about the future dedicated robotaxi and the entry-level EV—namely that their design will be futuristic and inspired by the Cybertruck.
According to Isaacson, Musk was shown concept vehicles of both the $25,000 car and the robotaxi side by side at a February 2023 meeting. Both vehicles are described in the book as having “a futuristic design like the Tesla Cybertruck.” The robotaxi goes one step further, lacking a steering wheel and any pedals.
Elon Musk reportedly loved the designs and said, “When one of these comes around a corner, people will think they are seeing something from the future.”
Starting from a design sketch of the robotaxi concept from Isaacson’s book and using the tip that both the robotaxi and the $25,000 EV will borrow design cues from the Cybertruck, Motor1.com Italy‘s rendering artist envisioned what Tesla’s mass-market electric car could look like.
The exclusive rendering reveals what many have called the Model 2 (though Musk has said it won’t be called that) which sports similar lines to the Cybertruck. According to Isaacson’s book, the simplicity of the body shape featuring many straight, flat surfaces will be more than just striking to look at. It will also help Tesla reduce production and assembly costs.
As with all its models, Tesla will pay a lot of attention to aerodynamics with its entry-level EV, which explains the arched roof and flush door handles in this rendering. The vehicle should fit in the compact segment, slotting below the Model 3 in Tesla’s lineup.
Both the mass-market model and the robotaxi are likely to get the same powertrains, and given their market positioning, an LFP battery would fit like a glove. Actually, Tesla said in April in its Master Plan Part 3 that the compact car will have a 53-kilowatt-hour LFP battery pack. Given this capacity, it’s reasonable to expect a driving range of up to 250 miles.
Tesla is expected to start production of both vehicles between 2024 and 2025 at its Giga Texas plant in Austin, but the entry-level EV will be made in China and Mexico later on, and possibly in India, where Tesla is reportedly planning a new factory.
Now, we want to know your take on the rendering: would the Cybertruck’s design language work on a much smaller car?