No, this probably is NOT Model III

Model X rear quarter TeslaMondoMystery clay model TeslaMondoBusiness Insider thinks this screen shot from an Australian “60 Minutes” episode reveals Model 3. Now, keep in mind, Musk said Model III won’t look like other cars. TeslaMondo has argued that it will indeed look like other cars at least a little, for two reasons:

* Tesla has to tap into a major artery of the market with Model III. It can’t go hog wild with styling. Yet.

* Even a semi-radical car design is quickly assimilated by our brains so it ends up looking like other cars. Remember the first time you saw the latest Jeep Cherokee? Exactly.

Anyway, back to the clay model. Compare it to Model X. See any differences? The clay one might be a tad smaller, but besides that, it’s a dead ringer. Would Tesla really build a slightly smaller Model X — or, for that matter, Model S — and call it Model III? Doubt it. That’s not ambitious enough. The Model III will likely have its own persona. Musk: “One easy thing to do would be to make a 20 percent smaller Model S. That would be easy to do, but I think we might be able to do a few more interesting things that just that.” So if a shrunken Model S isn’t good enough, presumably a shrunken Model X isn’t either.

Pulling this all together: Model III can’t look too outlandish, but it won’t merely ape other Teslas. Think somewhere in between. So no, Business Insider, this probably is not Model  III.

Model III won't look like other cars TeslaMondo

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4 thoughts on “No, this probably is NOT Model III

  1. vfxx says:

    Tesla designs are never radical. When you have only one car, you have to appeal to the widest possible audience.
    That said, if you go back and listen to Elon and even Franz discussing the lll design they had two paths they were considering this past year. A conservative version and a radical version (my terms). Last mention on a call Elon said they would (probably) release the subdued version first and the extreme one later. Given what Franz can do…http://www.mazdaclub.cz/graphics/articles/27/images/full/franz-von-holzhausen-lg.jpg

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  2. purrpullberra says:

    I’m expecting Elon to ~regret?~ saying those things as the Model3 will eventually be revealed as a smaller ModelS and a smaller ModelX. No falcon doors of course. And no third row seats in either is possible either.
    And they will be unique looking in that they won’t have typical air inlets up front and other smaller features will help distinguish it too. They can still do things to the basic mini version of each car to distinguish them enough for Elon to claim, “I told you a few more interesting things ****than that**** would happen… AFTER I said a 20% smaller car would be easy to do”.
    I honestly think they already know most of the basics, looks and specs. Each will be a baby version of each 2nd gen car. The styling particulars are probably already drawn up in the design studios awaiting finalizing. The last things to be ok’d will be the features that will make the cars look most unusual/unique.
    I’m not trying to say Elon lies or can’t be trusted to mean what he says exactly. But he does say some things that are just wild speculation (like manufacturing in China “in three years”, I know I know about the false orders or the Hyperloop joke of a project). And no one can hold him to these statements either because he is always so off the cuff.
    That leaves me expecting baby versions even though he’s also indicated they don’t want to do “just” that. I think he should’ve said they’ll be smaller versions but with enough unique qualities with each that they are going to function and look very differently from other cars in/near each class.
    Like you said, the car has to appeal to the masses, to a certain degree at least. I think the falcon wing doors appeal to the “masses” considering it’s only looking to sell 50k a year worldwide. That won’t work on a car hoping to sell 500k a year. It’ll end up being more Apple-esque things that make the Tesla special compared to the ICE competition; cosmetic details, interior gadget/tech uses and features highlighting the EV nature of the powertrain.
    How is it one young car company is doing all of this to the world at large?!? What a great show we’ve been witnessing!

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  3. Tom Bland says:

    Elon and Tesla were in a more adventurous mood when he said on Reddit that the Model III “won’t look like other cars”. He later explained [on an earnings conference call I think] that they were faced with the choice between being much more adventurous, burning more cash, and probably facing delays – as they’ve clearly encountered with elements of the Model X – or scaling back the design to something more conservative and being more likely to get the car out on time. He said they’d probably have to do the latter.

    So I wouldn’t get too excited that the Model III will look like nothing else – it’ll probably just look like a smaller Model S/X with a few nips and tucks. I don’t really care – I’m buying one regardless.

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  4. […] next spring. Those nutty concept cars that nobody actually builds, Tesla might build, despite TeslaMondo’s view that the fledgling EV market requires restraint and disallows crazy […]

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