Elon Musk: I Want The Model 3 To Be Different, Not Just A Smaller Model S

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Elon Musk recently made a number of interesting comments at the Detroit Automotive World Congress (aka “Detroit Auto Show”). Amongst all of his comments, though, was one that really stands out in my mind — “I really want the Model III to be different, not just a smaller Model S.”

Interesting — hard to tell exactly what it means, though. Presumably, it’s not going to be one of the ugly, different-for-the-sake-of-being-different cars that we see from time to time. That really wouldn’t fit in with what we’ve seen from Musk or Tesla so far.

So, what does it mean then? If you make it look too “out there,” that’s in many ways worse (for sales and adoption) than making it exactly like any other car out there. To my eyes, the Model S hit just the right balance between playing to people’s comfort zones and making us sit up and take notice. This rendering of the Model 3 would surely sell well and advance the electric vehicle revolution, but it certainly looks a lot like the Model S, so I guess we can assume it’s out.

Here’s a video of the interview, with the comments about the Model 3 coming in at 21:09 in:

There were a number of other interesting comments made during the interview that are worth noting. Here are some of them:

  • Still speaking about the appearance of the Model 3: “Really way different than any other car on the road that’s really useful, not just a weird-mobile.”
  • Model 3: “When I say $35,000, I’m talking (about) without any credits.”
  • Speaking on the subject of potentially opening a factory in Detroit: “Maybe Michigan should stop prohibiting us from selling cars here. That would be a nice first gesture.”
  • Opening up the Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs: “We’re happy to have other carmakers use that Supercharger network.”

The comment was also recently made that the final production form of the Model X would be showcased sometime this summer — and, interestingly, that it will possess features that nobody outside of Tesla knows about.

Tip of the hat to “igotzzoom” on the Tesla Motors Club forums for starting a topic on this subject.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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