Talk about burying the lede.
Autocar published a short piece the other day about Tesla Motors releasing its third-generation vehicles – mass-market models that we believe will come in both sedan and crossover flavors with starting prices in the $30,000 neighborhood – in 2015. Cool, but we knew that.
Speaking with Tesla’s chief designer Franz von Holzhausen, the publication was also told that future models would feature more distinctive styling compared to the Model S. Those familiar with the man’s work (see the Mazda Taiki and Kazamai concepts, as examples) don’t doubt his ability to create a unique design language and it’s nice to know he will be allowed to spread his artistic wings somewhat. This was also pretty cool.
The best part of the dialogue for us, however, was at the very bottom of the page where Holzhausen disclosed that Tesla is thinking about building a pickup truck. He said, “There will be a time and place for us to develop something around a pickup. That’s a market for which the torque of an electric motor would be ideally suited.”
Now, how awesome is that? (Answer: Very, very awesome!) Pickups account for a large portion of the market – June 2012 saw
924,129 162,527 units sold – and most currently suffer from horrible fuel economy. An electric drivetrain would certainly improve on its environmental impact and also give drivers an improved experience behind the wheel.
While it’s likely to be a while before we see such a beast from the California automaker (and when we do, we’re certain it will look better than our admittedly poor photochop of the Model X above), those of us who have occasion to haul firewood, go kayak fishing, help friends move, etc., are happy to have an electric vehicle to at least daydream about.