Formerly branded as the Model E, Tesla Motors is still hard at work with the development of a direct competitor to BMW’s 3-Series, and the Mercedes C-Class oriented to the middle-priced sales segment. That said, however, the new vehicle will not employ some of the company’s previous mix of raw materials, including its focus on smaller aluminum body components.
According to Tesla’s VP of Engineering Chris Porritt, “I expect there will be very little carry-over. We’ve got to be cost-effective. We can’t use aluminum for all the (smaller vehicle’s) components. (This means) appropriate” materials (and) this would mean a build that doesn’t exclusively rely on aluminum.” Since the new design is primary targeted on a particular price point, Tesla suggests that they are more interested in battery efficiency first, and therefore, will require alternative ways to reduce the new car’s overall product cost.
It might be remembered that Tesla has been working on a middle-priced electric model for some time, therefore leading to the original Model E moniker. Now, however the brand marque has been retired, suggesting that there may be a new “bigger better” effort to gild the lily so to speak.
Although there were no follow-on comments from Porritt, it appears that the original Model E’s configuration will continue to apply similar production metrics. Previous comments from the company suggest that the new vehicle will be both smaller outside and inside, while at the same time producing longer range from its battery packaging.
Previous design information also suggests a final dry weight of slightly less than 4,000 lbs, which is a considerable weight difference compared with the current Model S at nearly 4,700 pounds. The primary weight difference in this case will specifically apply to the overall battery package.