In 2018, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the carmaker was working on a new mini car that could “squeeze an adult.”
As some of his tweets, that one left plenty of room for interpretation. Was he talking about a scale replica? A one-seat quadricycle? Or was that his way of describing a road-going city car?
From a financial perspective, the latter would make the most sense, especially now that micro EVs are becoming increasingly successful. That’s particularly true in China where the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV stole the best-selling EV title from the Tesla Model 3 earlier this year.
Back to Musk’s tweet, some context is necessary. That tweet was sent one year after the Model 3’s production start and two years before Tesla announced another project, the $25,000 (compact?) car that will be developed by its Chinese subsidiary.
Gallery: Tesla Mini Electric Car Independent Renderings
While development on that project is in full swing at Tesla’s recently inaugurated R&D center in Shanghai, we haven’t heard anything about the mini EV in a long time.
In the absence of new information, let’s take a look at a set of renderings portraying the elusive Tesla mini EV. The work of TheClunkerJunker, these illustrations envision a two-door, four-seat micro car with a styling inspired by the tall-boy looks of the Model Y.
It may not be the most attractive city car you’ve seen—it looks a bit too bulbous from the side, and the front end is not that pretty—but hey, it’s got scissor doors! As for the interior, it features four individual seats, a minimalist dashboard with a massive 13-inch vertical touchscreen in the middle, and an all-glass electrochromic roof.
The author of these renderings says the cabin would feature “recyclable and sustainable materials derived from hemp fiber, discarded milk cartons, and wine corks.” This virtual Tesla mini EV promises to offer ample room for four adults thanks to the stretched wheelbase, almost non-existent overhangs, and forward-designed instrument panel.
TheClunkerJunker also calls this car the Model 2 and the “first Tesla coupe.” We’re not sure about any of those statements, but we definitely appreciate the work put into this project. What do you think?
Read about Tesla's $25,000 compact EV developed in China