Tesla Model C Rendered, Looks Like Compact Model 3


Looks like a baby Tesla Model 3.

If we imagine the Tesla Model C as a compact version of the current Model 3, then this might be what it looks like when it enters production.

Yes, the render is a bit blurry and it’s quite obviously just a shortened Model 3, but it sure does look better than some previous Model C renders.

We personally think the Model C, which is still several years away from production (will follow the Model Y, Roadster and Semi), will take on a more upright hatch appearance. Perhaps more along the lines of the Chevy Bolt. It’s believed to be a compact city electric, so small is key. Surely, we will have a better sense of its appearance after the Model Y debuts.

Let us close by stating there’s been virtually no talk of the Model C in years now. Perhaps it’s not even in the cards anymore?

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109 Comments on "Tesla Model C Rendered, Looks Like Compact Model 3"

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I’d go for one right now. I have a Chevy Spark EV and the model C could go twice as far at lower cost with more room. It will be even more efficient than my wifes model 3. That is the car that can change to world for EVeryone.

I don’t think model C will be as small as SparkEV (146 in). It might be Bolt size (164 in), though, about 20 inches shorter than 3 (185 in). Still, that’s better than the Tesla boats on sale now.

“the Tesla boats”
Friend went from a Hummer H2 to a model 3. It’s all in the perspective.

The Spark is a tall sedan style, so likely will actually have more room than the C if it were similar in all other ways, which is likely from what I read. Plus, Tesla’s lack of build quality would make the Spark a better choice IMHO.

Tesla boats? Ha Ha- Wow – what bridge do you live under?

i doubt it. I suspect that a model C, at $25K base, would be 150 – 250 MPC.

How soon it will happen depends on how quickly Tesla saturates their upper price market.
But by then, 150 mpc number may be too low to be competitive. Even now the Leaf with 150 mile range is not selling very well.

the reason is that the leaf has a bad reputation. At this point, they should have re-branded it, and improved the interior.

Carlos is already in Jail for his alleged misdeeds.

If Mr. Goshen had implemented your excellent suggestions stated above, for the 2018 Leaf back in the 2015 planning phase, they would probably already have him splayed out on a stretcher by now. Additionaly he would probably be served up as a side dish, on the obligatory bed of nails torture chamber dungeon floor.

Nissan wants to only sell compliance numbers, of barely adequate EVs.

And fixed the leaf wilting battery. The worst in the world.

Not really Ford Ecosport is doing very well over here

Sure, any vaporware vehicle that is 10 years away can have better specs than a 4 year old EV.

A Mini Three?

I have a feeling Tesla won’t be coming out with a compact or subcompact anytime soon. As much as I’d like to have one, they need to focus on where the market is going, which is larger vehicles.

Not in Europe. Hatchbacks are still huge here

They will be popular here for a long long time. People like the flexibility the format gives you.
That carries on into the CUV/Crossover and SUV formats. Boots/Trunks are just not for the masses any more.
Now if Tesla were to make an Estate version of this…. That would be a winner.

I have heard that Europeans “like” small(er) cars because of the exorbitant fuel prices.

Apart from the fuel prices, there is a bunch of other taxes on cars in most EU states which make bigger cars and SUV’s simply out of reach for Joe Sixpack. Last but not least: try to drive an F150 in Europe’s medieval town centres.

A smaller/shorter car does not automatically mean less fuel.
Has more to do with our cities going 1000 years back, parking.

Smaller cars are cheaper, also getting into tighter parking spaces especially in the cities is a plus. Car ownership is getting fairly expensive in Europe when you count taxes, insurance, maintenance etc… then there are the constant traffic jams. I might be driving my last personal car and opt for car sharing combined with biking for short distances.

And for other reasons, too. Streets in European cities tend to be much narrower, with tighter turns, than American city streets. Smaller parking spaces, too. America has to a large extent rebuilt its cities to cater to the motorcar. Europe has not, at least not to such a great extent.

Go to Europe or Japan and drive their roads ( Japan’s are slightly smaller, but both are narrow). Now go drive in Boston or one of the upper east coast areas. U will find that the narrow streets that we have up there are highways in comparison to EU and esp. to Japan’s.

I don’t know what Europe you are talking about…the one i see each year is one where SUV are increasing in numbers. Honestly I can’t understand why, everything is so tight and gas/diesel is so expensive…it makes 0 sense.

When I got my S, which I keep in the garage. the guy down the street bought an AMG S65. The AMG is slower and a bit more money, slightly quieter at 80 mph but gets 15 MGP. Most of the time it sits in his driveway, not in his garage. He does drive it to dinners and outings.
I finally understood, it’s not about how good the car is, it’s about the bragging rights of ownership.

“I finally understood, it’s not about how good the car is, it’s about the bragging rights of ownership.”

Unlike Tesla, which people only buy because they’re good cars and buyers are never influenced by the bragging rights of ownership.

LOL. 😂

3-5 years ago, Tesla was not about bragging rights. It was about being gutsy enough to support a start-up company.
Now, anybody that buys a ICE car like that AMG, is an idiot and stuck in the 19th century.

3-5 years ago the cheapest Tesla was around $60k+. Bragging rights are still way up there.

😱 “NEVER!” 😀

Because “SUV’s (or crossovers as they’re called and designed as now) are a way of increasing internal volume without increasing road space. As an example the CRV is based on the Civic, and has similar width and length, yet has more space than an Accord.

You get a physically smaller vehicle, which makes it easier to drive around small roads, but more practicality. The added couple of inches of ground clearance helps with potholes and mounting curbs when needed too. Ideal for the average car driver, who’s more interested in a vehicle just to get them from A-B comfortably than performance and handling.

Because they are cheap. Serious range EVs aren’t going to be cheap anytime soon.

…agree, and there is a reason for that….Europe is not all 80mph 6 lane freeways and Walmart parking lots… it’s 17th century carriageways and small non polluting hatchback electric cars the size of carriages start to make sense. ICE-Mobiles and the grey particulate/nitrous-oxide pollution they create are destroying the facades of European and colonial city heritage buildings.

Yes, Tesla has hinted at a pick up with the looks of their semi. Ugh. Getting back to Musk’s goal of worldwide electrification wouldn’t a mini 3 make more sense? Bigger isn’t better.

Wow Jeff you really don’t get it! The mission must be that I can still drive the biggest tank around while feeling like I did something good for the environment.

If i‘d really wanted to save it, I‘d take one of those bikes that can carry stuff around and rent a car twice a year.

Tesla’s strategy has worked out a hell of a lot better than anyone else’s.

Other manufacturers looked at the range of batteries and their cost an thought “city car”. Their products were multiples the cost of basic petrol driven cars.

The clever people realised that the best way to hide the cost of the batteries was to put it in the most expensive car types first hence why it went sports car, luxury car, large SUV, compact SUV, pick-up.

As Tesla becomes larger this has the secondary advantage of displacing cars with large engines which drive a long way.

At the moment Tesla is limited in production volume by the amount of cells it can produce hence they will put these cells in the most expensive car possible, that is the fastest way to pay for the design of cheaper cars and the production capacity and battery capacity to support them.

Now here is someone who has been paying attention.

Altho to nitpick, it’s Panasonic whose battery cell production is limited, not Tesla’s directly. Gigafactory 1 does say “TESLA” on the outside, and it’s true that Tesla does set production goals and arrange for delivery of materials to make the cells, but at least technically it’s Panasonic who is responsible for actual production of the battery cells that are stamped with the “TESLA” logo.

After buying my first EV, a Conversion, in October, 2006, it did not take even me to realize that doing an EV Conversion on a Cheap Little car, would make it Much More Expensive, Proportionately, than doing the same, or even better, on an already expensive car! Motor prices did increase with Power, but a set of good batteries, was going to be expensive, no matter which care they were put in!

I wouldnt be so sure about that. Even here in Germany the SUV and Crossover craze is spreading. I do not have the faintest idea why – apparently gas isnt expensive enough yet. At least we have barely any pick ups here.

As long as people keep buying cars for that once a year occasion, and as long as SUVs get a bit more fuel efficient people will keep drifting into bigger cars. So many people still just don’t get EVs or the fact that they don’t really need a massive car.

I don’t think it’s much to do with practicality, it’s about fashion and status in my opinion. Massive example is Thailand – even in a city as congested as Bangkok (probably worse than any city in Europe) every other vehicle seems to be a shiny new pickup truck. A small minority are used for work (generally a bit beaten up with cargo in the back) the rest just for show while commuting etc.

Less than 6 years from now.

The problem with that when it comes to the electric vehicle Market is that larger means more expensive, meaning unattainable to the masses. As I’ve said before, when we have an electric car on the market that is under $25,000, has over a 200 mile range, and is desirable looking, people can’t expect for sales to go that high. FB Tesla Model 3 out selling the model S and X is of any indication, is that the masses do want an electric car, but they want one they can afford. Well, people can’t afford $40,000+ on a mass scale, not when the average wage in America is $30,000 a year.

The $30. k US wage ($30.5 k), is more accurately the median wage, not the average, in case someone is actually verifying this.

“The average U.S. worker today earns roughly $46,641 a year, according to data from the Social Security Administration. The median salary in the country, however, is only $30,533,”


Only takes a few sky high to skew averages…

80% of US car sales are used cars well under $20k. People making the median salary are not typically buying new cars.

but, that is Exactly what they need for the China or EU markets.

I doubt Tesla will really do a cheaper sedan than the Model 3 and sell it to consumers. Musk has said it’s several years away – by that point, they’ll have Full Self Driving and the Tesla Network. I expect Tesla will simply have them on a ride-sharing network and keep 100% of the revenue for themselves rather than have to split it with anyone.


Tesla could make a $25,000 electric car in ‘about 3 years’, says Elon Musk


“Could”. Meaning they could do it profitably. Doesn’t mean they plan to, or that they will.

Tesla, actually Elon’s, intention is to drive legacy car makers away from ICE and over to EVs. The only way to do that, is to have vehicles up and down the entire line.
IOW, by 2022/3, Tesla WILL have a 25K car, and it will be profitable.
That will be the final nail in the ICE POS.

Not really. A Tesla EV equivalent of the BMW 1 series would sell well, but won’t do much to the ICE market out of that segment.

Tesla would need to produce a $25k Model 3/S and a $25k Model Y to start doing that.

It’s price for specific segment that will kill ICE, not just price for any vehicle.

While we’re imagining, make it with a hatchback please.

The only drawback with the current model 3. I would really like the thinking in why they did not make it a hatchback like the model S.

The required crossbar would compromise rear headroom. The headroom back there is a common complaint leveled against the S, and the 3 is a smaller car.

So they can come out with the more popular and profitable Model Y once they figured out how to mass produce a vehicle.

While we’re dreaming make it a small affordable Roadster.

Perhaps Tesla should go bigger before going smaller?

A Tesla Model XL (extended length version of Model X) would be a huge hit in North America… may double Tesla SUV sales.

Extend cargo area by ~20 inches (~508mm) and extend wheelbase by ~10 inches (~254mm) and keep everything else identical to Model X including battery pack.

Yes the added length will result in ~5% range loss but a Tesla 100D XL with 280 miles rage may be the sweet spot for many.

Tesla could bring a Model XL into production much quicker than a Model C; it’s way easier to only lengthen an existing model than to overall shrink an existing model.


Actually,it would be ideal as a limo, so even longer would be better.
However, a Model C would better for Tesla. It would be the final nail that kills all ICE.

This XL model could easily be 110 kWh with existing 18650 cells! With 2170 cells, it could be up to 130 kWh, or maybe even 140 kWh!

It could offer more of a Chauffeur Driven Experience, with an extra 8-10″ of leg room, in the middle seat! Maybe even another 2-4″ Legroom in the 3rd row!

It’s not cell format that drives efficiency. Its ac motors vs. 1 synchronized reluctance motor for majority of use.

A vehicle the size of Bolt, but classified as a crossover with 5 doors will be good since crossoverss are the best selling segment.
This could be Tesla’s answer to VW Id.

GM classifies the Bolt as CUV. And you have the Hyundai Kona which is the same size as a Bolt, which is classified as a CUV.

But of course they are both just small wagons/hatchbacks. If Tesla can make an actual AWD CUV with decent ground clearance and true off-road capabilities, they might find a good niche.

How about they focus on getting the pickup truck for sale? Bigger market than econocar.

…in North America only.

In Europe you rarely see a pick up truck because for most people (apart from maybe builders/tradesmen) they’re completely impractical and too expensive to run.
Econocars would sell much better in Europe. Ford Fiesta has been the top selling car in the uk for decades.

One of the only drawbacks, for me, is the unnecessary size of the three. The C would suit me perfectly. I don’t see Tesla coming out with it anytime soon so I’ll stay with my Bolt for now and wait.

This new Compact Tesla, if it does come in 3-4 years, will likely attract a lot of buyers from other EV Brands, as well as from ICE Brands!

Yes, this is definitely Golf territory, and that’s great. I was a bit taken aback when I saw a 3 – I was expecting an A4/3 series equivalent from about 10 years ago, not a 5 series.

This is where Tesla could really spend more money, designing more vehicles at once. Hire another design team to do the compact car, and a different one to do the truck, etc. If Elon really doesn’t want to do another capital raise, I see the truck coming first. Not to mention this market will be highly saturated soon, as VW should fill this with the ID Neo, and many others coming along or there already (Kona EV, Leaf, etc).

It is not the desinging but the actual building that is the bottleneck.

Correct. Tesla at present has only one single auto assembly plant. They will need at least couple more to put the Model Y and eventually the pickup into production. We know one new assembly plant will be in Shanghai; it’s already being built. Where the 3rd one will be is an open question at present. Europe? Gigafactory 1 in Nevada? Or will Tesla buy up a mothballed GM assembly plant?

Maybe eventually all three.

“Perhaps it’s not even in the cars anymore?”

Eric, that egg nog was good but, maybe possibly try

Edit: … in the cards anymore?

Happy New Year!

Johnny Cars on Lives you!

Let’s hope the late Ed McMahon and Jack Nicholson, give the genius show stoppers, in the link below, a real heart felt warm welcome, of the time honored “Here’s Johnny”!


Maybe they will bring a real dashboard or at least a HUD with it.

Seems unlikely. The Model 3 is a hit, off-center instrument display and all. I predicted that Tesla would offer at least a HUD and perhaps an added instrument panel as an option, but there hasn’t been the outcry I expected against the lack of instrument panel, and no signs that Tesla plans to even offer a HUD as an option.

Looking great so nice to see you soon,but price

A proposed Tesla Model C Program would have to have unique capabilities to fill that niche of the car market. Perhaps it would be lighter then Model 3 but with the same or greater range.

I love our upright, sorta tall Leaf here in the city.
Every weekend on the highway I wish it had the aero of a low-slung Tesla.
I hope the model “Y” splits the difference, with a square hatchback opening and either removable seats or a fold flat load floor.
I’ve had a ’15, and now the 30kw ’17.
If the charging network EVER becomes dependable, I would rarely need more than 40kw of battery.
Keep working on that model “Y” please.

Make it a real hatchback, for camping and bike trips.

Would you mind actually giving some context here? You haven’t mentioned a Model C (name for an A-segment subcompact city car like the e-Up) for at least 4-5 years. What brings it on todayof all days?
It’s NEVER been on the cards officially a.f.a. Tesla is concerned. The last time Musk said anything about smaller Teslas, around 4 years ago, he thought Tesla would never make anything cheaper than the Model 3.
There’s zero market for such a car in the US, for starters.

After that he said there will be a time for the smaller Tesla.
But not a priority.

Probably because it’s Christmas – a slow news period – and they want to have enough posts per day to keep people coming to the blog… 😉

Remember when that vegan/PETA lady asked Elon about the leather on the steering wheel, and he answered he wasn’t sure there would even be a steering wheel in the Model Y. If he was only half serious, there’s not going to be a steering wheel in any Model C.

So, we’re talking 2024-2025-2026 here?
Would be a market for it, for sure. Main problem is by 2022ish, most manufacturers will have at least 1-2 models in this class. Add 1-2 years, and they will also have slightly smaller and slightly bigger models. Suddenly they have 15-20-25 potential competitors.
To produce enough, they need a good price, and offer something the competitors don’t.

If they can use use the model 3 as some kind of platform, they could develop a vehicle fairly quick, and set up production fairly quick.
Quick require more money though.

When Chevy Parnered with Suzuki, to build a car smaller than the boxy little Chevette, & Pontiac Acadian, they arrived in Canada with the Sprint: the first car sold in North America with such Efficiency! It got better than 45 Mpg, and Sold out quickly, back in 1985!

I would not doubt others will make cars in this class, but that just makes more targets for Tesla to hit! Think about: How Many Luxury Sedan Sales shifted to Tesla Model S & Model X took some of those, too!

Early golf diesels got in the 50’s in the early 80’s..

Early honda cvcc’s also got into the 40’s…

Honestly, this is the first time I’ve heard about a Model C. Is this something that fans have thought up or something that Tesla or Elon have actually hinted at? (if so, when?) If such a car came out, It would surely be a storming success in markets like Europe where small cars are dominant.

“Model C” is a fan (or journalist) invention. Elon has mentioned a couple of times that he’d like to make a compact car in maybe 4-5 years (and much more recently than the 4-5 years ago that Wavelet claimed in his comment above), but I think it very unlikely that anybody at Tesla has spent any time trying to design such a car. A compact Tesla car is strictly in the “Wouldn’t it be nice if someday…” category.

Concerning the Model C … the future is now and it’s already past … just buy a BoltEV and you’ll get there; it’s back to the future.

“Let us close by stating there’s been virtually no talk of the Model C in years now. Perhaps it’s not even in the cards anymore?”

I’m pretty sure that no Tesla spokesman has ever uttered the phrase “Model C”. That was just a label some journalist or fan came up with, to describe a hypothetical compact car that Elon has a couple of times mentioned that Tesla might make someday.

Saying “it’s not even in the cards anymore” implies that it once was in the cards. That’s almost certainly an exaggeration. This isn’t even a back-burner project for Tesla.

I’m a strong fan of Tesla, but let us please try to separate wishful thinking, which is what the so-called “Model C” is, from projects for which Tesla actually has plans.

Make it a four door, the size of the Leaf and price it at $20k, no incentives, with 200 miles range…a winner.

Tesla can not do a $20K car in 3-4 years.

Elon has just hinted of a Smaller Car, at the $25,000 price Point, Briefly, and everyone is all over it!

But could he get a large Pickup Sized Motorhome, too? A Model H?

It will come.
I have no doubt that Tesla will do a 25K car and something like that would be it.
It will be interesting to see if they follow the path a ford focus or a honda accord.
Hopefully, the later.

Why did I click on this?!?

And post a comment, too!

Look like new Prius headlights.

Is there a credible source that Tesla even plans a Model C?

I kinda doubt they will go any more downmarket. The secret master plan part deux pretty much said they don’t see the point of that with FSD and the Tesla network. People will rideshare instead of own.

This is the Tesla that would/could really bust the EV market in Europe wide open. Model 3 is a large car in Europe, albeit not unmanageably large, unlike S and X which really are just too big.

Serious range EVs aren’t going to be cheap anytime soon, so no need to speculate about concepts that can’t command a serious price tag.

Model 3 size is probably about the minimum a car should be, especially a premium priced one. Hopefully Tesla can do what Ford once did with Model T: reduce production cost and pass the savings on to customers so make serious sales volumes possible.

Any rendering of a fictitious model C now is worthless. The Model Y is still fictitious after all – as well as the $35K model 3.

It looks like a 3 to me and slap Model C bs. Stop with the rendering

I’d bet Tesla never makes an EV smaller than the 3.

That would be so cool. And build a little Miata killer off it while you are at it. Elon – you heard it here first. Give me a founders edition of the Model C Speedster.

we need atesla cabriolet ,desperly!