Entry-Level Tesla Rendered as Rumors Say It'll Be Ready by the End of the Year

It may sound as though "by the end of the year" has become Tesla's new "in two weeks" but, let's face it, even if that were the case, it's still an upgrade since it sounds a lot more believable. Plus, it puts more time between the announcement and the actual deadline, making it more likely for people to forget about the company having to deliver something altogether.
Tesla Model 2 (Model 3 Shooting Brake) rendering 21 photos
Photo: Artem Shkirenko via Instagram
Well, to be fair, the Model 2 (in the absence of an official name we'll call it that just for the sake of easy reading since the alternatives are "$25,000 Tesla" or "entry-level Tesla", because "Model T" is definitely not going to happen) information, including the dates, are just unofficial rumors at this point, but they come from "inside sources" that have been right before, so it's more than just speculation.

Not that we'd have anything to speculate on. The EV maker has kept pretty quiet about its entry-level model (we did say we'll call it "Model 2" but some variation is welcome) ever since announcing it almost a year ago, and frankly, nobody even batted an eyelid at that since Tesla is already supposed to debut three more vehicles that were already on the books when news of the Model 2 broke out: the Semi, the Roadster, and the Cybertruck.

Now, we hear rumors that Tesla's Chinese branch has already built a prototype for what's most likely going to be a compact hatchback-bodied EV, and that they are expecting to begin "trial production" by the end of this year. That's the kind of news that can send people into a TSLA stock buying frenzy, even if logic tells you the car can't realistically sooner than the start of 2023. Maybe.

This Model 2 is presumably the car that will truly turn Tesla into a mass-market manufacturer, but that happening hangs on two very different - yet equally important - conditions. First of all, Tesla needs to come good on its new 4680 battery cell. A lot of the company's upcoming models - if not all of them - are held back by the manufacturing of the new cell, and the Model 2 will need a lot of them.

If the first condition was an internal one, the second pertains to the whole car market. The Model 2 could be used as the means to make EVs truly popular, but in reality, Tesla needs the market to be ready to absorb a large number of electric vehicles, even if accessible, and that's more likely to happen a few years from now. Tesla has played the role of the main driver behind EV adoption before, but the scenery has changed since then. Now, it can't afford to take risks because the market is a lot more saturated. Make a false move, and the entire card castle may come crumbling down.

Well, while we sit around and talk about the Model 2, one digital artist set out to design it. The actual brief was coming up with a shooting brake version for the Model 3 but considering the result looks so compact - he gave it a two-door configuration, like a true shooting brake should have, but he also shortened the wheelbase quite dramatically, which gives it a distinct hatchback appearance - calling this the Model 2 doesn't feel like a stretch.

All the sporty bits on it, on the other hand, do. The compact, entry-level Tesla isn't going to be slow - the company doesn't know how to do that, apparently - but it will likely be the slowest of the bunch, so there's no need for all the performance-enhancing bells and whistles.

At the same time, we feel as though we should mention the fact that nobody really knows what the yet-unnamed model is going to look like. A lot of people would be quite disappointed if Tesla decided to make it a shorter Model 3 copy but considering cutting costs is going to be a priority, that's always a possibility. It's either that or the flat steel panels of the Cybertruck, and when you put it like that, a Model 3 hatchback suddenly doesn't sound so bad.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter
About the author: Vlad Mitrache
Vlad Mitrache profile photo

"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories