Tesla is reportedly designing its £18,000 model in China, because its main market of focus is going to be the PRC. This could be the “Chinese-style” electric car that Tesla was talking about last year when it announced its plan to create a local R&D centre in the country.
The manufacturer even released an early design sketch depicting what it expected the model to look like (pictured below), but ever since then, we’ve heard little in the way of official information on the project. Now that sketch has been adapted and transposed into a more realistic looking vehicle that actually looks like a typical European city hatchback in this rendering by Kolesa.
This would make sense given the fact that even though Tesla will most likely manufacture its smallest model in China, it has plans to export it all around the world. It will still be designed with China in mind, but given that Chinese car buyers’ tastes are becoming more international, then a vehicle that looks like the one in the rendering would make sense.
We’re not sure if Kolesa started with the Euro-spec Nissan Micra and then digitally modified the photo, but this baby Tesla does look a lot like the fifth-generation of Japanese hatch (designed exclusively for and sold in Europe).
Even if it looks like a Micra, the £18,000 Tesla will actually compete with the likes of the Volkswagen ID.3 or the Nissan Leaf. However, with that price tag it will be comparable to cheaper and smaller EVs, like the Opel Corsa E or the Renault Zoe. Older reports also hinted that it would surpass its rivals for range, offering 250 miles / 400 km in its base spec with the smallest available battery; it is expected to debut in 2023.