Tesla is working hard on what will be the real breakthrough car. The Model 2, also known as the '£22,000 Tesla' or the 'baby Tesla', is due to arrive in 2025 and, however much the company tries to maintain a degree of secrecy about it, it often provides, directly or indirectly, a wealth of information that allows us to add one more piece to a jigsaw puzzle that will be completed in about a year's time.

But what do we know about the Tesla Model 2 so far? Let's try to set the record straight on this car with which the company will introduce a new platform, new batteries, new technologies and with which, above all, it will try to significantly increase sales volumes to 20 million cars per year in 2030.

Saloon or crossover?

Let's start with the look. Initially, it was thought of as a sort of shorter Model 3 with a hatchback body, but then it was speculated that the hatchback could take on the squarish shape of the Cybertruck, naturally on a smaller scale. At the moment there is great uncertainty about this. Some prototypes spotted from afar and with heavy camouflage make one lean towards the first hypothesis, but the styling, although linked to more traditional concepts than those shown by the famous electric pick-up, could also introduce strong new elements.

Tesla Model 2, il render di Motor1.com

The Tesla Model 2 in Motor1's Cybertruck-inspired render

Appearance, to be fair, is one of the things that interests us the least about the upcoming Tesla Model 2, which is not ruled out as eventually taking on the appearance of a crossover as Elon Musk said as much in January 2024. Success, however, will be decreed by other factors. In addition to price, of course, there will be range, performance, charging speed, technology, software and so on. Let us go into detail.

A brand new platform

Tesla has been clear about one thing. The Model 2 will be built on a new platform. Engineers are already at work and in an advanced stage of development. The platform, which for now is known as Project Redwood, will be truly innovative.

It will take advantage of a revolutionary production method, called the 'Unboxed process', and will still be made by moulding large body parts in one go thanks to the adoption of the Giga Press. Indeed, it is thought that a single moulding may be used, mirroring in a big way what happens with die cast models.

Tesla Giga Press a Shangai

The rear body of the Shanghai-produced Model Y

At least 250 mile range

The Model 2 platform, which is expected to be the same as the one used by the future Robotaxi, will be equipped with different types of batteries, all with a structural form. It is thought that the top-of-the-range versions will be fitted with batteries with 4680 cylindrical cells, but news emerged just a few days ago that it will also be available with different batteries.

In particular, CATL has said that it has entered into a strategic partnership with the American manufacturer precisely for the supply of batteries with lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) chemistry, which will allow good performance (250 mile range is mentioned) at lower prices. The Chinese giant will also collaborate with Tesla on the recharging front, refining methods to reduce charging times.

CATL al Salone di Shanghai

CATL's LFP prismatic cells

Software and autonomous driving

The cheapest model on Tesla's list will not compromise on the software front. On the contrary, thanks to the new platform, it will offer the best the company has to offer. This can be deduced from the fact that the Robotaxi will also be built on the same basis, which, by definition, must be equipped with Level 5 autonomous driving in order to carry out rides without a driver on board.

The Tesla Model 2, therefore, will have the latest generation of Full Self-Driving, the one based on neural networks and artificial intelligence. As usual, the software will be remotely upgradeable with over-the-air (OTA) updates that will affect both the infotainment, powertrain and active safety systems.

Tesla Model 2 in brief

  • Batteries: LFP and 4680
  • Range: 250 miles (400 km)
  • Price: £22,000 
  • Other: equipped with FSD and OTA updates
Tesla Model 2 spy Gigaberlin

A Tesla Model 2 photographed in Berlin

Where it will be produced

To make big numbers you have to use lots of factories. The Tesla Model 2 will initially be produced in Texas, at the Gigafactory in Austin, where the company will fine-tune the processes and lines. Once the right efficiency is found, the Model 2 will also be made in Berlin - after all, it is a model that seems cut out for Europe - and Shanghai.

But the existing factories will not be enough. That is why Tesla is also building a new Gigafactory in Mexico and is in talks to start building another new factory. It could be built in India or, at any rate, in a Southeast Asian country, where, with lower production costs and tax breaks, the company could find an ideal location to meet the growing demand in that part of the world.

Gallery: Tesla Model 2, rendered by Motor1.com