Tesla Chief Designer Says His Favorite Vehicle Is Yet to Come

By Kevin Armstrong
The Tesla Roadster 2.0 could be Tesla's next vehicle to hit production
The Tesla Roadster 2.0 could be Tesla's next vehicle to hit production
Tesla

Tesla's Chief Designer, Franz von Holzhausen, has designed the company's entire fleet of vehicles, but the Model S, 3, X, Y, Cybertruck and Semi are not his favorites. "My favorite one is the one that is coming.

I can't talk about (it)," von Holzhausen told CNBC. He then quickly pivoted the conversation away from that topic. Nevertheless, several rumored vehicles will be the next to carry the "T" logo. So, which one is the creative mind of Tesla referring to in his evasive answer?

Franz von Holzhausen Interview

Let's start with the suspects. A cheaper, smaller and less expensive electric vehicle has been predicted for years. More recently, there have been ideas about a van. And then there is the second generation of the highly anticipated Roadster. While von Holzhausen didn't talk about the next one, he did give some clues later in the interview. "My all-time favorite car is a '62 250 GTO (Ferrari). I mean, it is quintessential. It's an insane car. I'm also a big fan of this kind of wedge era. The early (Lamborghini) Countachs, the whole kind of flat, low sports car. Those were always the posters on my wall."

The Designer Loves Sports Cars

When a 54-year-old man reminisces about the cars featured in posters plastered on his wall when he was a kid, he is not excited about a van or a compact vehicle — no, he is excited about a sports car. The second-generation Roadster was unveiled in 2017 simultaneously with the Semi. But there hasn't been much mention of the sports car since. The company is just now delivering Semis, and Cybertrucks are expected in 2023, but the Roadster doesn't have an ETA. Or does it? The chief designer says, "… the one that is coming." So, we can only assume that the Roadster is next to hit the production line.

Tesla Roadster 2.0

A Designer Who has Changed the Industry

One of the first employees of Tesla back in 2008, von Holzhausen, recalls the early days and how things have changed. "There is a moment that I thought when I first joined Tesla that it would be great to see multiple Teslas in one drive experience around town. And now, it's hard to go anywhere without seeing a bunch of Teslas. So, it's great to see the impact that Tesla has had in people's lives but also how it's changed the industry. It really pushed this idea that an EV can be better than an internal combustion vehicle."

He also gave some insight into designing vehicles that have and continue to change the auto industry, "Tesla isn't beholden to what has been done in the past. We are always trying to push the boundaries and deliver on a promise of something fun, something enjoyable and something you would love to own and tell your friends about."

It looks like The Roadster could be the next fun, enjoyable vehicle to tell everyone about.

Musk Teases New Model for Early 2025 That Will Use a Mix of Next-Gen and Current Platforms

By Cláudio Afonso

“We have updated our future vehicle line-up to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of our previously communicated start of production in the second half of 2025”. This was one of the key sentences that were part of Tesla’s deck shared on Tuesday directly before its financial results.

Since Reuters’ report a few weeks ago saying Tesla had “scrapped” the highly expected cheaper model— which Elon quickly denied on X —retail and institutional shareholders started asking for more details on Tesla’s product roadmap for 2024 and beyond.

In the earnings conference call, Elon Musk reiterated that Tesla expects to launch the next model in “early 2025, if not late this year”.

“We've updated our future vehicle lineup to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of previously mentioned start of production in the second half of 2025. So, we expect it to be more like the early 2025, if not late this year. “

Over concerns of temporary production halts to update the factories for these new models, Musk said that Tesla will produce new models with certain aspects from their next-generation platform and current models. This will reduce the number of changes needed on production lines and allow Tesla not only to ramp up production faster but also to get the vehicles to market quicker.

Model Y Redesign

Tesla appears to hit that their next-gen vehicle will be less “next-gen” than they were initially aiming for, but to get a new vehicle out the door by late 2024, the process would already have to be in motion. Tesla may likely be referring to the redesigned Model Y, which is expected to reuse many parts from the new Model 3. Earlier this year, Tesla said that the redesigned Model Y will not be released this year, so it makes sense that they’re looking to speed up that production.

Tesla CEO concluded by saying that these measures will allow Tesla to reach a capacity of over 3 million units. Tesla produced 1.84 million vehicles in 2023. However, this year they’re ramping up Cybertruck production and introduced the new Model 3 into new markets.

And we think this should allow us to get to over 3 million vehicles of capacity when realized to the full extent.

Tesla reported on Tuesday its earnings results followed by a conference call where it teased its upcoming Robotaxi and its next-generation platform saying its “purpose-built Robotaxi product will continue to pursue a revolutionary ‘unboxed’ manufacturing strategy”.

Earlier in the day, Tesla announced the new Performance variant of its sedan Model 3 with deliveries in the United States starting already next month. The new version starts at $45,490 (after applying the $7,500 Federal EV tax credit) and goes from 0 to 60mph in 2.9 seconds.

Tesla on FSD: Close to License Deal With Major Automaker, Announces Miles Driven on FSD v12

By Cláudio Afonso

On Tuesday Tesla reported its earnings results followed by a conference call that brought several updates on the company’s roadmap for future vehicles, autonomous driving, Optimus and much more.

While answering a question from Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney about updates on the licensing of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology, Elon Musk said they’re talking to one major auto manufacturer and there’s “a good chance” the company signs the first deal before year-end. However, he went on to say that it would probably be three years before the necessary changes are integrated into the car.

I think we have a good chance we do sign a deal this year

Brings Benefits to Tesla

The technology would require other automakers to start using the same cameras and hardware as Tesla, meaning that Tesla may not only generate money from licensing FSD but also from selling the hardware itself. However, there would be other benefits as well. When licensing FSD, Tesla would likely own the data gathered with the system well, further helping them with data and edge cases that need to be solved to reach full autonomy.

people don't understand all cars will need to be smart cars… Once that becomes obvious, I think licensing becomes not optional.

Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer Vaibhav Taneja commented pointing out that future partners “take a lot of time in their product life cycle” resulting in a gap between the deal signing and the arrival in the market of Tesla’s FSD software.

Miles Driven With FSD

On the conference call, Musk added that Tesla now has over 300 million miles that have been driven with FSD v12 since it was launched just last month. He added that it's becoming “very clear that the vision-based approach with end-to-end neural networks is the right solution for scalable autonomy”.

Tesla said it will continue to increase its “core AI infrastructure capacity in the coming months” adding that in the first quarter, it completed the transition to hardware 4.0 with China now receiving the upgraded FSD computer and cameras.

Over the weekend, Tesla reduced the price of FSD dropping it from $12,000 to $8,000 for customers in the United States and from CA$16,000 to CA$11,000 in Canada.

Earlier this month, Tesla implemented a 50% price reduction for FSD subscriptions in the U.S. and introduced the subscription model in Canada at a great value of CA$99 per month.

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