2023 Tesla Model 2: New Tesla Model 2 Compact EV Special Review

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2023 Tesla Model 2 aims to make electric vehicle ownership more affordable. Tesla probably wouldn’t use the name “Model 2” as it implies a smaller version of the Model 3 when it would actually be a more economical version.

Tesla’s target was a $25k car, but the Model 3 was also supposed to be $35k but ended up being more expensive. The Model 3 currently sits under $47k in the US.

When Tesla created the Model 3, they were essentially building a smaller, more efficient version of the Model S by removing features that were more expensive or difficult to manufacture.

Many switches, vents, and features have been simplified or completely eliminated, including the instrument cluster.

2023 Tesla Model 2 Review

The Tesla Baby, which the company officially announced in 2020, may have been put on hold for now after Elon Musk admitted that much during the recent Tesla Earning Call for 2021, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. “Well, we’re not currently working on a $25,000 car,” Musk said when asked about a compact EV, during the call. “At some point, we will, but we have enough on our plates now, too much on ours, frankly. So, you know, one day there will be,” he said.

2023 Tesla Model 2

While the timeline is far from clear, our illustration partners created a speculative render that shows what the automaker’s first try in the compact hatchback segment will look like. Obviously, it hasn’t been officially named but is often referred to as the ‘Tesla Model 2’, although some have floated the Model C moniker as well.

Tesla has been coy about details of its upcoming EV that will serve as the entry point to its various models. The only visual reference we have for the Tesla hatchback is the official sketch that was revealed in 2020 during a call for design submissions regarding the new model to be produced in China.

That same year, Elon Musk promised to launch the market in about three years – which originally meant 2023 – while revealing a price estimate. Obviously, that’s not happening right now, but given the delays with other ongoing projects like the Cybertruck, we don’t think the compact Tesla EV will happen before 2024 at the earliest.

For now, we will stick with the 2025MY hypothesis for our illustration.

2023 Tesla Model 2 News

This includes replacing physical controls with on-screen controls, such as glove box handles, mirror adjustment knobs, windshield wiper controls, and many others.

Other controls are simplified to reduce complexity and therefore cost. Some examples include the simplified ventilation system and steering wheel buttons. The interior and exterior door handles have also been redesigned to reduce the number of moving parts.

Back in 2016 when the Model 3 launched, it wasn’t entirely clear which features were a cost-cutting measure and which were feature iterations and would be standard across all future Teslas.

When Tesla debuts the new Model S in 2021, it becomes clearer which features might be a cost-cutting move. We saw a lot of the Model 3’s features carry over to the redesigned Model S, such as a horizontal center screen, and one continuous vent with screen controls, but not all of the features worked.

This was seen as a compromise Tesla made to create a vehicle that was cheaper to manufacture when compared to the Model S.

The Model 3 has no air suspension, air-cooled seats, rear screen, or instrument cluster. It also has a slightly smaller center screen. So what else could Tesla remove or simplify from the Model 3 to create a more affordable and smaller vehicle?

Tesla will likely keep all features software only because they don’t add much to the cost of the vehicle. Some possibilities might include fewer speakers, removing the heated seats at the back, removing the wireless charger, and removing the glass roof.

Removing an FSD camera or computer is not possible because the FSD plan benefits Tesla and there are also safety features that depend on that hardware.

It is possible that the Tesla Model 2 has turned into the Robotaxi mentioned at the Giga Rodeo Event. Elon has previously talked about making a car without a steering wheel or pedals, which would be suitable for a fully autonomous vehicle.

READ NEXT: 2022 Tesla Model Y: New Tesla Model Y Compact Sport Utility Vehicle Review

What We Know About the Tesla Model 2

First, let’s talk about the project name. Tesla never publicly mentioned their $25,000 car project. However, thanks to the vehicle naming scheme “S3XY”, many enthusiasts and most of the media started calling the project Model 2, for the possible naming scheme “2S3XY CARS.”

Elon himself doesn’t call the project a Model 2. As he stated in Tesla’s 2021 Annual Shareholder Q&A: “Well, the Model 2 isn’t a car. No Model 2. Number 3 means E (in Model 3). We were going to call it the Model E, but then Ford tried to sue us. So we said, let’s call it Model 3.”

In other words, a potential $25,000 Tesla EV (or budget Tesla model) won’t be called “Model 2” if/when it comes out. We still don’t know if the project has a definite name within Tesla itself, but we do know that Tesla would rather avoid Ford’s lawsuit over something as simple as a name. Like the Model E, the Model 2 is also a name Ford has used in the past.

It’s worth noting that some commenters referred to the $25,000 Tesla Model Q thanks to renderings by CarForce247 Instagram (not the official Tesla design). Still, others refer to the $25,000 Tesla as the “Baby Tesla” based on the assumption that it will be the smallest Tesla on offer.

While we recognize that Tesla doesn’t have a name for this project, we’ll be referring to the $25,000 Tesla car as the Model 2 through the rest of this article to keep it consistent with mainstream media usage.

Despite the name, the Tesla Model 2 project seems to be on hold for now. In the same Q&A Q4 2021, Elon stated: “Well, we’re not currently working on a $25,000 car. At some point, we will, but we have enough on our plates now, too much on ours, frankly.

Current rumors say that the $25,000 project may actually be already under development at China’s Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory, but publicly the project has stalled.

However, we think it’s still worth exploring the specifications and potential designs for the Model 2, and we’ll cover this possibility in the next section.

2023 Tesla Model 2 Redesign

Elon Musk has told Tesla employees that the automaker aims to release the previously announced $25,000 electric car by 2023.

2023 Tesla Model 2

The CEO hinted that it might not be equipped with a steering wheel.

On Tesla Battery Day last year, CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla would build a $25,000 electric car.

He explained that this new price point was achieved through Tesla’s new battery cells and battery manufacturing efforts, which could reduce battery costs by more than 50%.

Tesla’s $25,000 electric car, often referred to as the “Tesla Model 2,” has been likened to a new electric hatchback that Tesla has planned to manufacture at the Shanghai Gigafactory in China and export globally.

Last year, Tesla announced plans to set up a new R&D center in China to build “Chinese-style” electric cars.

Tesla began accepting design submissions for small electric cars made in China last summer and began recruiting for the program shortly thereafter.

At the time, the automaker also released preliminary design drawings of this small electric hatchback. That led many to think that this is the design direction and form factor that Tesla will use in its upcoming electric vehicle:

We recently reported several media reports coming out of China claiming that Model 2 production could begin in the near future.

However, we warn that this is unlikely to happen.

Now Elon Musk has confirmed a better idea of ​​the planned timing of releasing new, cheaper Tesla vehicles in a company-wide meeting held last night.

Sources present at the meeting told Electrek that the CEO said Tesla aims to start production of a new $25,000 electric car by 2023.

He made it sound likely that the new Tesla vehicles wouldn’t even be equipped with steering wheels.

During the meeting, the CEO said Tesla was betting on full autonomy for a new $25,000 electric car.

Tesla is currently trying to release its Full Self-Driving Beta software to a wider fleet in the US by the end of the month.

Once the software, which still requires driver attention, is out, Tesla will improve it using data from the fleet and try to make it several times safer than human drivers in order to reach regulatory approval to use it as a true self-driving system.

The progress made on that front will determine whether the new Tesla vehicle will come with a steering wheel or not.

Sporty and Practical Design Focused on Aerodynamics

As our exclusive speculative rendering suggests, the new Tesla could adopt an aerodynamic five-door body style with a coupe-style roofline, large-diameter wheels, and short overhangs.

Various design features from the Model 3 and the larger Model Y can be found in the compact hatchback such as similar window lines, pop-up door handles, grilles face, a panoramic sunroof, and LED headlights mounted on the front fender.

The baby Tesla might also inherit some crossover style cues that are quite popular with the target group, though it could be ordered for its future SUV sibling if such a thing is in Tesla’s plans.

READ NEXT: 2023 Tesla Model 3: The New Tesla Model 3 Most Affordable Electric Car Review

$25,000: Tesla Model 2 Price, Specs, and Battery Range

First, how much does the Tesla Model 2 cost? Well, it’s actually called a $25,000 car, giving us a clear starting number for this Model 2 pricing discussion. However, several factors may affect the pricing of the Model 2 in the future.

Since the project was initially introduced in early 2020, recent global scarcity and rising inflation have wreaked havoc on the auto industry and consumer prices.

As a result, Tesla’s initial target price of $25,000 may be slightly underside. For the Model 2, Tesla’s price will likely increase, approaching $30,000 to $35,000 by the time it rolls off the production line.

Next, let’s take a look at some of the possible Tesla Model 2 specs: body type, features, and battery range.

Given Tesla’s budget pricing scheme and competitive body style in the budget EV arena, the Model 2 will likely be a smaller version of the Model 3 (or Model Y).

The possible body styles are either a small hatchback sedan or a compact car body with reduced features and interior options compared to the Model 3 / Model Y. As a budget Tesla hatchback, the Model 2 will directly compete with possible EV competitors in the upcoming electric car. Renault 4 or VW ID.2.

Tesla’s already minimalistic interior construction is likely to be more striking in the Model 2, with a few added extras like heated rear seats. If, as some belief, the Model 2 and Tesla Robotaxi projects are the same things, then the interior may not even have a steering wheel or pedals (we’re not 100% sure that they’re the same, but the odds are worth mentioning).

With regards to features, the Tesla Model 2 should be equipped with all current hardware for Full Self-Driving (FSD), with FSD available with a subscription to owners. Tesla’s FSD software is one of the main factors used by automakers to market their vehicles against the competition, from the Model S to the lower-priced Model 3, so it doesn’t look like the Model 2 will come without FSD capabilities (especially if it’s meant to be a Robotaxi).

The Tesla Model 2’s range is estimated to be around 250 to 300 miles (estimated based on Tesla’s current standards and the range of potential competition). A battery technology that may be seen is the LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery, which is currently installed in most Model 3s.

Some rumors from China claim that the Model 2 will be powered by the BYD Blade battery, a new battery technology that will help ease consumer concerns about battery fires and charging. Regardless of which of the two battery technologies ends up in the Model 2, we can assume that the Model 2’s minimum range is at least 250 miles, with possible variants that will include the Model 2 Long Range and Model 2 Performance.

With a budget-friendly price tag, we have to assume that Tesla will build the Model 2 with everything in moderation. And while Tesla is sporting all their cars, the Model 2’s 0-60 acceleration will be slower than that of the other Models, perhaps closer to 5-7 seconds. It will still have instant Tesla torque, but less of a thrilling ride and a bit more of a rush as the suspension quality reduces.

With specs speculating, let’s take a look at some of the possible timelines for the Model 2.

2023 Tesla Model 2 Interior

The interior will most likely retain Tesla’s signature minimalism, with a large infotainment touchscreen in portrait orientation and not much else. It’s also expected to offer plenty of room for passengers and their luggage, taking advantage of the custom EV architecture and a practical two-box silhouette with a short hood.

2023 Tesla Model 2

Tesla’s designers could have added the wacky steering wheel yoke and shifting process that debuted in the Model S/Model X facelift earlier this year, but since it’s an entry-level model with a wider target group, they might opt for something less controversial.

2023 Tesla Model 2 Battery

At Battery Day, Tesla said that standard vehicles and future models will use lithium iron phosphate batteries. LFP batteries are cheaper to manufacture and have several advantages and disadvantages when compared to nickel batteries. Tesla will likely use a 4680 LFP battery for the Model 2. This will make the vehicle smaller and lighter, but may also offer less range.

The 4680 Tesla cell is named after its dimensions, 46mm x 80mm. They are much cheaper to manufacture, produce 5x more energy, have 16% more range, and 6x more power, making them much more economical than traditional batteries. Using 4680 batteries, the Model 2 is expected to have a travel range of 250 to 300 miles.

Tesla will use a structural 4680 cell package in a single body cast to manufacture the Model 2 as efficiently as possible. This along with advanced robotics will help Tesla achieve economies of scale and mass-produce its most affordable cars.

In May 2022, during the Financial Times ‘Future of the Car’ interview (video), Elon stated that there was some possibility Tesla would make a car smaller than the Model 3, leaving the possibilities open for both the smaller Model 3 and the smaller Model 3. small. a Tesla Robot action.

Don’t expect a “Model 2” any time soon, Elon has talked about Tesla finishing the CyberTruck this year and starting production in 2023. Tesla also has a Roadster and Semi to go into production, which will most likely predate the Model 2.

At that time, we may see a drastic increase in FSD that could guarantee a fully autonomous robotaxi. I don’t expect the Model 2 before 2024, but we could see a prototype before then.

2023 Tesla Model 2 Hatchback

Tesla’s first compact hatchback is likely to be produced at the Shangai Gigafactory in China, both for local and global export markets. However, there are reports that Tesla could also manufacture it at the Berlin Gigafactory in Germany for the European market, and/or in the US for North America.

The latter option would qualify him for incentives of up to $12,500 planned for locally produced EVs, only if Tesla would allow workers at its U.S. plants to be represented by unions.

2023 Tesla Model 2 Price

If Tesla manages to live up to its promise of a $25,000 base price, then the compact hatchback will undercut many of its main rivals in the segment and even smaller EVs like the European market Peugeot e-208 and Honda e superminis.

At this price, it would be comparable to an ICE-powered C-Segment hatchback like the Volkswagen Golf, signaling the start of a new era.

In terms of technology, the model is expected to use the automaker’s 4,680 battery cells halving production costs to close to $107 per kWh while offering an increased range over conventional batteries.

Elon Musk has said that the lowest acceptable range for a Tesla product is at least 250 miles (402 km), which sounds like a good number for an entry-level variant of the upcoming model and the best in the compact segment.

Of course, the baby Tesla will be offered in a more expensive variant with a longer range, perhaps matching the 352 miles (566 km) of the Model 3 Long Range. We also expect to see a performance-focused version with a more powerful dual electric motor that offers humiliating performance.

High-end trims will likely get the latest ADAS tech including Tesla’s Autopilot, though it’s highly unlikely the model will be fully autonomous as Elon Musk had hoped a few years ago.

2023 Tesla Model 2 Release Date

With the Tesla Cybertruck and Tesla Semi both still to come on the production line, most of Tesla’s production should be tied for 2022-2023. Unless more evidence emerges that the Model 2 is actually in development in Shanghai, we see no reason the Model 2 would suddenly appear this year.

We likely won’t see a production of a small-budget Tesla until late 2023 or later in any case. If the Model 2 project makes it to the production queue for 2024, we don’t expect to see pre-orders for the Model 2 open until sometime next year.