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Model 3 needs to be highly customizable

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Sagemode, May 13, 2015.

  1. Sagemode

    Sagemode Member

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    To be a solid 'mass market' vehicle, I'm thinking the Model 3 needs to be highly customizable.

    I'm not sure which features are legally mandated, but I believe Tesla could allow some cost-saving options to help the Model 3 appeal to more buyers.

    For example, I'd order a Model 3 with cloth seats (my experience with leather seats has been all bad, especially because of where I live - in the sunny, hot valleys of California), little cruise control options or none(if possible), all wheel drive, 4 doors, and mostly basic other features.

    Thoughts? Any features y'all could live without? Would this help Tesla appeal to the 'mass market'? Or would the differences in manufacturing cause too much hassle to justify allowing customization?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sidenote: a Model 3 p85d would be rad! :)
     
  2. stevej119

    stevej119 Member

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    #2 stevej119, May 13, 2015
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
    I think that it's a given that the base model will not have leather. It will have cruise control as that is not a big expense and competing cars have it. I'd bet my house, though, that the base model will not have all wheel drive. Definitely a worthy option, though.
     
  3. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof Vendor

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    I found something interesting about leather. It was never meant as a "luxury" item. In fact, it was quite the contrary. Leather was only used for the driver outside under the elements. Royal aristocracy would never sit on a dead cow. They would only sit on virgin wool. Leather was only used for things that stayed outside.
     
  4. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    Why? The Honda CRV is the top selling SUV in the US and it comes in 4 trims with 0 additional options. I'd expect to have a few option packages, but if anything probably less than the Model S.
     
  5. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Disagree. First of all, cost/price is critical - Tesla has been making a bunch of promises, and folks will be upset if they don't meet them. Having fewer options reduces cost - it can actually be cheaper to build all high spec cars than it is to build a mix of high and low, even though the high spec cars have fancier equipment.

    Second, Tesla has been building their brand as a premium one - maybe not quite ultimate luxury, but not a Ford or Chevrolet. Customers will expect it to match up to the Lincolns and Acuras and Buicks of the world. Tesla has gotten a lot of press out of Autopilot and the free Superchargers, and I think the Model 3 will have to be capable of both.

    Third, automatic braking is becoming mandated in Europe, and the rest might soon follow.

    Fourth, right now it would be cheaper for Tasks to use a slightly cut down version of the Model S software than to start over building a physical interface.

    I'm expecting a smaller screen (though still larger than most cars,) but otherwise I think it'll be mostly the Model S systems. A little less power, possibly a return to RWD (or FWD) on a smaller steel body, and at least the current sensor set as standard. I'd bet that Leather well be optional, but not standard.
     
  6. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    I think as much technology and systems that can cost-effectively transfer from the Model S, will. No need to reinvent the wheel for every aspect of the vehicle.
     
  7. Sagemode

    Sagemode Member

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    I like this perspective! Thanks for the discussion!

    I suppose my main hope from here is at least an AWD option, or essentially a cheaper version of the S p85d.

    I'm curious how Tesla will manage to pack that many features into a $35,000 vehicle..

    I totally understand production efficiencies allowing for easier and cheaper manufacturing, but I fail to see how it could slash $40,000 off the price tag.

    So I suppose the next point is, if most of the options will remain the same, how is the $40,000 (theoretical) price slash going to be possible? And would the reduction in power increase its range capabilities, thus making 50kwh batteries, for example, a possibility? (Thereby making the price slash justifiable)
     
  8. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Assuming there's a substantial amount of carryover technology and engineering from the Model S, which in itself will provide some cost savings, a steel body will be much lower-cost than aluminum. The increased battery volume from the Gigafactory should reduce the unit cost per battery will probably provide another chunk of cost savings. I don't think it's going to come to market at exactly $35k, but I think $38-40k is probably a possibility.
     
  9. Sagemode

    Sagemode Member

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    How about the weight of the vehicle? Musk claimed it'll be 20% smaller than the S, but steel is supposedly far more dense than aluminum. I'm hoping the difference in material doesn't bite the cost-savings in the rear because of the weight!

    $40k for a Model 3 60kwh with AWD would be pretty sweet! :)
     
  10. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    It's not an exact apples-to-apples comparison between aluminum and steel. I can tell you the aluminum body on the new Ford F-150 is MUCH thicker than a steel equivalent. My guess is the steel on the Model 3 (assuming it will be still) will be a thinner gauge than the aluminum sheet used on the Model S. I don't see the Model 3 weighing much more than 4,000 lb. I'm guessing the base model will be about 3,700-3,800 lb, and a loaded AWD model may be 4,200. Yes, on the chunky side for a 3-Series sized vehicle, but not unheard of.
     
  11. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    The Leaf comes in at 3300 lbs (mostly steel with some aluminum panels). The 24kWh pack weighs about 600 lbs, 60kWh pack weighs about 1100lbs, so add in 500lbs to end up with about 3800lbs. Adding 5kWh (8-10% of a base pack at 50-60kWh) at $200/kWh would only cost $1000 and add about 90 lbs. So they have to balance costly efficiency optimizations with the option of just adding a bit more batteries to reach their range goals.
     
  12. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    I thought Elon said he "expected" it to be steel, who knows what will actually hit production.
    Their entire existing production process is built around aluminum, so going steel would need a redo - wouldn't it? I don't know for sure, hence the question.
     
  13. Sagemode

    Sagemode Member

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    Well, they did buy Riviera Tool & Die, a step in changing the production process for sure =D
     
  14. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    I'll be surprised if there isn't an optional AWD performance model. Not sure exactly how they'd spec it - might be more likely to have two of the smaller motors to keep it separate from the jaw dropping power of the P85D, but I'd bet they'll make one at some point, and probably right at the beginning (but not for $35k, you understand - that one will likely start slightly north of $50k I'd guess.)

    As for the savings, I'm not 100% sure. Figure that between the smaller size and the economies of scale, the battery is maybe half the cost. Likewise, figure the motor/inverter is half the cost in the base model - one of the "mid-size" motors with some economy of scale advantage. A simpler steel body will certainly be a lot cheaper, but so much depends on the details and methods chosen that I'm not sure I can make useful comments on exact numbers.

    Keep in mind, this is the car Tesla is betting big on, and fundamental to their mission statement. They might be willing to cut themselves to near zero margin on the early base cars in expectation of making it up in options and high end cars and later lots after economies of scale and learning curves build. (We've been told that the current Model S has a 25% gross margin built in - manufacturing cost vs sale price without developments costs, etc. factored in.)
    Walter
     
  15. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    Another possibility is the battery pack and skateboard platform could remain aluminum while the rest is steel. Certainly some cost advantages in keeping the platform consistent across models and collision repair would certainly be cheaper.
     
  16. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    Indeed - they would be crazy not to use the skateboard design
     
  17. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    I'm sure it will be a skateboard type. But I'm equally sure it won't be identical/compatible with the Model S/X skateboard. Tesla has repeatedly said the car will be ~20% smaller - and the Model S battery pack fills the entire space between the wheels, and the entire width of the car. To get a 20% smaller car, the battery pack must be both shorter and narrower than the Model S packs.

    If the parts aren't directly interchangeable, I'm not sure how much benefit they'd get from keeping the parts Aluminum instead of making the new versions of the parts out of steel.
    Walter
     
  18. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    This.. You know there are a lot of people out there who aren't too psyched on spending $75,000 for a baseline 70D with no options just so they can afford a Tesla.. Given the chance though, I'd be willing to be those same people would gladly pay $65,000 for a loaded Model 3 with as many pimp options as possible.

    Bottom of the line Model S or top of the line Model 3? If you can wait a few years, you'll probably get a damn fine car with the Model 3 for less then a current S.
     
  19. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    It would have to be WAY less than $65k for it to be a realistic option for me. I might be able to stretch to $50k, but much more than that, it'd be off the table.
     
  20. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Even if I was in the market for a $75k car (which I'm not), the Model S is too big a car for me (esp. the width for the narrow parking/garage spaces in my city). I imagine that would be the case for a lot of other people too.
     

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