Musk’s next move

I was just reading the latest issue of Road and Track.  Last story was that Tesla is having a bit of a crisis.


Well no kidding.  Gas is 2 bucks a gallon and Tesla cars are hella-expensive.   I looked at one and it was the same price as our house in Utah.   While the cars are gorgeous, they are not that gorgeous and they hold curious design elements.  The car isn’t an air-breather like a traditional car.  So why does it have a traditional grill?  Why?  AC and cooling of components can be fed air from other areas.   It doesn’t need a huge intake like a Ford Fusion.  That’s one of the problems with the Tesla design… It’s a good looking car, but it looks like a regular car.  It needs to look more like something from the future… something from space.  Instead it looks like something from only 2 years ahead.

Here’s the thing.  Tesla’s marketing is all about the Elegance and Style, and the touching of the Future Tech.  When it needs to stop touching the future and get on about absolutely molesting it.  It needs to be all about the Performance.   Because the Tesla S while a high performance beast – is one freaking heavy barge.    Instead of looking at the Ford Explorer as the model to save the company… it needs to look at another model…


Take all that E-Tech… and put it into a car like a Miata.   For two reasons.  First, there’s nothing on the road that competes with the Miata.  There’s nothing in it’s class.  A small, light, 2 seat roadster for under 30 Grand?  Name one that’s in production.  Available in the USA, smartass.  There’s nothing else in it’s class.

The second reason?   Let me tell you something.  I was leaving work and pulled out into the street behind one of the most impressive cars I’d ever want to own.  A Porsche 911 S4 Turbo.  I was taken by how small the car is if you take away those hips.   Now, the 911 has a back seat.  As long as the passengers have no legs.  And are children. Children with no legs.  Actually, it’s best to just use the back seat to carry your back pack or day pack… small book bag.  Or a wallet.    Beautiful car.  Just gorgeous.   But it’s not for the Family Guy.  It’s for the Selfish Elitist?  No… I wouldn’t say that… I’d say it’s for the automotive enthusiast.  The serious Car Guy.  And those guys will pay whatever the price it is to get that serious car.

Now, the Tesla S has the potential to be a serious car… but it’s not.  It’s too bloody heavy.  Sure it handles well, but it handles heavy.  It’s pulling too much Car.  It’s trying to stop too much car.  It’s trying to turn too much car.  There’s just too much car.   Yes, there’s a lot of weight in batteries – we all know that. Batteries are heavy.  But the Teslas also have a lot of weight in regular car stuff that doesn’t have to be there.  Take out all the drive components and other things required for the S to be a functional vehicle.  What you have left over needs to be minimized.

To do that, there needs to be a new model… The “Tesla R” perhaps. Look at that Mazda Miata and DO THAT.

Forget the 15 inch touch screen inside.  The serious Car Guy doesn’t need that.  Take the super plush seats out.  Throw in some Recaros or a type of seat similar to a Recaro that costs less.   Take away everything that the Serious Car Guy doesn’t need.  Take away everything that makes it expensive.    Strip it down to the bare essence of what makes a pure sports car.    It should be less than 40 Grand.

Tesla – You do that.  You will sell everything you can crank out.

16 thoughts on “Musk’s next move”

  1. Tesla’s need the traditional grill for the air conditioning condenser and automatic transmission cooler. standard auto’s would have that integrated into the radiator, but Tesla’s don’t have one so need a stand-alone separate cooler for the auto transmission fluid. No, they don’t have radiators, and I don’t think they have oil coolers, but they do need to transfer heat to the air stream moving past the car,
    I could also see an all-electric car have some type of air cooler for fluid filled motors – electric motors can generate a lot of heat due to the resistance of their windings and it would help their longevity to get rid of that heat via pumping a liquid coolant through the motor and into a radiator to be cooled.

    1. Doesn’t need that much grill for that. Look at the Corvette. Look at the 911. Saying that the Tesla needs that much nostril is retarded.

      1. Eh… the A/C is the killer. Because it has to run on an electric motor, it’s a huge drain on the battery. A larger condenser with more airflow dramatically improves the efficiency of the A/C, reducing that energy loss. A larger intake and airflow path means that the condenser fan (also electric) can be smaller, further reducing the energy cost of running the A/C.

        Climate control is a killer in electric cars. A/C and electric heaters are both battery hogs.

        Now, your proposed R model, on the other hand, could be a true “street legal race car” like they used to make, and come with the heat and A/C deleted. Then the grille could be reduced or eliminated.

  2. The reason the Tesla is so heavy is the batteries. In order for it to get the range it does, it needs a large battery bank. If you try to cram that into something a little larger than a galf cart, your going to either lose a lot of performance (look at the Nissan Leaf or BMW electric car), or your going to have a very limited range (maybe 20-30 miles).

    1. Yes, Tim. Batteries are heavy. We know that. The problem though is that the rest of the car is also heavy.

  3. ” A small, light, 2 seat roadster for under 30 Grand.”

    I’m not much of a “car guy” but does the Subaru BRZ count?

  4. The Miata only works if you are under 5′ 10″ or at least that is my recall. A friend in Florida had 1, I could only ride in it if the top was down, and there wasn’t enough leg room. I am 6′ but hardly the tallest person around even so.

    1. The new ones seem to be not as bad. I sat in one a few days ago and while I had a struggle getting in and out, I was fine inside.
      Not much headroom, but enough.
      But Top Down is the only way to roll.

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