According to a report by Gas2, a longer wheelbase Model S is coming this year to American, European, and Chinese markets, with its sights set on the car service industry.
The Model S is already a full-size car, with a length of over 16 feet and a curb weight approaching 4,700 pounds, so a stretched version will likely be geared toward those who prefer to ride rather than drive. A longer wheelbase will afford passengers more legroom, luxury, and storage space, making an elongated Model S the perfect choice for transportation businesses, limousine companies, and taxi services.
Tesla has already established a firm foothold within the electric vehicle and sports car markets, so the livery industry seems to be its next target. The Lincoln Town Car was getting a little old in the tooth and a little out of production, after all.
The larger size will undoubtedly bring a higher curb weight to the already hefty Model S, and Tesla’s plan compensate is currently unknown. A larger battery pack may be the only viable option, as reducing the range of the Model S any further would make it impractical for long courier shifts.
Other companies, such as Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW, and Cadillac already offer extended variants of some of their most popular vehicles, so it’s a no-brainer for Tesla to do the same.
Tesla broke new ground recently by opening up its technology patents, granting other automakers free, unrestricted access to its unique designs. Elon Musk, CEO and CPA of Tesla, believes that an open source approach toward automotive design is the best way to see real change. His decision to remove Tesla’s exclusive patents is a huge step toward that.