Would you like a van with your pickup truck? Speculation in the world of all things Tesla, which CEO Elon Musk clearly enjoys fueling, recently turned to questions about a van built on the same chassis as a promised “new kind of pickup truck,” according to Electrek.
In his Tesla Master Plan Part Deux, Musk mentioned the pickup truck and said it could be shown (not in production, just something to look at) in 2017. Since that statement in Musk’s Tesla blog, which is where he publishes his Master Plans, various artist renderings have been put forth as suggestions by parties outside Tesla, but really no one has a clue to what it will actually look like and what features it will have.
Based on follow-up hints and tweets, here’s what one could reasonably surmise about the coming Tesla lineup during the next few years:
The Tesla Model S will continue as the flagship, with its own chassis. It will also continue to serve as a testbed for the most advanced new technologies.
The Model 3 entry-level vehicle, the car for the upper-middle class masses, will share its chassis with a small crossover called the Model Y.
The Model X SUV, the one with the Falcon Wing doors, will get its doors working right. The Model X is also most likely to provide the chassis for a Tesla Minibus that could be used for autonomous urban transpor. It maximizes seating capacity by the use of side doors for all rows, making a center row unnecessary.
And then we have the “new kind of” pickup truck. Twitter chatter between @JamesRossi100 and Elon Musk yesterday indicates that the pickup will have its own chassis, and Musk tweeted it “probably makes sense” to build a van off the pickup chassis — as Rossi suggested.
On the naming issue, again, according to Electrek, it turns out Tesla had originally wanted to call the Model 3 the “Model E”, but a threatened lawsuit by Ford caused the name change. So the first models were supposed to be S,X,E,Y in order of planned introduction or, rearranged, SEXY. Tesla has tried to keep the thought alive by using three horizontal lines instead of the number “3” in graphics for the Model 3, but since there’s no keyboard key for the symbol, it hasn’t been as noticeable.
After the master plan was announced, Musk said Tesla would move away from consistent naming conventions. But @DMC_Ryan suggested in a Tweet that the minibus could be designated the “Model B.” If that happened — according to Electrek, Musk thinks it would be an interesting idea — the full lineup could read “B S3XY.”