Elon Musk thinks Tesla will build a compact car “in less than five years.”
While many people are quick to commend Elon Musk's achievements in the EV segment, the CEO is renowned for being overly ambitious. Right now, Tesla is struggling to keep up with the Model 3's high demand, yet Musk still has plans for future models. In the next few years, the automaker will also launch the Model Y crossover, Semi truck, and the all-new Roadster. As if Tesla wasn't already overloaded, during the company's annual shareholders meeting Elon Musk hinted that another new model could join the lineup.
"I think we'll do a compact car in less than five years", he said when asked if Tesla will expand into smaller segments. The CEO didn't offer any more details about the compact Tesla, but Musk did answer another part of the question regarding a subcompact car, suggesting that Tesla won't make a model smaller than the Volkswagen Golf. Instead, the compact Tesla will likely be positioned below the Model 3 as a direct rival to the BMW i3 and the upcoming Volkswagen I.D. hatchback. Since the Tesla compact is still at least five years away, it should have more advanced batteries and motors than Tesla's current cars as the technology continues to evolve.
Like all other Teslas, multiple variants of the compact will probably be available, including an all-wheel drive performance version. At the shareholders meeting, Musk also reiterated that the upcoming Model Y crossover will be revealed in March 2019. No specific details were mentioned, but the CEO teased it will have "something super special" when it goes on sale in 2020. He also added that production versions of the Semi and Roadster will be even more impressive than the show cars revealed last year. While the base Roadster will be capable of doing the 0-62 mph sprint in 1.9 seconds, a "crazy" SpaceX performance package will take it to the next level.
Addressing production and quality concerns about the Model 3, Musk said he had experienced "the most excruciating, hellish several months I've maybe ever had", but said the company had made "huge progress" and "the quality and reliability of the car has improved dramatically…by a factor of maybe four or five since it started production." Despite its issues, Musk claims the Model 3 is currently the best-selling mid-size premium sedan in the US, having outsold the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class and Lexus IS.