When internal combustion engine car started to be sold, luxury brands would generally only sell the running chassis to customers. And they would hire a carrozziere, or a coachbuilder, if you prefer, to produce a body of choice, normally a very exclusive one. This would be what Tesla aimed to do with its electric chassis, according to the Australian website Car Advice, if it was not a hell of a good April Fool’s joke. And we bought it due to time zone differences: when they first published it, it was already April 1st in Australia, but not where we are writing (thanks for the warning, Stian!). It is no excuse, we know. Nevertheless, we liked the idea. What if service centers from Tesla were able to place the skateboard, as Tesla calls its running chassis, in any car body? What about a Chevrolet Corvette with Ludicrous Mode acceleration?
We know that Tesla’s bottlenecks are the skateboards. So much so that the Model 3, which will be presented today, needs an operational Gigafactory in order for deliveries to begin. And it will only start to operate in 2017. If they ever reach a production that is enough for the skateboard to become a product on its own, Tesla would achieve one of its dearest goals: expand the use of electric cars. Selling the skateboard to customers would be a way to get there.
Back to the prank, Car Advice said the skateboards would be sold with batteries, engines (one or two), suspension and wiring and would be fitted to any car body the client wished to have. Tesla service centers would be able to strip all the internal combustion components of the donor car and bolt its body to the electric running chassis. The skateboard would be adapted to the wheelbase of the donor car. “Think about the possibilities: your C-Class Mercedes, your Volkswagen Beetle, your old Mustang, even something like an old Datsun, any of these cars can now be available with the neck-snapping performance of our P90D. Elon just loves getting his D out there”, Tesla chief engineer of platform development Michael Edison would have said. Safety and design rules in all countries were the service will be offered would be respected, according to the Australian website.
Reading it again, we should have seen this was a joke. “Getting his D out there” is the sort of thing that can screw up reputations… Anyway, we wish it was true. Seeing coachbuilders seize the chance to get back to business would be great. Just imagine what a Touring Superleggera could build over a Tesla’s skateboard… Maybe one day. Preferably not in April Fool’s!