Tesla just released what could be one of the most important cars on the automotive market — the Tesla Model 3. Admittedly, it’s a bit of a soft release, with only a handful of people being able to actually take delivery of theirs. Nevertheless, it’s still a very important car to the industry. It marks the first long-range, affordable all-electric sedan. At around $35,000, it’s hard to make an argument for the Chevy Bolt or BMW i3 over the Model 3. Hell, it’s going to start to become hard to make a cars for traditional competitors, like the BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, for many buyers. Yet still, Tesla isn’t finished, as it’s readying another SUV — the Tesla Model Y.
The Silicon Valley-based brand had its sights set squarely on the BMW 3 Series when making the Model 3. Now, with the Model Y, it’s doing it again. Tesla wants to make the Model Y a smaller SUV than the hideously ungainly Model X. It also wants to make it a more affordable SUV option, similar to the Model 3. So this puts it right in line with the BMW X3, which will also have an electric variant.
We haven’t driven the new BMW X3 yet, so we have no way of knowing what it will be like. But we do know that BMW had electrification in mind when developing it. So we’re expecting it to be a proper EV SUV and not some afterthought designed to quell public demand. Although, the X3 is at a bit of a disadvantage when compared to the upcoming Model Y. The Tesla is being designed from the ground up as an electric car. The X3 was designed as a traditional, internal-combustion-powered car first. So the Model 3 will have more cabin space and possibly even more seating.
Having said that, BMW has been working hard on battery technology, so we’re expecting the BMW X3 Electric to have a impressive range and power, similar to that of the Tesla Model 3, at least.
This is a smart move by Tesla, though. SUVs are extremely popular in any segment and customers are willing to pay a premium for them. So it’s easy to make money on them. Also, thanks to their larger size, it’s easier to stuff batteries and motors in them while still keeping tons of interior space. We’ll see what begins to come of this as we inch closer to its targeted 2019 release date. But one thing is for certain, Tesla still has its eye on BMW.