Tesla Chief Designer: “BMW i3 is like an IKEA piece of furniture”

BMW i | December 8th, 2013 by 31
Tesla Model S vs BMW M51 750x500

For Autobild, Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen makes a reference to the BMW i3 in relation to the low-cost furniture from IKEA. For the …

For Autobild, Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen makes a reference to the BMW i3 in relation to the low-cost furniture from IKEA.

For the German magazine, von Holzhausen said he considers the i3 “the myth of the Ultimate Driving Machine” as he isn’t sure that it meets the “basic standards of the brand.” On the positive side he does compliment the interior design of the i3.

“The i3 is more an IKEA piece of furniture as a design piece of furniture, says von Holzhausen. I’m not sure if the i3 meets the basic standards of the brand. From pure design perspective, the car is of course unique. The interior is very modern. Very clean, thin seats. I like the material used. If the i3 is on the road, he looks a bit strange and unconventional. I personally feel that car must not look so funky. The electric drive train and the proportions are unique enough.”

Tesla Model S vs BMW M51 750x469

Currently BMW and Tesla are not competing in the same segment but future models from both brands will put them on collision course. BMW is rumored to launch an i5 model which may compete for the same customers.

Tesla is also currently touches on the Model X and has started work on their entry-level sedan.

READ: BMW vs. Tesla – A Future Rivalry?

31 responses to “Tesla Chief Designer: “BMW i3 is like an IKEA piece of furniture””

  1. CDspeed says:

    They bragged about how much they saved buying IKEA furniture, so it’s good enough for Tesla’s offices but somehow they’re now using IKEA’s name as an insult. Doing a little gloating are we? Worried about the Germans catching up?

    • Horatiu B. says:

      It will be an interesting competition

      • CDspeed says:

        Yes especially if the i5 turns out to be a sport sedan, I know there are a lot of rumors surrounding the i5 but one rumor I read suggested the i5 could be a four door coupe. Of course there is no way to confirm that, but its the rumor I like the most.

    • WeaponZero says:

      I don’t think the guy who designs the car has any say about the company’s furniture (if that is what they use). I also don’t think they are worried about the German’s catching up as Musk wants more good EVs on the market.

      That said, the i3 is a complete joke. The above picture is not the i3, it is really the Aztec of BMW.

      • tesla fangirl says:

        you just like most Tesla fanatics is a joke.Tesla is not even making real money.

        • CDspeed says:

          Pretty harsh for someone with the username “tesla fangirl”. What happened, you don’t like them anymore?

        • WeaponZero says:

          Tesla has been making real money for a while now, even without the zev credits. All I am saying is that BMW hit the i3 with the ugly stick way too many times.

          Even if we don’t talk about Tesla, take Mercedes B class which will be released soon. It is not the best looking car but at least it looks like a normal car!

      • tesla fangirl says:

        A person who commented 8,660 times on the internet (you) is the joker. Get a life.

        • WeaponZero says:

          Says the guy who made a profile named after the company he hates and spends time stalking through other people’s profiles.

      • CDspeed says:

        @ WeaponZero, don’t like the i3? Just because you don’t personally like the i3 doesn’t mean it looks anything like an Aztec.

        • WeaponZero says:

          Put them side by side, I am not kidding. The i3 and Aztec look like long lost brothers.

          • CDspeed says:

            No, that’s how you see it.

          • WeaponZero says:

            Alright then, what looks better, i3 or M5?

          • CDspeed says:

            Both look great, but they’re in two different leagues, one is a small hatchback priced in the low to mid range area of BMW’s lineup, and the other is a mid-sized sedan with a rocket under the hood and is priced more in the top end. Actually it would be nice to own an i3 and an M car, you could use the i3 for your daily runaround and then get in your M when your ready to have some fun.

          • sranger says:

            It does not look like a Aztec to me and I have actually seen one in person and drove it…

            However, I am secure enough to car less what other people think about the car I am driving. As long as I like it I am good…

            I think the BMW is an engineering marvel and like the quirky futurstistic looks…

      • Triple M says:

        Tesla is butt-hurt probably after seeing that not only as all the i8 sold out, but the request for the so called “joke” i3 is far beyond their expectation. They should just accept they’ve got real competition on their hands instead of resorting to childish remarks from a company that I was thought had class

        • WeaponZero says:

          Since when was a personal opinion of the lead designer a representative of the company? All he is saying is the i3 is ugly, 99% of the population agrees.

          And lets be honest, the i3 + i8 combined won’t sell as much as the Tesla Model S.

          Though currently they produce cars that target different segments and don’t really compete yet. When they will compete is when Tesla releases the Gen III.

          If you have not heard, Tesla wants more competition (as it will bring down battery prices). But when companies make crappy EVs like BMW just did, they hurt the image of EVs. And I assure you, BMW is capable of making much much better, they chose not to because they don’t want to cut into their ICE sales.

          • CDspeed says:

            If you notice BMW’s i3 really isn’t different from any other electric offering produced by a major automaker. They’re all playing it safe with small cars, yes Tesla is the only one with enough guts to produce an electric car that is clearly a real car. But the little electric cars are also first attempts, they’re dipping their toes in the water to see how warm it is. So if we don’t give them a chance and they’re met with a cold response they’ll pull back and nothing will happen, there will be no evolution. I think the i3 will be a hot electric hatchback, and even after I buy one I will continue to look forward to the next i car to see where BMW goes after the i3 and i8.

      • sranger says:

        The i3 is the best EV on the market under $50K right now in my opinion. A similar equipped Model S is about $40,000 more than an i3.

        I recently got to test drive the i3 and really liked the car. It is quit roomy inside and quick. Not Model S fast, but very quick. I have a reservation for a Model X, but I am also going to try and Buy and BMW i3 with the REx next year. If it turns out to be as good as I think it will be, I will cancel the Model X order.

        So saying that a car that is $40,000 more is better is kind of pointless……

  2. fredyschiftan@aol.com says:

    OK so now the truth on Tesla. why is this Co. talking so much of other Car makers, last month 2 fires on 2 cars involved in accidents!! just wait because Uncle Sam is starting an investigation and it won’t be nice.. so don’t talk of other Co., because you have a LOT to learn !!! we will wait and see the future I personally just think these cars are nothing special, and in 4 years no one is going to buy a second hand Tesla.? what are the battery costs and maintenance , we shall see …….

  3. sranger says:

    I test drove one the other day. I really loved the car. It was surprising big on the inside. I thought is was quick and handled very well. I have also driven the Tesla Model S. The Model S is mostly a fantastic car.

    While the model S is larger and can hold more people and cargo and it faster, I actually liked the i3 better. I have a bad back and found the Model S to be hard to get in and out of and had limited visibility out of the windshield due to my height. My head hit the roof in the rear seats and brushed the head liner in the front (Not sure I had the seat all the way down though). Surprisingly I had more headroom in the rear of the i3, but a little less leg room.

    The short answer was that the i3 was more comfortable for me and had plenty of power and it is $30,000 – $40,000 less so am going to go for a REx version next year. It will do about 90% of my driving on batteries alone, but the REx will be great for the times when I need that extra 10-20 more miles in a day or have an unexpected side trip….

    It might be like IKEA, furniture, but some times that furniture is just the right fit in terms of use and budget….

  4. franzislame says:

    ironically a handful of the tesla design development staff contributed to the making of the i3 before being poached by tesla

  5. johnbl says:

    If BMW can sell i3s like IKEA sells furniture who cares…

    I love my i3. Its comfortable, uses my excess solar energy, and gets me to where I want to go for 1/3 the price of a Model S!

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