New entry-level Tesla Compact EV design previewed by Carwow: everything you need to know


With deliveries of the Cybertruck now underway, Tesla can now shift its attention to the new compact EV. Carwow has taken a few teaser images and used them to predict this new car’s design, read on for all you need to know.

  • New Tesla hatchback imagined by Carwow
  • Design cues from the Model 3 and Cybertruck
  • Could cost from £22,000
  • May go on sale in 2025
  • New battery is safer and more efficient
  • Electric motor is cheaper to produce

Tesla is working on a new entry-level electric car which could cost from £18,000. Details of the technology which will underpin this EV were revealed during an investor day back in March, along with a couple of design teasers.

The Carwow team has taken these early sketches and used them to predict what this MG 4 alternative will look like when it’s potentially revealed in 2025.

New Tesla compact EV design rendered by Carwow

Tesla held an investor day back in March, and during that presentation a couple of images popped up which could preview the new Tesla compact EV. The Carwow team has taken these images and used them to predict what this new entry-level EV could look like.

Looking at the front end, you have similar sleek headlights to the recently-updated Tesla Model 3, and you could also see a full-width light bar across the bonnet in the style of the Cybertruck.

In true Tesla style, you can expect to see a smooth and uncluttered front bumper, with just a slim vent lower down to cool the battery. This hatchback has a similar stubby front end to the Cybertruck, albeit without the metal origami vibe, which is likely to be a way of maximising interior space.

Tesla could add some Cybertruck-esque triangular door mirrors as well. Looking to the rear of the car, it has a similarly clean design to the front. That full-width light bar and the small tail lights echo the rear end of Tesla’s pickup truck, and there are some subtle reflectors in the lower bumper like on the new Model 3.

These Carwow exclusive renders are just a prediction of what this new compact EV might look like, you’ll probably have to wait until the end of 2024 to find out how the car will actually look.

When can I buy the new Tesla Compact EV?

With the new Tesla Cybertruck finally rolling down the production line, the Texas-based brand can now turn its attention to the compact EV. It’s still in the very early stages of development at the moment, so you’ll probably have to wait until at least mid 2024 to see just a concept version of this car.

The Tesla Cybertruck has taken over three years to go from concept car to road-ready vehicle, but this new hatchback shouldn’t take as long as that. A lot of the technology you’ll see on the hatchback has already been developed for the cybertruck, such as the new wiring system, so you might see this new car hit the road in 2025.

How much will the new Tesla compact EV cost?

Tesla’s self-proclaimed Techno King Elon Musk has already confirmed that the new compact EV could cost around $25,000, or £22,000. That’s £5,000 cheaper than the MG 4, and it’s almost £10,000 less than a BYD Dolphin.

Check out Mat’s in-depth review of the MG 4…

So how is this car going to be so cheap? Well aside from a raft of new battery and motor tech, Tesla is also working on some new, more efficient manufacturing techniques which should lower the cost of production.

The Tesla Model 3 and Monel Y make their way up the production line as a whole car, requiring bits to be assembled and disassembled multiple times along the way for things like painting and wiring.

This new car however will be built differently. Teams of people and robots will work on fully assembling separate parts of the car, before marrying them together at the end in one go. For example, the doors will be built, painted, wired and the door cards assembled off the car, before being bolted on at the end of the line. This means the car is only fully built once.

Musk claims that this will yield a 30% improvement in time, space and efficiency, as well as make this car around 50% cheaper to build than the Model 3 and Model Y.

The new Tesla Cybertruck replaces a lot of cables with wireless transmitters to save weight and make it easier to build…

In addition to this, a lot of work is being done to reduce the amount of wiring. All new Tesla models will use a 48V electrical system as opposed to a 12V setup, allowing for smaller and lighter wires to be used. A lot of wiring will also be removed completely, using wireless networks to control certain things instead.

New Tesla compact EV batteries and range

When this new Tesla compact EV does arrive, it’ll use a new type of battery which is more powerful, safer and cheaper than the Model 3’s thanks to something called a tabless design.

This technology is essentially a new way of connecting the battery’s cells together, and it reduces the size of the battery by around 35%. They can also store and release more energy without overheating, giving them as much as 16% more range per kilowatt-hour than traditional batteries.

Tesla is also planning to make the battery a structural part of the car, helping make it lighter and stronger, 10% lighter to be precise. That’ll boost the range by a further 14%. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the new Tesla hatchback has a battery half the size of the Model 3’s, this would equate to a range of around 180 miles.

See how the Tesla Model 3 gets on in a range test…

To put that into perspective, the £27,000 Fiat 500 Electric has a range of 118 miles, potentially 62 miles less than the entry-level Tesla. And that car could end up costing around £5,000 less.

New Tesla compact EV motors and performance

To help further reduce the cost of this new Tesla, it will use a new type of electric motor which uses no rare earth materials. This makes it cheaper to make and lighter. In fact, this new drive unit will cost just $1,000 (£820) to produce, and it can be built in a smaller factory to help save even more money.

Tesla’s new drive unit will be smaller and cheaper to make…

So what does this mean for performance? Well Tesla will probably only use one motor to keep the price down, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be slow. Rear-wheel drive versions of the Tesla Model 3 can do 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds, quick enough to beat the Honda Civic Type R by half a second, and it’s possible that this lighter car with its clever batteries could be even quicker.

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