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What are the chances of a premium option for an all-aluminium chassis?

What are the chances of a premium option for an all-aluminium chassis?

It sounds like the cost savings of the steel chassis are less than half the amount of extra money I would pay to get an aluminium frame instead, so I'm pretty sure it would be a popular option.

I'm really hoping that the often-touted flexibility of Tesla's robotic production line will allow this option to be feasible, but I suspect that if they're trying to crank out as many Model 3s as they can as fast as possible, then they're unlikely to want to set up a significant area of factory for just a factory option. OTOH... maybe they're better set up for aluminium and can increase car production by building a line of aluminium chassis in parallel?

Clearly, I don't know a lot about factory logistics. Does an aluminium chassis option seem feasible? Likely?

yongliangzhu68 | 8 april 2016

Maybe about 0.005% at best. It is also likely the panels will be steel too. In order to do what you are asking requires dual part fabrication and that is prohibitory expensive and time consuming. It would also require double storing of replacement parts and lots of confusion, time and Associated costs down the road.

carlk | 8 april 2016

Zero. It has never been done on a production car.

deesugar | 8 april 2016

Absolute Zero
It would take additional tooling and changes in the production which is already becoming a headache with all the reservations. Getting out the Model 3 as quickly as possible is the main priority for Tesla right now. The future of their company depends on how they deal with this issue.

eAdopter | 8 april 2016

Why do people think the car will be made of steel? The S and X are aluminum and I assume the 3 will be too.
Did Tesla post information about this? If so, please post a link.

yongliangzhu68 | 8 april 2016

It was reviled at the reveal that it would be steel and aluminum. Also an all aluminum construction is prohibitory expensive for a mid priced car.

yongliangzhu68 | 8 april 2016

@eAdopter: watch this video ((remove spaces) Is this the worst SPAM filter ever?

h t t p s : / / w w w . youtube . com / watch ? v = K1nUapJ-GW0

Homebrook | 8 april 2016

Less than zero, because it would be foolish and wasteful to do it.

jordanrichard | 8 april 2016

Ya, that isn't going to happen. Name one car that gives you the option to have it made from a different material.

Red Sage ca us | 8 april 2016

I'd guess this 'premium option' would cost in the neighborhood of $200,000,000 or so. Just enough to re-engineer the entire car, have crash tests for five or six mules, then deliver one complete car to order just for you.

RedShift | 8 april 2016

Nil. Too much effort to make two chasses. Lot of differences in fabrication, won't be able to recoup the expenditure needed to maintain the two chasses.

FelixMendeldog | 9 april 2016

Um…wow

Morlandoemtp061383 | 9 april 2016

Your aluminium option is called a pre owned model s.

bob | 12 april 2016

I did read an article from someone at the reveal who brought a magnet with them and noted that all the exterior panels of the cars they gave drives in were aluminum. So it appears we will have that!

yongliangzhu68 | 13 april 2016

@bob: Keep in mind that the cars were probably closer to dressed up mules than actual prototype. I doubt the body panels on the final production car will be aluminum. The main reason is it would be cost prohibitive on a $35,000 car.

PhillyGal | 13 april 2016

Don't forget - one of the biggest goals of M3 is that it has to be easy to manufacture. For that reason (which is stated many ways above) - no dice.

Starting in mid-June, check out the Tesla website and see if any Certified Pre-Owned Model S cars are available at a good price. End of last quarter I heard of a steal! Today, not so much. $70k and up.

jordanrichard | 13 april 2016

Though I don't know that someone actually took a magnet to each panel, Elon did say the car would be a mixed of the 2 metals. Isn't possible the frame/chassis will be steel and the panels aluminum. As I am sure most everyone hear has seen countless videos of cars being built. Cars bodies are essentially 4 main parts, the floor, 2 sides and a roof. With the Model ≡'s roof being glass apart from the cross support across the B-pillars and windshield header, the car is really made up of 3 major stampings. Since welding and bonding aluminum is more time consuming than simply welding steel, I suspect that only those parts that require welding will be steel and bolt on stuff like doors, hood, trunk lid etc. will be aluminum.

Just a theory.

Red Sage ca us | 14 april 2016

wj: At least one of the drivers at the Model ☰ Reveal Part I said the cars were all 'engineering prototypes'. Not mules. Not concepts.

cephellow | 15 april 2016

@jordan,
I agree with your theory. I think the most expensive aspects of the S and X are the castings at the tower abutments that the main frame rail extrusions are welded to. Much easier to work those areas in steel. Your other comments are right on. Doors, frunk hood, trunk possibly Al. Subframe carriers mat be steel. Battery case probably Al.

yongliangzhu68 | 15 april 2016

@Red Sage ca us: I agree but I didn't say they were mules, ;) but between mules and a traditional (near production) prototype. Probably should have worded better.

MarlonBrown | 15 april 2016

If it is a aluminium or steel, this is the part I dont care. No one can tell the difference.

dsvick | 15 april 2016

I'm not putting bumper stickers on my car, so hopefully at least the trunk will be steel so my magnets will stick.

Superliner | 15 april 2016

There already is a premium all aluminum option. It's called the Model S