Tesla Model S L (long wheelbase)

Tesla Model S L (long wheelbase)

Given Tesla’s recent efforts to increase visibility/sales, over the past few days I’ve been kicking around an idea and I’d like to get other (except one) opinions/views. It is my understanding the development time/ manufacturing cost would be “minimal” to stretch an existing platform 5 to 7 inches (perhaps I’m wrong here). This is already common practice with many luxury automakers (MB, BMW, Audi, Jag, etc.) as a way to increase profits without incurring a huge expense doing so. It appears longer version of the same car can be more desirable….. Imagine if Tesla extended (stretched) the Model S 5 to 7 inches, kept the same motor and underpinnings, but add enough cells to boost the range perhaps 50 or more EPA certified miles and only charged say an extra 10 to 12k for the “L” package. Would enough potential buyers be interested in such a vehicle to make it worth the additional upfront cost to Tesla? Is 10 to 12k too much or too little to charge? Can the Model S be extended without ruining the shape? Would the extra weight offset the performance/range benefits? After all, the Model S is already spacious and +- 250 miles per charge is plenty for most drivers. I know the “devil is in the details” and I haven’t considered every pro/con but I wanted to pose the question nevertheless. Cheers.

torst1 | April 3, 2013

Sure there will be a market. The long wheel based cars exists for a reason. Demand. BMW for instance even have long wheel base 3 series and 4 for the Asian market. Can not see any reasons why this shouldn't also be true for Tesla.

Captain_Zap | April 3, 2013

Longer?? Why?
I'm beginning to wonder if you have driven one.

biggator | April 3, 2013

Agree with Captain_Zap.. they don't need a longer MS. There's PLENTY of room in the back.

torst1 | April 3, 2013

Captain Zap, have you ever been in the back seat of a stretched BMW 750 IL?
Try it once and see if you still feel the same.

Audi A8 is also a roomy car - yet they have a long one too....

HenryT2 | April 3, 2013

I don't think Zap or Gator have ever ridden in the back of an 'L'. I used to have a Lexus 460L with the reclining rear seat. The Model S is great and has unbelievable room (don't even get me started on the trunk space in my 460L) but the back seat legroom can't compare.

If you have cause to have adults sit in the back seat frequently (I had a driver at the time), the long wheel base versions are definitely better. The bigger battery would be great too.

However, the 'L' versions usually have full consoles in the back to control climate, audio, etc. Without it, I don't think they'd sell well. So, while I agree that an 'L' version is a plus in general, I don't think it would actually be as easy as you think to add it (effectively) to the line-up.

torst1 | April 3, 2013

I don't know much about the setup of production lines, so I can not make an educated guess how much they would need to change to make a long version.

But I do know if Tesla one day will enter the Asian market they better go long first.

Captain_Zap | April 3, 2013

No. I'm a driver and not a rider. My BMW was an 850ci.

negarholger | April 3, 2013

Model X has a longer wheel base. So it wouldn't be a big problem in production. But I don't think TM has the engineering resources currently to develop that... MX is already delayed.

bigez1 | April 3, 2013


I too had an 850i, 1991 to be exact. Great car - until it aged....

torst1 | April 3, 2013

Captain Zap that was kind of my point. You view the Tesla based on your own references. But what you don't see is that other might have other references and other needs then what you have. That does not means they are wrong or that you are wrong. Just different needs that's all.

Many people enjoy the daily driving via the backseat. Either because they don't fancy driving, can't be bothered or just are too busy to drive themselves. You really don't think those people should be able to drive EV like Tesla with lots of legroom and reclining backseats?

cbentinck | April 3, 2013

+1 for L.
+1 torst1's comments on others needs/wants being different
Also agree that back seat may need more luxury comfort for those wanting to ride in the back more frequently and this may not fit with current interior design. Perhaps a 'luxury' package that was longer and included more comfort features, especially in the back. Right now, all a bit much to ask from such a young company. Next year or year after when the S has built a the company a successful financial base. Until then KISS

FLsportscarenth... | April 3, 2013

Model S Limo as a Long wheel base... For the Eco-friendly CEO or politician.

torst1 | April 3, 2013

I agree with you for the most part cbentinck.
But what I was thinking was that if it is at all possible to manage and build a L version on the current assembly line without major downtime or alterations I think Tesla really should pursue this. But as I stated earlier I have no knowledge about assembly lines so I really have no clues how difficult it would be to incorporate a L version on todays plant.

caolivieri | April 3, 2013

I think the most cost effective way to achieve your dream is to take the R&D already spent on the Model X and change the interior to 2 rows of seating. Then the only modification is the interior. That would leave lots of room for the amenities of a back seat adult rider. Also I think a lot of limo companies would buy that model for the same market.

rsampsonjr | April 3, 2013

Nice to see some 850i owners, that has always been my favorite car until the Tesla. Mine was a 91 Laguna Green on parchment, same color scheme as my Model S. However my last two cars have been an Audi A8L W12 and a Mercedes S550. The Model S is much smaller, but way more fun to drive. If they had an L version, I would have bought it. I like the room, and I am sure it would have still been fun to drive.

bigez1 | April 3, 2013

+1 rsampsonjr

My 91 850i was Calypso Red w/ tan leather..... When introduced, I thought it was the most beautiful car on the road! And although it was never a "stoplight dragster" the V12 didn't wake up until 100mph... As much as I enjoyed my 850 over the years, it never gave me the satisfaction my Model S has in just 3 months. Perhaps that's unfair given the differences in technology but I'm absolutely smitten with my MS.

Mliss | April 4, 2013

I love the idea of a longer / stretch version (as an option). I would easily have paid extra to have the kind of rear leg room that the 750Li has (44"). I am 6'4" and I have two sons each 6'4" and while they can fit in the "S", it is not our car of choice when we need to travel as a family due to limited leg room when the driver's seat in the "S" is all the way back. Don't get me wrong - I love my "S" (as my other posts have shown) - but a longer version would be a good way for Tesla to increase their profitability too (probably +1000 of cost but +$5000 of retail price).

carlk | April 4, 2013

I don't like huge cars. It's just me.