What will Tesla reveal at its ‘Investor Day’ on 1 March?

Tesla isn’t like other car makers when it comes to announcements. It loves to be secretive with its developments, before setting its stall out in the most grandiose way possible. Generating a barrage of headline grabbing, imagination snatching bombshells not too unlike how Apple grabs the spotlight has always been Tesla’s way, and it’s getting ready to do it all over again.

On 1 March, the brand will host what it’s billing as its 2023 Investor Day, which will take place at its Texas ‘Gigafactory’ and internet speculation as to what Tesla and indeed Elon Musk will be revealing is at boiling point. Musk has teased that the ‘Master Plan Part 3’ will be unveiled in full - the previous two being the manifestos from which Tesla has operated from. Here’s what we could see next, from the world’s most notorious electric car company.

Generation 3 platform

Here’s the obvious place to begin, because Tesla has already confirmed that it will be on the agenda at Investor Day. The company has long been working on what it calls its ‘generation 3’ platform, which will provide the technical basis for the next-generation Tesla line-up. Like all manufacturers, Tesla is targeting a reduction in how much it costs to make its cars that goes hand in hand in a fall in the time it takes to make a car, too. How much detail we’ll be getting on the platform remains unknown though. 

Likelihood? 90%
Elon Musk has mentioned Tesla's new, cheaper-to-make platform on numerous occasions, so we'd expect this to be at the heart of the product update.

The $25,000 Tesla – the most affordable Tesla yet?

And, if you want to continue down the captain obvious line of enquiry, it would make sense that following the announcement of a new vehicle structure that will allow Tesla to build a cheaper car than the Model 3 in greater numbers than its electric BMW 3 Series rival, then that’s exactly what we’ll see next. Tesla’s current-generation ‘Sexy’ line-up (After the Model S, 3, X and Y) can’t go on forever, and the brand has a knack for unveiling new cars out of thin air. It revealed a successor to the Roadster in 2017 with no apparent warning, and the Cybertruck broke cover at an event in 2019, which was similar to what we’re likely to witness next week.

Elon Musk has hinted in the past of a desire for a ‘compact’ member of the Tesla line-up, so the baby Tesla that could spawn from the Generation 3 platform could be something to rival electric hatchbacks like the Volkswagen ID.3 and MG 4. The price? In an 2018 interview with YouTuber Marques Brownlee, Musk suggested that a $25,000 Tesla could be a reality 'within three years'. Well, three years was up in 2021 and we're still waiting for anything resembling even a concept car. Buyers hoping for a $25,000 car should also bear in mind that the figure actually relates to the build cost rather than the retail price. Given that Tesla's profit margins are around 15%, the final car could well be around the $30,000 mark.  

Likelihood? 40%
Never say never, but Musk has been concentrating Tesla's efforts on building volume for Model 3 and Model Y. A cheaper car will inevitably cannibalise demand for the higher margin models, so is unlikely to be a reality before 2025.

A facelift for the Model 3?

Tesla’s most popular car is no longer a spring chicken. It’s been in production since mid-2017, and by usual car industry standards it’s due a facelift - usually incorporating a slight redesign, a spruce up of the interior with some new trims and finishes, and minor technology updates are the usual preserve of such mid-life refreshes. Some corners of the web have reported cloaked Model 3 prototypes circling the roads around Tesla’s headquarters, possibly hiding a new design. But we’d be surprised to see an updated Model 3 just now. Tesla’s happier than most car makers to allow its designs to have a longer than expected shelf life. After all, it took almost nine years for the larger Model S saloon to get a design refresh.

Likelihood? 80%​
Tesla doesn't like to act like a traditional carmaker, so while a facelift is long overdue (most manufacturers facelift cars after three years and replace them completely after six), its appearance is far from guaranteed. That said, the numerous reports of a refreshed model suggests that the timing is right for an updated model. If it does appear, don't expect anything too radical. 

The Model 3 is now six years old, which makes it a pensioner by normal automotive standards

Production ready Cybertruck?

If there’s one thing many Tesla fans are waiting for news on, it’s the Cybertruck - Tesla’s wild all-electric pick-up truck that’s been on ice since 2019. Development setbacks have seen production pushed to mid-2023 at the earliest, so an update on how prepared Tesla is to make the Cybertruck in numbers could come on Investor Day. The controversial design of the truck is likely to be refined slightly to make it more regulator friendly and easier to produce, and prototypes have become a common sight near Tesla HQ.

Likelihood? 60%
Tesla has repeatedly delayed Cybertruck's introduction with volume production unlikely to start until next year. A European launch appears even further away given the fact that many of the design elements stand little chance of meeting EU regulations. 

Production Ready Roadster?

In a similar vein to the Cybertruck, the second-generation Tesla Roadster is still awaiting production approval, though the wait for the brand’s new electric supercar has gone on for some time. It’s been over five years since it made a surprise entrance during one of Tesla’s showpiece events, but the trail has gone increasingly quiet. An update on its feasibility within the context of Tesla’s next-generation line-up could be on the cards.

Likelihood? 20%
Musk first revealed the second-generation Roadster in 2017, with a promise to have it on the road by 2020. More recently, Musk reckoned that 2023 would be the year that deposit holders would finally get to drive their cars. It's unlikely that the Roadster will land before the Cybertruck, so we'd be surprised to see anything more than a rehashed version of the concept appear for Investor Day. 

Factory on Mars

Elon is known to want to expand his manufacturing footprint. He wants to explore Mars and has already sent a car into space. So is he thinking about building a factory there? The only problem might be the out-of-this-world delivery costs and expensive labour, as the Martians have a very strong union. 

Likelihood? 0.5%

Nothing would surprise us.

What else?

Well, being honest, it's more likely to be quite tech heavy than to be a conveyor belt of new models. Tesla is likely to issue updates on its 4680 battery technology, its next steps in the development of fully autonomous cars, and further details on a new multi-billion dollar investment it's made in its Nevada Gigafactory. 

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