Tesla news – what’s coming soon to the UK?

Tesla are a company making serious moves in sustainable transport. From electric SUVs and powerwalls for your home, to pickups and HGV lorries for the road, they’re intent on dominating the EV space and they’re certainly getting close.

But what’s new? Tesla have been moving quickly since their inception so what do you need to know right now? Let me break down as much as I’ve been able to find in this blog: a new affordable Tesla, Tesla Model S updates, the Tesla Cybertruck and more.

Zećira Mušović sat in the boot of a Fiat 500e with the charging cables
A Tesla Model 3 available on an elmo EV subscription.

Model… something? New affordable Tesla hatchback

We’re not sure what it’ll be called but what is sure is that Elon and the clever people at Tesla are working on it… “It” being a smaller, cheaper Tesla that Elon himself has said will be ‘half the price of the Model 3’ (which for context is around £43k as of right now for the entry level rear-wheel-drive version). It’s very exciting!

What do we know about the new car?

Not an awful lot yet, in all honesty, other than that it won’t be called the ‘Model 2’. Model A, maybe? We’ll see.

Tesla keep their cards close to their chest when working on new cars, especially one as hotly anticipated as this.

What we do know is that they’re looking to rival models like the MG4 EV and Volkswagen ID.3 with this car, and that it’ll be a hatchback of some kind – not the swoopy saloons we’re familiar with from Tesla. It means a price of around £20-£30k and an expected range of at least 180 miles. It begs the question though, why has it taken them so long? Why the sudden change of heart to make a more affordable car?

New production & battery tech

Tesla have been at the forefront of the EV industry for some time… it seems like this new car has come about after they thought up some new tech.

Tesla have said a new manufacturing ‘process’ and the use of a new ‘battery design’ will help keep production costs of the new Tesla hatchback (and future models) low, meaning the savings are passed to us. All in part thanks to the new Tesla Engineering HQ in California.

At the moment, it’s said these new manufacturing techniques will cut costs by half (compared to the current Tesla line up) and improve efficiency in the factory by 30%. How? By marrying state-of-the-art new robots with an experienced team of assemblers in a new way. We don’t have any more details on the practicalities of that yet, but we’ll take their word for it and gladly accept the savings as a win.

Regardless of how, if it’s true, it’s a big deal in engineering terms. How quality will be affected yet is unsure, though we’re hopeful. Tesla have upped their game in recent years with their EV quality. We’re expecting good things here.

Black tesla Model 3 parked outside a house
Tesla Model 3 Performance.

Tesla Model 3 and Model Y

Tesla’s two best-selling models have been making headlines here in the UK since their introduction. They offer some of the best in-car tech and range on offer for the money. So, what’s new for 2023?

Apart from a small tweak and the odd software update here and there, not an awful lot. Stats remain the same for the Model 3:

  • Entry version has real-world-range of 250 miles, going up to 280 miles for the Performance model and 300 miles for the Long Range.
  • Charging speed remains as it was before (170kW for the entry version, 250kW for the Long Range and Performance trims).
  • Power is slightly different though, with entry versions a touch slower according to EV Database but still pretty quick at 6.1s to 60mph. Speed freaks will be pleased to hear the Performance model is now 0.3s quicker though.

It’s a similar story for the Model Y in all honesty, apart from a couple of new colours added. If we hear anything new, we’ll update you on our Instagram!

Tesla Autopilot and full self-driving mode

The big question: when the full self-driving Tesla Autopilot is coming to cars in the UK. Answer? We’re not sure. The good news is, Tesla say new features are en-route. 

Currently, the Tesla Autopilot suite is capable of quite a few things, from standard cruise control features to changing lanes for you on the motorway, parking in parallel spaces and giving you the option to “summon” your car out of a tight space using the mobile app.

But what’s coming? From what we’ve found, more full self-driving features on the way. At the moment, a beta product for traffic lights is being produced where the car can spot a red light, stop the car and then pull away again when it goes green. The next step is for Tesla cars to automatically steer around tight city streets through use of its radar and camera systems, and GPS.

How long it’ll be before this comes along we’re not sure, and it’s still unclear as to whether you’ll be able to fully take your hands off the wheel (currently, you can’t for very long before the car automatically stops).

As always, this will be updated through software updates so make sure you check back regularly to keep on top of the latest Tesla tech.

A Tesla Model X driving along a country road.
Tesla Model X.

Tesla Model S and Model X

Tesla Model S is their flagship model with an uber-luxurious interior (at least for a Tesla). And Model X is their top spec, large family SUV. What’s new? Well, according to this Tesla driver’s report

  • A new red paint colour for both models.
  • An updated glass roof meaning more visibility but the same heat and ultraviolet light protection.
  • The powerful Plaid variants on both Model S and Model X will now have higher performance brake pads which can withstand higher temperatures.
  • And the choice of either a round or Yoke steering wheel.
Like all Tesla cars, things could get better in time as they release more software updates for these models, so if you’re lucky enough to have one, make sure you check back for those regularly. Your Tesla infotainment system will tell you when there’s one to download. 

Tesla Model S “Track Mode” and “Track Pack” 

UK customers with a Model S Plaid can now spec a “Track Package” that offers a few cool new things:

  • Uprated battery conditioning for better efficiency
  • New settings for the air suspension
  • Updated torque vectoring (journalism speak for it being a touch quicker)
  • Carbon ceramic brakes with high-temp brake fluid (meaning you can slam on the anchors without brake fade a bit more)
  • And a special track tyre package. 

What is it? Essentially, a quick way to transform your Model S into a track racing monster. Day-to-day the difference won’t really be felt but if you want to show off, this might be the way.

And of course, it goes without saying that Tesla recommend only the most experienced of drivers attempt to use this package, and only on a safe closed circuit.

A Tesla Roadster and a Tesla Cybertruck next to each other in an image
Tesla Roadster (left) and Tesla Cybertruck (right).

Tesla Cybertruck

You’ve probably seen this one floating around on the internet. The mad, very futuristic looking Tesla Cybertruck has been spotted testing in the US, with production starting this year.

The good news? It’ll do 500 miles in a single charge, hit 60mph from a standstill in less than 3 seconds and have a payload of over 1500kg (that’s a few hundred more than a diesel Ford Ranger). 

The bad news (well for us Brits anyway)? It’s not coming to the UK. At least not yet. US customers will be able to order the Cybertruck from the end of this year, but UK and European customers haven’t been included. Sad times.

The price? Around $70,000 plus (or £56k), though we suspect it’ll be a touch more than that if it graces our shores.

Tesla Roadster

And finally, what about the supercar, hyper car, properly-scary-and-very-quick car we were promised?

Well, surprise surprise, there’s little update on that. Estimated figures remain the same as before – 0-60mph in less than 2 seconds, 0-100mph in just over 4 seconds and a top speed of over 250mph (just don’t get caught doing that, ey?).

“Get caught, you say, so it’s coming to the UK??” Apparently, yes!

They’ll let UK customers reserve one right now – but only if you’ve got a cool £38k sat in your account. Oof.

And that’s it! For now…

We really wished there were more to say right now, but the prospect of a more affordable Tesla is quite a big one and they’ve got a lot on their plate at the moment so… we’ll let them off. 

All that remains to ask then is: what new Tesla car or feature are you most excited for?

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