Musk moves 'unexpected' unveiling to Wednesday
South African-born Elon Musk said this morning that Tesla Motors needs a few more days to refine the mysterious new product the company plans to unveil this week.
This follows a tweet last week by the CEO which read: "Tesla product unveiling on the 17th (unexpected by most), followed by Tesla/SolarCity on the 28th."
Rumourville immediately jumped into action to speculate what the "unexpected by most" product could be. The second event is expected to show investors that merging Tesla with the struggling SolarCity is not a bad move.
One of the main rumours surrounding Wednesday's event is around self-driving technology and Musk is expected to show how far the company has advanced with it. He previously said autonomous cars will be here sooner than predicted.
The self-driving technology, which will be differentiated from its current Autopilot system by allowing cars to be completely autonomous, could be included in Tesla cars as soon as the new Model 3 hits the market in 2017.
Model 3 add-ons?
The Tesla Model 3, touted by Musk as an electric car for the masses, was presented in April. However, at a starting price of $35 000 (over R500 000), it is considered a luxury car in the South African market.
Online pre-orders were opened for the car that will only go into production in 2017. By the end of April, nearly half a million people had signed up and paid a $1 000 deposit.
At the time of the launch of the car, Musk said there would be two other announcements about the luxury family car's features before it goes into production.
If Wednesday's event is the second of the Model 3 reveals, the car could include a solar-panelled roof, developed in conjunction with SolarCity. The vehicle already features a large dark glass surface area which runs from bonnet to boot.
The announcement could also be that the company is upscaling the production to get the product to market sooner.
However, the cryptic tweet did specifically say "product", which has led to rumours of a new vehicle to join the Tesla range.
DailyTech said a possible Model Y prototype could be on the cards, which will be a crossover SUV version of the Model 3.
Web site Product Reviews reported rumours of a Tesla motorbike or some sort of two-wheeled electric vehicle, although neither of these products fits with the billionaire's 'master plan' for the motor company.
Musk detailed the plan in his first blog post for the company 10 years ago. It described how he was going to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy and transport.
This would be achieved by firstly building an electric sports car (the Tesla Roadster), using money from that to build an affordable car, with mid-volume production (the Model S and Model X), and then using that money to build an even more affordable car, with high-volume production (the Model 3).