Eye concept - a glimpse of Tesla's future?
By Ben Coxworth
March 9, 2010
The all-electric Tesla Roadster is indeed a fine-looking, high-performance automobile, but its projected $US109,000 price tag will likely put it out of reach of the much sought-after Generation Y demographic. Tesla’s less-pricey Model S four-door sedan is more of a refined, subtly-classy car – again, not something the fun-loving twenty-somethings will be flocking to. So, how does an electric car company come up a vehicle that the young folks will like? Easy, they get some of those kids to design the car for them. In Tesla’s case, the result is a stunning concept vehicle called the Eye.
The Eye was created by 11 students in the Transportation Design masters program at Turin’s Instituto Europeo di Design (IED). Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen was their mentor for the semester, and supervised the entire process. The intent was to design a C-segment (compact) affordable car for young, cosmopolitan buyers.
The 2+2-seater electric car is 4250mm long (2650mm wheelbase), 1800mmm wide, and stands 1360mm high. One of its innovative features is a roof structure that allows the Eye to become a semi-open car, with a pickup truck-like loading bay. It also sports rather bizarre flared-nostril-like openings on the front, that might or might not serve some practical aerodynamic purpose.
Will this ever become a production automobile? Hard to say. In the meantime, the world’s one existing Tesla Eye is on display at the Geneva Motor Show until March 14th.