A Tesla Station Wagon May Soon Become Available in Europe
For U.S. and Canada drivers, the station wagon conjures a mental slideshow of nostalgic images. The iconic long, boxy silhouette is reminiscent of long family road trips, or piling the kids in the car on the way to sports practice or a sleepover party.
Across the pond, the wagon is just as well-loved, but has a slightly different status. In the U.K., drivers call the station wagon an estate car, or shooting-brake, and it’s more commonly associated with a genteel country lifestyle of hunting with dogs.
Europe’s Relationship With Wagons
Wagons based on luxury sedans are popular among wealthier European drivers, especially in countries like Germany and the U.K. However, there currently is not an option to purchase an estate car with an all-electric powertrain.
Though a Tesla station wagon might sound like a bizarre concept to an American driver, it’s become an increasingly highly requested model in Europe. However, the Tesla Model S range doesn’t currently offer a station wagon, and the company hasn’t announced plans to release one.
Earlier this year, a group of ingenious European engineers and automotive designers took matters into their own hands when they decided to modify a Tesla Model S into a shooting-brake. The team launched a startup named Qwest to build and offer the modification.
Because there are so many sensors embedded in Tesla vehicles, even simple tweaks can result in error notifications. However, as a nod to their attention to detail, Qwest checked with Tesla to ask them how to maintain support for the vehicle after the modifications, especially when it comes to receiving future software updates.
On Dec. 17, Qwest’s official Twitter account posted a message announcing the build was complete, along with a video showing the wagon in action.
Though Qwest intended its Model S estate car to be a one-off proof of concept, it’s not hard to imagine the company beginning to accept commissions as news of their accomplishment spreads across the Internet.
Not the Only Game in Town
Qwest isn’t the first company to innovate body modifications for Tesla’s Model S. In fact, one Amsterdam-based coachbuilder, RemetzCar, made headlines earlier this year, when it successfully unveiled a custom Model S hearse for a client.
There’s no word on how these modifications may have affected the performance of the vehicle; nevertheless, based on the effective design, build and launch of their hearse project, RemetzCar has also announced plans to build a Model S shooting-brake. RemetzCar says they are scheduled to complete and unveil the vehicle in March, after which they hope to start taking orders.
With these two ambitious projects, Qwest and RemetzCar are pushing the limits on what we previously thought was possible with Tesla body modifications.
Even though Tesla itself has yet to offer a station-wagon variant of the Model S, we might soon get the chance to see not one, but two, third-party-built Tesla Model S wagons in 2018, thanks to the ingenuity of European designers and engineers.