Elon Musk: Tesla won't go 'super crazy' with Model 3 initial design

The company has toned down its ambitions after getting \'quite adventurous\' with the Model X.

Tesla Motors has toned down its initial design ambitions for the Model 3, according to CEO Elon Musk.

"We got quite adventurous with the [Model X]," Musk said during Tesla's recent earnings conference call. "We're not going to go super crazy with the initial version of the [Model 3]."

The comments followed several questions related to the Model X launch window, which has been pushed back several times. The electric crossover was initially expected to arrive in 2013, but has just recently begun testing on public roads in apparent production form.

"We definitely don't want the delays that affected the [Model X] to affect the [Model 3]," the executive added. "We've been quite conscious about this. There are things that we could do with the Model 3 platform that are really adventurous, but would put the schedule at risk. We're going to have something that's an amazing car, but it won't be the most adventurous version of the Model 3 to begin with."

The company's chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, initially suggested the Model 3 design would be even "more experimental" than the Model S and Model X, with bolder styling than the company's flagship sedan. Later comments hinted at a "family resemblance" to the Model S, but in a package that is 20 percent smaller.

The comments were made in 2012, before the company faced its first launch delay for the Model X. Some analysts suggest the X's more unique elements, particularly its falcon-wing doors, can be blamed for the development delays.

Musk has not detailed which of the Model 3's design elements may have been nixed in the spirit of streamlined development, but he promised that a follow-up version will fulfill the company's more ambitious goals.

The company is confident the Model 3 will be in customer hands by the second half of 2017, with a $35,000 price tag and a range of more than 200 miles.

Photo by Ronan Glon.

Read more!