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Why do Teslas look so bad?

by Clint | Updated: April 7th, 2022
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The other day, a group of us were standing around looking at pictures of various cars when out of nowhere, one of the group suddenly demanded to know why Teslas look so bad? This, as you can imagine, led to a heated debate, with half of the group swearing their undying love for all things Tesla design and the other half joining the why do they look so bad band.

So, while some people might think Teslas look bad. There’s a whole host of people who believe the timeless Tesla design aesthetic and the minimalist look is spot-on and will be around for future generations to enjoy. In this article, we’re going to take a look at how Tesla settled on their design strategy and from there you can make your own decision on how Teslas look.

Tesla has a unique design aesthetic.


You see, from a personal point of view and with the exception of the Cybertruck – which looks like it’s made from leftover Meccano parts, I think all Teslas have got something rather unique when it comes to their design aesthetic.

As a look, the Tesla design team chose not to follow fashion trends and fads but instead styled a minimalist range of cars that can only be described as unique in appearance.

Unlike the vast majority of auto manufacturers in the EV space who are stuck in the never-ending cycle of either taking an existing design and creating an electric version or being forced to incur substantial financial costs with the introduction of new models or production updates to their range, every five years or so.

For Tesla, this was never going to be the case because their strategy was always based on looking to the future, and as a result, they were able to let their imagination run riot.

Evolving a range of cars for the future

From day one, they knew there was no need to worry about where the drive shaft would sit or how the engine would fit; they always had the luxury of evolving a range of cars from a flat platform with wheels and building up.

Now, of course, you can say that as a result of this, it has led to slightly longer cars with a higher headroom, but you could also say that some of the Tesla body stylings reflect the very best of Italian and British design.

Reflecting classic British and Italian design

Surely it’s not only me that thinks the front of the Model 3 & Y closely resembles the front of a McLaren F1. While the rear of the Model 3 has similar lines and contours to that of the elegant Aston Martin, a car that is the epitome of classic design.

Yet despite this and the latest upgraded 2021 Model S, there are still those among us that feel the Tesla range comes across as dull and boring.

Minimalist look and feel

To those that feel that way, we have sorry because you see Tesla designed their cars to have a minimalist look and feel, and as a result, the current shapes are likely to be the same for some time, possibly even decades. So if you are one of those people who think the Tesla range looks bad today, there is a fair chance that you will feel equally the same way in 10 years’ time.

You see, because Tesla has designed their model range to maintain this timeless minimalist look and feel, there is little on the exterior that can date. The same can be said for the interior of a Tesla; they have continued with a minimalist look and feel inside where in fact, it is really just a computer and a steering wheel, so again there is less to look dated.

But why did Tesla choose to adopt a minimalist design strategy? Well, the answer is simple they didn’t want to be in a situation where they needed to invest vast sums of money into updating their production lines with new models every five years.

Economies of scale

Instead, they decided to start with a quality product and then refine the same product line. This way, they could use the money to invest in more resources to improve production speed and cost. They could also create economies of scale for the same products without the need to start all over again.

It is through these economies of scale and by enhancing the same body shapes and interiors that Tesla has been able to keep the costs of their products low whilst not sacrificing build quality or customer satisfaction. Something which the more traditional EV automaker simply cannot match.

We all have our own opinion.

So it just goes to show that when it comes to opinions, we’ve all got our own, and despite what we’ve said here and the number of happy and contented Tesla owners around the globe, there will always be those who think Teslas look bad, and to those, we say take another look you might well be more than just a little surprised.