Hybrids & Electrics

Tesla Model S Rendered as a Tight World Pickup

Back on May 24th, we covered how Elon Musk, the head of Tesla, was riding in the electric Tesla Cybertruck with Jay Leno in an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. They discussed the need to make the Cybertruck smaller to fit in a standard garage. After the show aired, Mr. Musk tweeted that making the Cybertruck smaller was not going to work. Instead, he suggested that Tesla would make a second, smaller truck for “tight world” situations. Immediately, ute fans had their hearts fluttering with excitement. And now, an old rendering pops back up on the internet of an electric Tesla ute.

A Tesla Model S ute rendering show
A rendering shows what a Tesla Model S could look like as a ute | Rain Prisk

What is a ute?

Here is a real quick review of what a ute is. Basically, it is a car that has a pickup bed in the back. Its attraction is that it is smaller than the common full-size pickup truck. Consequently, it is more maneuverable and less expensive. In essence, it is a perfect “tight world” car-truck. 

The rendering

The rendering of a Tesla ute we have above is based on the Model S. It was created by Rain Prisk. In it, the Model S is converted into a pickup behind a modified B pillar. The art piece is an excellent attempt to meld both the front of the car with the utility of a truck. If you look close enough, you will see that the ute has been lowered, and performance tires were added. 

The Model S

The Tesla Model S was launched back in 2012. In 2013, Motor Trend proclaimed the Model S as the Car of the Year. The car would also become the top-selling electric car worldwide for 2015 and 2016. The car has over 300 miles of range and boasts of performance equal to that of exotic cars. 

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Famous ute history

Although many manufacturers tried their hand at utes for the American automotive market, the Ford Ranchero and the Chevrolet El Camino were the most popular. The Ford Ranchero started the segment back in the 1950s. However, the Chevy El Camino outsold and outlived the Ford. The rise of mini-trucks in the late 1970s and through the 1990s eventually contributed to the demise of the utes. 

A 1966 Ford Ranchero sitting in a field
1966 Ford Ranchero. Whitewalls, full wheel discs, bucket seats make for stylish pickup travel. | Photo by Bob D’Olivo/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images

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Teslamino already exists, sort of

Many fans of the departed El Camino and Ranchero have already been thinking along the lines of an electric ute comeback. But, they are not waiting for Tesla to produce it. For example, the Teslamino has already been built and is found in the video below. It is based on a Tesla Model S that has had the suspension raised, bigger tires installed, and the rear of the car chopped off. 

There is also a rendering of a Tesla Model S mini-camper called the Tesla Roamer. It is a project by Travis Rabenberg for the State of Michigan Energy Office. It is intended to be used as an adventure vehicle, but will also be used in an attempt to grab the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest motor-home land speed record.

Tesla Model S Camper Rendering
The Telsa Model S is used as a base for a camper conversion | Travis Rabenberg

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A Tesla tight-world pickup truck is an exciting thing. But the reality is that Tesla has struggled to become profitable, and they already have a pickup that will be coming out soon. While the world waits for the Cybertruck to come out, the rest of the automakers are not standing still. They are also invading the electric car space. The ute niche has certainly been on their minds as well. Until Tesla gets robustly healthy, the thought of a second smaller pickup will probably have to wait. But, the renderings of Model S pickups do entice, though.