Tesla CEO Elon Musk test drove the Volkswagen ID.3 electric car and inspected the related ID.4 during a recent visit to Germany, Bloomberg reported Friday.
Musk met VW CEO Herbert Diess at a small airport in Braunschweig for about two hours Thursday evening, according to the report, which cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. A VW spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg that the two executives had met, but declined to comment on other details.
The ID.3 and ID.4 are the first of several planned mass-market electric cars based on VW’s MEB modular platform. The ID.3 hatchback is scheduled for deliveries starting this month, but it is not planned for the United States.
The ID.4 will go into production this fall and will reach the U.S. before the end of the year, just after first deliveries in Germany. But it isn’t due to be fully revealed until September 23.
It’s unprecedented for one CEO to offer another CEO—for which there’s no alliance between companies—an up-close look at a vehicle that hasn’t been revealed yet.
Diess also praised Musk, writing on LinkedIn Friday that Tesla’s planned German factory will bring “trend-setting future automotive technology” to the country.
This is at least the second time this year that Diess has said very nice things about Tesla and Musk in a public forum. In July, the VW CEO said Musk “delivers results that many have deemed impossible.”
Teaser for Volkswagen ID 4 debuting in September 2020
VW, meanwhile, recently said that its ID.4 won’t be aimed primarily against the Tesla Model Y but versus mass-market models like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.
The Volkswagen ID.4 will likely launch in rear-wheel drive form with a single permanent-magnet motor. A second motor for the front axle will likely be added as an option after launch, enabling all-wheel drive. VW has said the ID.4 will be rated at 310 miles of range on the European WLTP testing cycle, which should translate to around 240 miles on the EPA testing cycle.
Initial ID.4 models for the U.S. will come from VW’s Zwickau, Germany, plant, but local production for North America will start in 2022 at an expansion of VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory.
The German government promised Tesla more aid for its local factory this week, Bloomberg reported. Located in a suburb of Berlin, the factory is expected to build the Tesla Model Y.
Battery production was also discussed initially, but Tesla appears to have scrapped those plans.
Now, aren’t you all curious what Musk thought of the ID.3?