Skip to main content

A new Tesla model or a prank? New prototype spotted is confusing us

A new prototype vehicle has been spotted over the last few days, and it clearly has some Tesla design features. It could be a test mule for the upcoming new “Tesla Model 2” $25,000 electric car, or it could be nothing.

The rumors about a new Tesla vehicle have been ramping up over the last few days.

Tesla has been talking about a new cheaper model for years now, and with the upcoming unveiling of its next-generation vehicle platform next week, it’s possible that the automaker will quickly reveal the first vehicle to use that platform.

Earlier today, we reported on Tesla potentially leaking the design of its new electric compact car with design drawings in a new corporate video.

Now we have also been getting reports on a new prototype in China, and some are speculating that it is a Tesla vehicle.

A reader also sent us some images of the same prototype:

The vehicle is highly confusing. It has clear Tesla design features, including the wheels, headlights, and front-end, but it also appears to have a Mazda CX-30 body.

Tesla is not known for using camouflage like this, but at the same time, it’s the first time the automaker is developing a new vehicle in China, and we should expect some new ways of doing things.

In 2020, Tesla announced plans to establish a new R&D center in China to build “a Chinese-style” electric car.

Tesla started taking design submissions for its Chinese-made small electric car that summer and started hiring for the program shortly afterward.

CEO Elon Musk said that it would be a Tesla car “designed and built in China.”

But it’s still not clear if this is a Tesla test mule for its next vehicle or if it’s a strange modified CX-30 made to look like a Tesla prototype.

In China, it is being reported as a new “Tesla Model 2,” but there doesn’t seem to be any proof beyond the prototype having been spotted around over the last few days.

Electrek’s Take

Top comment by Koby

Liked by 14 people

I don't understand why many are thinking that a modified cx-30 would be a Tesla prototype.

I think it's a prank of a Chinese "tiktoker" equivalent.

I'd really surprised if Tesla invested money in a new Chinese design department to produce a model almost identical to a boring one of a competitor only 30cm (1') smaller than a model Y. I'm just speculating but I'd expect the next cheaper Tesla in the 4-4.2m (13'-13'10") range.

View all comments

This is a strange one. Very confusing. It would be a departure from Tesla’s usual prototype-making to use a body from another automaker, but again it’s the first time it is developing a car in China.

Also, the CX-30 is probably about the size Tesla would be going for with this new model.

If it’s not a Tesla test mule then what is it? That’s a hard question to answer. Some kind of prank?

I don’t know. I am torn. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Stay up to date with the latest content by subscribing to Electrek on Google News. You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.



Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

You can send tips on Twitter (DMs open) or via email:

Through, you can check out Fred’s portfolio and get monthly green stock investment ideas.