What if Tesla made a convertible version of its Model S sedan? We now know what that might look like, and it's pretty great. Italian coachbuilder and automotive engineering firm Ares Design has unveiled a Model S Convertible that's more than just a hack job.
Italian craftsmanship — Some aftermarket conversions end up looking not quite right, but this Model S underwent significant changes to make the conversion look like the real deal. Ares got rid of the roof, the B-pillars (the roof support between the front and rear doors), and the rear doors. In their place went longer front doors and a new trunk big enough to stow a fabric folding roof. The car also got some 21-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
Ares says that it tried to retain the structural integrity of the car by reinforcing the chassis with additional strengthening.
On the interior are some custom rear seats, Ice White leather upholstery, and some orange accents. Even if you don't care for Teslas, it's hard to argue that this is a hot-looking ride.
There aren't pictures available of the convertible with its roof up — aftermarket conversions don't always look great with the top up. Still, it looks great, and the conversion probably wasn't cheap. Ares doesn't publicize a price for this job, but a Model S Wagon (which we'd argue is far less attractive), went on sale last year for more than $200,000. That said, like this Model S, it's one of a kind... and far more useful for getting things home from Home Depot.
Convertible electrics — At least in the case of the Model S convertible, it looks so good you have to wonder whether Tesla should offer its own convertible version. The lines certainly lend themselves to a soft-top version, and the Model S definitely has the sort of power and acceleration that make for an enjoyable top-down experience.
Tesla's very first car, the Roadster, was a convertible. There's a new model on the way, but there's no telling when it will arrive as the automaker focuses on its more practical (and affordable) cars and its custom battery tech. Lack of demand at high volume for convertibles may certainly be an impediment to Tesla entering the market in a serious way. Doing so would put a damper on its efficiency at a time when it's aggressively trying to reduce its production costs and improve quality control on its existing lineup.