Convertible Tesla Model S!? YES PLEASE.
Electric-car buyers who want to feel the wind in their hair don’t have many choices.
Aside from the 2014 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive–and the now-discontinued Tesla Roadster–electric convertibles haven’t been a segment in which carmakers have expressed much interest.
However, a California firm has decided this could be a niche worth filling.
Newport Convertible Engineering is stepping into the breach with a Tesla Model S four-door convertible of its own design.
Based out of Huntington Beach, Newport showed digital renderings of a Model S convertible earlier this year, but now it’s completed the first, err, conversion.
In around 30 years in business, the company has turned everything from Jaguars to Range Rovers into convertibles, but the Model S may be one of the quietest cars to ever roll out of its shop.
Unlike the original renderings, the completed Model S convertible includes central pillars, which break up the smooth lines seen in those first images.
The Model S’ aluminum structure isn’t as easy to work with as steel, but Newport CEO and lead engineer Al Zadeh told ABC News that the Tesla convertible project was fairly straightforward.
That’s despite having to design a fabric roof to cover the car’s large interior. There isn’t quite enough space for the folding roof to stow in a neat tonneau behind the seats, making the Model S look somewhat like an old Volkswagen Beetle convertible.
The cost of having your Model S roof removed is $29,000. Newport previously claimed it had an order for 100 cars from a Chinese investor, but it’s unclear if that panned out.
The company still has ambitious plans, though. It hopes to offer a retractable hard top for the Model S, as well as a two-door convertible version.