Volkswagen CEO drives Tesla Model Y, hails EV as a VW 'reference' car
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has hardly every been reluctant to give credit where it is due and has been generous with what he makes of Tesla's business model as well as the leadership of CEO Elon Musk. Just days after Musk test drove a VW ID.3, it was Diess who got behind the wheel of a Tesla Model Y and came out mighty impressed.
Rivalry between car makers in the fast-paced EV world is increasing by the day but that has not stopped Volkswagen and Tesla bosses from getting together, shaking hands, posing for photos and - most importantly - trying out products from the rival camp. The Model Y from Tesla carries a lot of hopes for the California-based company and Diess seemed to understand just why. "Of course I also tested a Tesla Model Y — with my colleague Frank Welsch. This car is for us in many aspects (not in all!) a reference: user experience, updatability, driving features, performance of the top of the range models, charging network, range," he reportedly told mediapersons after driving the vehicle.
Musk too had test driven the VW ID.3 which is an EV carrying the weight of a whole lot of expectations. He is learnt to have commented on the available torque at higher speed. "Yes, we are on the runway - but no need for take off - its not a sports car," Diess told him.
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The recent developments fueled speculations that VW and Tesla may be coming together to join hands in some form or the other to bolster presence in the EV world. Diess, however, has put to rest all such rumours. "Just to be clear: We just drove the ID.3 and had a chat - there is no deal/cooperation in the making," Diess said in a post on Linkedin shortly after Musk left Germany after a brief visit. (Read full report here)
Tesla's rise and dominance in the EV space has made traditional auto giants jittery with their traditional dominance under threat. Almost every marquee car maker is now trying to re-invent itself by offering plug-in hybrids, all-electrics or both in a bid to stay relevant. As such, many continue to feel that VW may continue wooing Tesla, one way or the other.