Nobody Asked for a Tesla Model 3 Convertible, But Here’s One Anyway
If you’re wanting to stand out in Orange County, this is the ticket.
Let's be honest with ourselves: The Tesla Roadster as Elon Musk describes it will never exist. A hovering electric supercar that outperforms every other road-legal vehicle on the planet sounds like what John DeLorean would try to hawk after an afternoon of drinking at home. The only roofless Tesla you'll be driving anytime soon—that electrified Lotus Evora notwithstanding—will either be one you make yourself or pay someone else to build for you. Luckily, in California, there's a company that would be glad to build you such a car out of a Model 3. Just know what you're getting yourself into.
This rag-topped Tesla is the work of Huntington Beach-based Newport Convertible Engineering, whose name you may associate with other odd convertible conversions performed on Ford F-150s and Subaru WRX STIs. Newport makes most of its money armoring up or removing the roofs from the likes of Maybachs, though it won't turn its nose up at working on more pedestrian vehicles, like the Toyota Prius. Chopping the top from one of those suggests a green streak, which may have informed its decision to hack up this Tesla.
The result is polarizing, but then again, how else would you want your customized convertible to look? It's not easy to stand out amongst the sea of Model 3s in SoCal, after all. Think of it like a sleek, new-age EV whose biological father was a Chrysler PT Cruiser.
Newport tells The Drive that peeling back a Model 3's lid (and reinforcing its chassis) costs $29,500 if you want a manual folding roof, and that making the mechanism electric will set you back another $10,000. Add that to the Tesla's near-as-makes-no-difference $40,000 starting price, and you're looking at a stack of cash that could instead buy you a Model S. Whether spending that kind of money on what could pass for a re-proportioned Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet is worthwhile is up to you, though when it comes to convertible Teslas, your choices are this, an old Lotus, or nothing.
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