Ford Has a Tesla Model 3 at Its Testing Facility

Could Ford be reviewing Tesla’s tech to build a similar product?

byRob Stumpf| UPDATED Mar 23, 2018 3:44 PM

Irish poet Oscar Wilde once said, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness." Such is still true in the world of auto manufacturers, especially around a widely successful product. Reverse engineering is a common tactic by manufacturers and engineering firms all around the world. It seems that Ford is sitting closely on the heels of Tesla to investigate just how the Model 3 ticks.

Ford, like many other auto manufacturers this year, has been on an electric kick. One of its development facilities, the Connected Car Innovation Center at Ford's Michigan-based Fairlane Business Park, was spotted with a Model 3, reports Electrek. It's not clear what Ford is planning to do with the car, but it appears to have been at the facility for at least a month, according to a dated sticker inside of the windshield.

The Model 3 has a sensor stuck to its windshield and the cameras on the vehicle have been taped over, likely to avoid potential snooping. Not much else is known about Ford's intentions with the Model 3, but one thing is for sure: Tesla has tech that Ford wants.

Tesla has actually already been subjected to an engineering firm tearing down the Model 3. The company called its quality something akin to a Kia in the '90s, something which Ford can use to their advantage before moving into the designing phase of their next electric vehicle. In all fairness, it could have been worse. Mercedes-Benz had once rented a Model X and completely tore it apart over a seven-week period; the Model 3 in question at least appears to be intact.

Ford is late to the electric car game, but thankfully not nearly as late to the game as Chrysler. Late last year, Ford gathered a group of engineers it called Team Edison (likely a hat tip to Henry Ford's historic friendship with Thomas Edison) to fast-track Detroit's entry into EV dominance. Elsewhere in the world, Ford hasn't given up hope either. It has partnered with firms in India and China to build its presence worldwide.