Tesla Chief Designer says the BMW i3 is like a piece of IKEA furniture

2014 BMW i3
2014 BMW i3

Electrifying revelations

Tesla must be feeling the pressure from the BMW i3 as the company's chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, has likened the model to a piece of IKEA furniture.

Speaking to Autobild, von Holzhausen said he considers the i3 "the myth of the Ultimate Driving Machine" as he isn't sure that it meets the "basic standards of the brand." While he did compliment the modern interior, he said the car looks a "bit strange and unconventional" which is unnecessary because the proportions and electric powertrain are unique enough. In particular, his IKEA swipe is noteworthy because Tesla has previously said they prefer "buying low cost desks from IKEA, rather than spending large sums of money on architectural and interior design."

Besides talking about the i3, von Holzhausen said the company is putting the finishing touches on the Model X and has started work on their entry-level sedan. Speaking of the latter, the designer said the car won't look like a smaller Model S because we "do not want a unit face like Audi."

Source: Autobild

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Comments (33)

eaksoy eaksoy
Have you seen a Tesla in flesh? It might look cool and luxurious on the pictures but the materials used and the build quality is pretty bad. It's just another american car with batteries. No one should give a crap about what Tesla said on BMW i . If BMW can't deliver a good EV, then no one can. It's that simple. You got to respect BMW for what it is. It's an almost 100 year old company known for perfection in its cars. It's not a techy car start-up bubble founded by a geek in California. So shut up Tesla.
Dec 10th, 2013 10:20pm
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Ceramic Rabbit Ceramic Rabbit
are you kidding? They are awesome in person... the interior design on the i3 is amazing, though I haven't seen it in person it is my favorite part of the car.
Dec 11th, 2013 2:38am
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dbehmoaras dbehmoaras
It's kind of tactless to trash a competitor like that, given how young the market for these cars is. It is in the best interest of Tesla to champion all electric cars, to the grow the market as a whole. I realize that they are competitors, but the growth prospects are vast enough that all of the major participants will benefit, especially since Tesla is poised to be the market leader of this segment, anyway. That's just bad PR, if you ask me. Furthermore, BMW is a veteran at building overall excellent cars that, like it or not, sell very well (that's what really matters, right?). This is not a battle that Tesla should be starting, at least not yet.
Dec 10th, 2013 6:49pm
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kenchan kenchan
No matter how good Tesla is, when BMW, Toyota, GM, Ford, Honda, Mercedes Benz, and VW are seriously gearing up for hybrid/ EV market, I don't think the tiny Tesla can survive independently for long.
Dec 10th, 2013 5:49pm
0 0
deez deez
wow, this guy sounds threatened and insecure. he should focus on his own designs- they need help
Dec 10th, 2013 1:11am
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Noah Noah
He's damn right!
Dec 9th, 2013 11:26pm
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///AMG ///AMG
i dont understand why this idiot disrespects other companies? BMW is a world brand with years of experience. in this branch you cannot disrespect other companies. tesla s, is until now a great car, but youll never know what happens tomorrow. tesla s and x will get competitors from german car companies and the others. this is just a beginning, or just the beginning of the beginning as churchill said
Dec 9th, 2013 5:04pm
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cata cata
Although the comparison is a bit immature, i agree in part with the remarks. I mean ok, the front end design looks really nice, a bit out of the box for bmw, in line with a niche small car, and preserving the identity for their "i" line up (see the superb i8); the back to me is just plain, nothing out of ordinary. But the side: omfg! it looks just stupid in my opinion! that broken sideline for the windows to me looks just horrible. Whereas for the i8 falls really nice with the rest of the design, here it looks like a chainsaw passed through the middle of the car splitting it in half, added a new different sized window, and then glueing it together. I may be too conservative, a sign of getting older, but hell that's un ugly piece of design. And saying that Tesla must be feeling the heat; to me it sounds like: ok, let's see what our comptetition has against us! Ahahaha! They came up with this???? From BMW? are they joking? This is an insult! ....in fact they don't have to worry about i3 at all! they are right to mock it! in a recent test by autobild the i3 against nissan leaf and renault zoe, although being 1st from the german point of view regarding quality of built materials, it has less interior space, more money and less range than the other 2 (wich was a mere 100 km, compared to 380km that Tesla has). No way this is in the same league as Tesla. BMW may be a leader in CI engines, but Tesla rules the electric world today. More likely they are frustrated that i8 is getting so much attention even though it is just a hybrid whereas their cars much more advanced technologicaly (full electric) are not getting the full aknowledgement and attention. And they are right!
Dec 9th, 2013 1:13pm
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motorfan28 motorfan28
I wouldn't complain about IKEA, they may be cheap but hey....their a multi-billion dollar company...same goes for BMW...they gotta be doing something right
Dec 9th, 2013 6:00am
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render render
BMW i3 is much better than any Tesla, but unfortunately Franz von Holzhausen is right about its looks...
Dec 8th, 2013 5:33pm
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Paulds Paulds
At least the I3 doesn`t burn suddenly... Envy?
Dec 7th, 2013 9:02pm
7 6
CDspeed CDspeed
The Tesla doesn't burn suddenly, the three fires were actually the result of accidents. One involved hitting a tree at speed, the other two involved large metal road debris. One hit a metal trailer hitch and the other hit a spare tire holder off a 18 wheel semi truck.
Dec 8th, 2013 6:04pm
1 1
i3 i3
LOL pure ignorant hater. the Tesla's hit objects at high speeds puncturing the armor plate underneath breaching some battery cells, electric fires dont blow up, they just continue to burn and can easily be put out, the passenger cabin wasnt breached so 5 adults and 2 kids could have bee sitting in the tesla while the front was on fire and they would have been perfectly fine
Dec 9th, 2013 12:48am
1 1
tomi.ro tomi.ro
it seems american roads are filled with extremely dangerous metal objects that appear only in front of tesla vehicles.
Dec 9th, 2013 9:48am
0 0
CDspeed CDspeed
It could happen to anyone, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJUWXRWK4xs
Dec 9th, 2013 12:35pm
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Paulds Paulds
When you critice like this, it is only because you are worried and jealous...
Dec 9th, 2013 6:48pm
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ScottCampbell ScottCampbell
It will be interesting to see the 2015 MB B class EV with the Tesla based power train vs the i3. The whole EV market is starting to move with all the car companies starting to compete. The Rav 4 EV is actually a smaller version of the Model X leasing now in California as a test mule.
Dec 7th, 2013 7:39pm
1 0
tuga tuga
How about selling your cars on their strong points instead of talking crap about other car companies?
Dec 7th, 2013 4:52pm
5 1
All I can say about these comments coming from tesla all of the sudden is that it's clearly showing that tesla is feeling the pressure and is definitely threaten by the BMW i3! All they are doing here is making themselves look arrogant and childish. Not to mention free advertisement for BMW every time they do this stupid and non related comparisons. I don't hear BMW or Nissan making childish comments between each other's cars. Grow up tesla, this is not high school anymore, if every time there is a new EV in the market, you will act like a 15 yr old jealous girl, then might as well close the shop and do something else.
Dec 7th, 2013 11:16am
9 1
Renyeo Renyeo
Ikea is obviously ain't as cool as Apple. Lol
Dec 7th, 2013 7:36am
2 0
stnz stnz
Franz's comments are a bit rich as Tesla design is neither contemporary or evolutionary (they resemble a 90's Mazda). Maybe he prefers the FLAMED design?
Dec 7th, 2013 5:49am
2 4
tomi.ro tomi.ro
they need to be efficient, serious, stable...they don't look quaint at all..please provide 90s mazda pictures
Dec 8th, 2013 4:12am
0 2
tomi.ro tomi.ro
http://image.motortrend.com/f/roadtests/sedans/1110_2012_tesla_model_s_first_ride/34071035/2012-Tesla-Model-S-passengers-side-front-three-quarters.jpg ... if this looks 1990s then you lived in a parralel world, where the future was earlier
Dec 8th, 2013 4:13am
1 3
tomi.ro tomi.ro
could the downvoters please argument with something their downvotes, not just hate voting?!
Dec 9th, 2013 9:49am
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bert2578 bert2578
I think its a nice looking car. BMW did the right thing
Dec 7th, 2013 3:08am
5 4
peterjames7 peterjames7
Odd as the model x has a tesla face ie its the same as the model s
Dec 7th, 2013 12:07am
4 1
ValdesArtHouse ValdesArtHouse
He has a point. The i3 does not look like an ultimate driving machine. Electric or not. The Ikea comment might be taken as an insult if you don't like their look, but as an adjective is not inaccurate.
Dec 6th, 2013 11:56pm
8 2
CDspeed CDspeed
They bragged about how much they saved buying IKEA furniture, so it's good enough for Tesla's offices but somehow they're now using IKEA's name as an insult. Doing a little gloating are we?
Dec 6th, 2013 11:32pm
2 1
tomi.ro tomi.ro
well, you don't need to work in a mayback to make premium cars. a versatile and ergonomic working space is what it takes. on the other hand cars have a different destiantion, and a premium brand should not offer "ikea" like cars
Dec 6th, 2013 10:49pm
4 2
CDspeed CDspeed
A better way to describe it is, minimalist, or modernist.
Dec 6th, 2013 11:36pm
5 1
tomi.ro tomi.ro
describing what? the i3?
Dec 6th, 2013 11:58pm
3 1
CDspeed CDspeed
You said IKEA like cars, I'm just saying you could call it modernist which tends to be the style of both the i3 and IKEA.
Dec 7th, 2013 12:05am
2 1
tomi.ro tomi.ro
but the i3 is nowhere close to minimalism...on a personal note i like the design on the front and side, but i'm disturbed by the rear end...i see some sort of a "angler fish" there...it's like it had a rear end and somebody chopped it off and drew up something in a hurry
Dec 7th, 2013 1:03am
2 2