Qwest, a boutique coachbuilder headquartered in the southern U.K. county of Norfolk, is doing something no one else in the world has thought of: turning the Tesla Model S electric sport sedan into a station wagon.
It certainly doesn’t seem like a design that was ever on the radar for Elon Musk, the Tesla founder who seems more keen on expanding into SUVs and even semi trucks. But Qwest has found an audience for its idea, attracting the attention of Model S owners from across Europe.
That’s not surprising, given that body style remains popular there in spite of the crossover craze gripping the global marketplace.
Qwest used computer aided design (CAD) to draw up how the car would look, and makes the structure it adds to the car out of lightweight carbon fibre.
The process takes 10 weeks per car, and Qwest says it can crank out 25 of these conversions every year.
While they say it’s “not a very long process, really,” their work has revealed a shortcoming in Tesla’s quality control, that being “slight differences” between the first two donor cars that went under the knife to receive the long-roof treatment. It’s possible Qwest’s workmanship is better than that which went into the Model S in the first place.
Qwest envisions offering three packages to its Tesla wagon customers, each one tailored to a different lifestyle. The base configuration simply turns the car into a wagon with a nicely-finished cargo area, while a Surf version caters to people who enjoy water sports; and a Forest arrangement would include touches that lend themselves to hobbies that involve getting dirty in the woods.
Ultimately, however, every car will be bespoke, so Qwest will do whatever a customer is willing to pay for.
Qwest will soon take delivery of Tesla’s smaller Model 3 to evaluate the possibility for a similar conversion to that car, but they say they don’t foresee much of a market given that smaller car’s lower price.