No one except Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the pilots of his Gulfstream 650ER private jet knew where the plane was headed after the visit to the Gigafactory Berlin. Everyone thought their current tour in Germany was over when suddenly the jet landed at the Braunschweig (Brunswick) airport.
Chairman of the Volkswagen Management Board and the ex-CEO of the company Herbert Diess was waiting to welcome Elon Musk. He wanted to show his long time friend from the United States the German Tesla Model 3 competitor, the VW ID.3 electric car.
Herbert Diess posted the following video of Elon Musk test driving the VW ID.3 EV while he was sitting in the passenger seat answering Elon’s questions about the car’s features and specs.
The video also shows the following text transcript of the interesting conversation between the two sought-after automotive industry leaders:
Herbert Diess: You know this is a mainstream car. Not a race machine.
Elon Musk: Yeah, I just wanted to see what the acceleration is like.
Herbert Diess: The steering is nice.
Elon Musk: I think for a non-sporty car it’s pretty good.
Elon Musk: What’s the battery pack size?
Herbert Diess: It is 55 to 83 (kWh).
Elon Musk: Okay.
Elon Musk: What’s the worst that could happen?
Elon Musk: Does it have any lane following function or anything like that?
Herbert Diess: Yes it has. We have the typical German state-of-the-art lane-keeping and emergency assist systems.
Herbert Diess: The lane-keeping is working quite nicely.
Herbert Diess: You can turn around here.
Elon Musk: I just turn around here (The car enters a building and video ends as both guys get out of the car).
The Volkswagen Group, later on, thanked Elon Musk officially for visiting and driving the ID.3.
Herbert himself thanked Elon Musk in a public post on Linked by saying:
Thanks for the visit, Elon! Hope you like the video. It was great driving the ID.3 with you! You were just quite critical with the available torque at higher speed. I told you: “Yes, we are on the runway – but no need for take off – its not a sports car.” For this you should try our Porsche Taycan. Looking forward to our next meeting!Herbert Diess via LinkedIn
This sparked a frenzy of speculations that Tesla and VW might be joining hands for a future project or a collaboration. But Herbert Diess dismissed all of these thoughts with the following statement on his official LinkedIn profile, he said:
Just to be clear: We just drove the ID.3 and had a chat – there is no deal/cooperation in the making.Herbert Diess via LinkedIn
As Elon Musk said in his Giga Berlin interview that he will be visiting Germany often, we can expect more interaction between Elon Musk and Herbert Diess / Tesla and Volkswagen in the near future.