Tesla has started selling wraps for Model 3 and Model Y in seven different colors in its online shop and Tesla app.
Wraps are a popular way to customize a vehicle’s color without the cost and difficulty of a full repaint. It also has the benefit of protecting the paint underneath, keeping a vehicle from seeing ugly scratches or weather damage.
And with Teslas they are particularly popular, as the automaker makes few models and variations and the amount of possible customization that can be done to an electric car is lower, at least at the moment, than is the case in the well-established aftermarket for gas vehicles.
So companies like Unplugged Performance, TSportline and RPM Tesla have offered wraps as part of their customization services for Teslas trying to stand out from the crowd. There are plenty of other local shops that offer the same services in pretty much every market.
That changed today, as Tesla added wraps in 7 different colors for the Model 3 and Y, along with a clear wrap, to its online store.
The clear wrap is $5,000 for each vehicle, and lets the car’s natural paint color shine through, while protecting it from chips and scratches.
But the color wraps give you a chance to try out a new color for your car, without having to buy a whole new one.
Tesla describes these wraps thusly:
Wrap your Model 3 or Model Y in one of our premium Color Wraps, only available through Tesla. Offered in seven exclusive colors, this self-healing urethane-based film protects the paint beneath from chips, scratches and swirling.
These cost either $7,500 or $8,000, depending on the color, including installation at a participating Tesla service center.
Available colors are Slip Grey, Satin Ceramic White, Satin Stealth Black for $7,500; and Glacier Blue, Forest Green, Satin Rose Gold, and Crimson Red for $8,000. Apparently stepping outside of monochrome and into the color spectrum adds just a little extra price.
Here’s a slideshow of all the factory-available colors:
Recently, Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck has been spotted in a variety of colorful wraps, leading to speculation that the company might start offering wraps. We expected to see wraps show up as a Cybertruck option, especially given that the truck’s stainless steel body won’t be paintable.
To see the wraps, head over to Tesla’s online shop or open your Tesla app. They’re only available to Model 3 and Y vehicles of model year 2023 or later and on the newest version of the Tesla app. Currently, Tesla says that only two service centers are participating in installation – West Covina and Carlsbad, CA (though we can imagine more will join if the product proves popular) – and installation “may take five to seven business days from the time that you drop off your vehicle.”
While it’s nice to see Tesla offering a factory wrap, frankly, this is a little underwhelming to me.
First, the colors are all pretty subdued, or are close to what’s already available as a factory paint color. It’s already possible to get a Tesla in white, black, red, or grey (though a much darker grey, and a much lighter red, at least until Ultra Red rolls out), so those offerings don’t really give you much new. In that case, why not just order the underlying paint color in the first place, and even if you put a clear wrap on it for $5,000, it’s still cheaper than getting a wrap that’s similar to a factory color.
The other colors that differ from factory colors are more interesting to me, but even then Tesla has picked some fairly safe choices. There are many cars available in something like Glacier Blue, and while green is a pretty rare car color these days, Tesla used to sell something like Forest Green on the early Model S.
That said, the satin white/black offerings are still different in terms of finish. Matte wraps are popular and add a lot of character to a car, though can be more difficult to clean. Satin is a midway point between standard glossy paint and matte, but we’ll have to see the Tesla wraps in person to see where it lands on this midway point.
The only color that really stands out to me is the Satin Rose Gold. Between the satin finish and the rose gold color, this one actually seems “custom,” and makes somewhat of a statement.
Second, all of these are pretty costly. Maybe I just haven’t priced out a wrap recently, but this strikes me as if it’s erring towards the high end of vehicle wrap pricing.
Having a “factory wrap” installed by the manufacturer is nice since you know it will be done properly (though it seems it gets installed at the service center, not out of the factory), but if I could get one that’s a little more custom, from a dedicated Tesla installer, and for cheaper, I would probably take that option, personally.
Now, a lot of this is just down to taste, and you may really like one of the colors offered. But I still think it wouldn’t have killed them to get a little more adventurous with these.