Tesla Motors is confirming previous plans for the Gen3 affordably priced mass market electric car, and has given us the official name: Model III (or perhaps Model 3). Hopefully everyone will stop saying “Model E” and now get on to debating whether the correct name is Model III or Model 3. The news came in an interview of Elon Musk by Auto Express. Tesla Motors confirmed the story with a posting on their Google+ page (embedded below).
Most of it was simply a rehash of previous statements Tesla Motors has said about their 3rd generation electric car. Namely, that the target MSRP is still $35,000 (before tax breaks), and that it will go on sale in 2017. An unveiling will occur in 2016. Driving range will be over 200 miles, and it will have strong performance.
It will be 20% smaller than the Model S. It will be an “all new platform”, because this is Tesla’s 3rd generation vehicle. The 1st generation was the Tesla Roadster, while the 2nd generation is the Model S and Model X (still due to launch sales in mid-2015). The Model S and Model X are roughly speaking the same vehicle, but with different upper parts, and some drive train differences.
According to AutoExpress, Tesla’s representatives clearly said the trademark is “Model III” with three bars. Already there is some confusion with various articles writing it as “Model 3”. Sigh. When you see these other authors calling it the Model 3, please point out to them their mistake.
Their article has Elon Musk retelling the story of why Tesla could not call it the Model E. Apparently Ford Motors wants to use that name, and sued Tesla to prevent Tesla from doing so. Which led Elon Musk to quip that Ford wants to kill SEX. And, by calling it the Model III, Tesla will have S III X.
What Tesla plans to do is to attack the market for the BMW 3 series, and that ilk. This is a large market, with plenty of automakers selling these upscale cars.
Because the Model X launch is slipping to mid-2015, I’m expecting the Model III launch to slip as well. But, the Auto Express article is confirming a 2017 launch for the Model III. Maybe Tesla can pull it off, but they do have a history of slipping their schedules.
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