It’s finally happening. Elon Musk has just announced an upcoming addition to the Tesla Motors lineup – the US$35,000 Model III (as in the roman numeral for 3) for 2017. Set for a full reveal in 2016, the Model 3 takes aim at the BMW 3 Series market. The US$35K range will probably translate to $40,000 of our money going by the current approximately 15 percent price gap between current US and Canadian pricing for the Model S 70D – US$75K vs CDN$87K, respectively.
The Model 3 is said to be about 20 percent smaller than the Model S but will cost half as much. According to Auto Express, first to break the story, the Model 3 sedan will be in the $35,000 range making it the first legitimately affordable Tesla to date.
Currently, Tesla has a Model S and a Model X (yet to be released after several delays) in their lineup so you’d imagine the new model – following Tesla’s current nomenclature – would be called the Model E, wouldn’t you.
But speaking with Auto Express, Musk says that “We had the model S for sedan and X for crossover SUV, then a friend asked what we were going to call the third car. So I said we had the model S and X, we might as well have the E. So we were going to call it model E for a while and then Ford sued us saying it wanted to use the Model E – I thought this is crazy, Ford’s trying to kill sex! So we’ll have to think of another name. The new model is going to be called Model 3, we’ll have three bars to represent it and it’ll be S III X!”
The Model 3 will have a realistic range of over 200 miles or 320 kilometres with strong performance like the Model S. Read: Fast and fun to drive. Musk says “We want people to fall in love with their car and look forward to driving it,” he tells Auto Express.
No further information is available on the Model 3 (III) as of yet but Musk says the lower price point is possible due to better and cheaper battery technology being made available by Tesla’s forthcoming Gigafactory. The new Gigafactory will manufacture and produce batteries for all Tesla products, including the new Powerwall home battery system.