California-based automaker announces their Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle which will launch in 2017 to compete against the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The mid-sized luxury sedan designed to electrify this premium segment will also take on Jaguar’s upcoming XE model and of course, the Audi A4.
The car will cost a mere $35,000, half the price of the popular Model S.
Tesla’s confirmation came in a Tweet, responding to to an exclusive article by Auto Express magazine, which wrote:
Rendering Tesla Model E
Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has exclusively revealed to Auto Express plans for a new electric BMW 3 Series rival, including its name – Tesla Model III. There were rumours that a new smaller Tesla was to be called Model E, but in one of his most candid interviews yet, Musk revealed why he had to have a rethink on the name. “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,” Musk told us. “So I said we had the model S and X, we might as well have the E.
Tesla was looking to name their third vehicle Model E to compliment its existent Model S and upcoming Model X vehicles, but a Ford lawsuit has killed off the moniker.
“We were going to call it Model E for a while and then Ford sued us saying it wanted use the Model E,” company founder and CEO Elon Musk told Auto Express.
“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 in and it will be S III X.”
Model 3 will be most likely to be based on an all-new platform rather than a cut-down version of the one underpinning the Model S and Model X. The new technology will be the brainchild of Tesla’s British engineering chief Chris Porritt, who used to work with Aston Martin.
Musk also confirmed that he expected the new car to have a realistic range of over 200 miles with strong performance, like the Model S.