Tesla has revealed that its next-generation electric car will be named Model 3, which is set to be unveiled publicly in 2016 and go on sale some time in 2017.
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Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk told Auto Express in an interview that the new vehicle will rival the BMW 3 Series. Though Musk wanted to name the car ‘Model E’ at first, his plans were derailed when Ford threatened to sue it, saying it wanted to use the name — so Model 3 it eventually became.
The Model 3 will be smaller than the Model S, with Musk saying it should retail for around $35,000 (or around £30,000 in the UK) due to the use of cheaper batteries that Tesla will likely build in its upcoming Gigafactory. Some of these details already surfaced at Musk’s earlier public appearances.
Musk also confirmed to Auto Express that the new car will have a “realistic range of over 200 miles with strong performance, like the Model S.”
Comparatively, the Model S with the 85 kWh battery pack costs $73,570 after factoring in $7,500 of federal tax credit — pinning the original price in the US at $81,070.
The imminent arrival of the Model 3 could speed up the adoption of electric cars simply because of its affordability. We still don’t know what the Model 3 looks like as yet, with Tesla clarifying that images used by Auto Express were “mock-ups based on their own speculation.”
Headline image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images