Tesla Model III Confirmed, Coming in 2016

Tesla Model S Concept 1 photo
Photo: Tesla
In a recent post on the automaker's official Twitter account, Tesla Motors reveals that it has been "confirmed: our Gen III car," which is due to be launched after the Model X crossover, "will be named Model III." Elon Musk revealed that badging design will include three horizontal bars (or the Roman numeral "III").
It's a truly bewildering thing that the manufacturer's chief executive officer has offered exclusive details to a British motoring publication instead of an all-American one because the Tesla Model S has been launched in the U.K. a few weeks ago and this country isn't pushing as many vehicles as Norway, Europe's leading Tesla market.

Questionable media friendships aside, Elon Musk told AutoExpress that Tesla was "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."

First there was the Model S sedan, then there's the Model X, an all-wheel drive crossover with Falcon wing doors and two electric motors slated to be revealed later this year and go on sale in 2015. If the "E" moniker would've got through, than Tesla would've had a lineup of 3 nameplates: the S to the E and finally the X. Ahem...

Moving on, we're kind of glad that Tesla didn't go with the "E" because "III" has that bit of mysteriousness to it, even though the car will basically be an electric sedan, smaller than the Model S. Moreover, it'll be competitively priced against premium sedans such as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class or the Audi A4.

If you're into specifics, all we know is that the car will be 20 percent smaller than the Model S (which we reviewed in P85 flavor and found out it's pretty good at doing monster burnouts) and will retail at about $35,000 when Tesla will reveal it sometime in 2016. That low price is theoretically made possible by using cheaper battery packs, slated to be developed and assembled at the carmaker's yet-to-be-built Gigafactory.

The Model III is expected to boast a 200-mile plus range, while Elon Musk hopes that the sedan will rocket Tesla's yearly sales over the 100,000 mark, which would be a historic moment for vehicles that run only on electricity.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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