Tesla really is a unique automaker. Usually when a new model is confirmed, there are big press announcements touting a company's latest, greatest vehicle and everything it can do for consumers. Elon Musk's electric car company likes to do things a little differently, though. Instead, the CEO gave an interview about its long-awaited entry-level offering, the Model III, to the UK's Auto Express and confirmed the story on its Facebook page.
Corporate statements doesn't get much simpler and to the point that that. The smaller, cheaper Model III will be aimed against compact premium sedans like the BMW 3 Series and will be unveiled in 2016 before actually going on sale in 2017. According to Musk, the new vehicle will offer a 200-mile range and will carry a price tag of around $35,000.
Musk told Auto Express, Tesla was seriously planning to call it the Model E, until Ford disputed the 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," he said.
Sadly, Musk didn't reveal any other technical details about the Model III. However, it's rumored to be about 20-percent smaller than the Model S. To save money, the platform reportedly uses a more steel-intensive construction than its big brother, and the battery packs are likely to come from the Tesla Gigafactory.
Musk also let slip one last detail while speaking to Auto Express. It turns out that the rumored update for the Roadster is entirely real and involves an upgraded battery pack available to existing owners to boost range from the current 245 miles to around 400 miles. He didn't say when the modification would be available, though.