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.


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  • 141 Comments
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 5 Months Ago
      I'm sure BMW will be thrilled about this...
      Technoir
      • 5 Months Ago
      Interesting how they have letters (S) and numbers (3) in their assortment. I wish the car was unveiled in 2015, not 2016....that's a long wait from now.
        dfkd
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        Only because Ford owns "Model E" which is what they originally wanted to name it.
          skoobey
          • 5 Months Ago
          @dfkd
          You know what people said when the first X5 was introduced? Don't make it a 5, we love our 5 series. Model 3 is not the same name as 3 Series. Just like C class and Citroen C series have nothing in common.
        skoobey
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        You mean like BMW does? X1 1 X3 3... i8?
      That Guy
      • 5 Months Ago
      I hope for an outrageous 35k it comes with fancy, flame retardant gloves to push it off the road. 200 miles is pathetic. I don't think there is a gas engine car produced today that has such a terrible range. Long live the internal combustion engine.
        Brian
        • 5 Months Ago
        @That Guy
        You're definitely that guy...
        • 5 Months Ago
        @That Guy
        Long live the horse drawn carriage.
        m_2012
        • 5 Months Ago
        @That Guy
        Wow, you are seriously ignorant or just retarded. 200 miles, every morning without having to go to a filthy gas station to make some foreigners rich. So much less maintenance. The ICE is dead junior. It has ZERO advantages over electric. Zero.
          ScottT
          • 5 Months Ago
          @m_2012
          I would say the ability to refuel a car in under 3 minutes is an advantage of an ICE. That's ONE. So is the ability to get long ranges without refueling if so desired. That's TWO. For most people, they are still probably cheaper than comparable electric cars even considering fuel costs over a 5 year lifespan. That's THREE. Many people love the sound of an ICE. That's FOUR. I think the new EV's are amazing, but to say that ICE's have ZERO advantages over an EV is more than a little questionable. EV's may make sense for many or even most people, but there are still advantages today to an ICE.
          Actionable Mango
          • 5 Months Ago
          @m_2012
          ICE and EV both have their advantages and disadvantages. To say ICE has zero advantages shows that either you are either ignorant or lying.
        Majerus
        • 5 Months Ago
        @That Guy
        Your special huh..
        brotherkenny4
        • 5 Months Ago
        @That Guy
        Luddite.
      jphyundai
      • 5 Months Ago
      Great, a 400 mile battery pack would be even more energy dense and flammable than the previous battery pack. Just youtube tesla fires. This would only make it worse.
        NestT
        • 5 Months Ago
        @jphyundai
        Any battery pack is less flammable that gasoline or diesel. The rate of gasoline car fires is at least 4x than Tesla or any BEV. That ICEtards post lots of youtube videos does not change the statistics. That the media covers every Tesla accident worldwide but only covers gasoline car accidents when a celebrity dies or is severely injured does not change the statistics.
        Grendal
        • 5 Months Ago
        @jphyundai
        Troll. You don't care about fires at all. You just want to drum up Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. It takes a coward to use lies to achieve their goals. Try some factual reasons next time, troll.
      • 5 Months Ago
      No thanks, you can buy a Mercedes CLA with all the option on the list for $35,000 and have left over for small vacation.
        John Ward
        • 5 Months Ago
        First of all the get a CLA you'd actually want to spend time in you're going to be closer to 45k. Second the model s already has a better interior than the CLA so I imagine this will be on par. Third this thing is electric which isn't really comparable to the CLA but it's probably going to have torque close the the CLA45.
        FordGo
        • 5 Months Ago
        What? - Can you power that CLA with Solar? - Can you produce Zero emissions? - Can you buy AMERICAN, and stop the flow of funds to Saudi's funding Terrorists? - Can you create more American Jobs in the Utility industry? Nope.
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          @FordGo
          kinasi is a troll trying to create FUD. He already knows that it isn't true.
          • 5 Months Ago
          @FordGo
          You think EV have zero emissions? LMAO. Graphite / Lithium, all that mining causes pollution. And where does your energy come from? From Solar? Solar panels use lead and camium. Ever ate lead or cadmium? You'll quickly find out how green that stuff is. Tesla doesn't create american jobs, they asked billions of the US government and still owe billions to banks. Make your case when they're out of debt.
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          @FordGo
          Tesla owes $0.00 to the American taxpayer. The same cannot be said for GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Foreign companies like Mercedes and BMW receive assistance from their governments regularly in the billions.
          Technoir
          • 5 Months Ago
          @FordGo
          Kinasi You were brainwashed into believing that.
        RomanM
        • 5 Months Ago
        35k for FWD, no thanks.
          JakeY
          • 5 Months Ago
          @RomanM
          @Zoom I think he means the CLA (which is FWD). The Model 3 will definitely be RWD (like the Model S and i3). There's little to no cost-saving advantage to building a FWD EV when you are building one ground-up.
          clquake
          • 5 Months Ago
          @RomanM
          Audi A4 Prestige CVT FWD starts at $42,600. Your argument is invalid.
          John Ward
          • 5 Months Ago
          @RomanM
          While I would like to see Tesla make an AWD vehicle I don't think this price is too much for FWD.
        turbo_awd
        • 5 Months Ago
        CLA with all the options for $35K? HA HA HA! I got it to over $39K just on the FIRST page of options. All the options - $48K+. Never mind cost of ownership: you'll easily SAVE $1500/year on gas with an EV. After 5 years, that $35K bare-bones CLA will have cost you $42.5K. Model III probably gets a $5K tax credit, so $30K. Which one will have $$ left over for a BIG vacation? Hint: it's NOT the CLA...
        car-a-holic
        • 5 Months Ago
        You clearly miss the point. You might as well buy that "well optioned" front drive CLA.
        Koenigsegg
        • 5 Months Ago
        CLA = Crappy Lame Automobile, Ugly car, my knees touch the sides of the driver area and it uses gas.
      dfkd
      • 5 Months Ago
      He almost had S-E-X Thanks for ruining the most epic nomenclature ever Ford. On a more serious note though. This man is my hero. Total mancrush. Dude set out to be a revolutionary and he's pretty much doing it.
        waetherman
        • 5 Months Ago
        @dfkd
        S3X
        Serioso
        • 5 Months Ago
        @dfkd
        Hey! Hands off my mancrush! But seriously, the nerdy side of me is glad he got to stick it to Ford with 1337-speak.
      • 5 Months Ago
      2017? Why are they announcing stuff for 2017. BMW has a carbon fiber i3 out .. right now. Get with the program Tesla.
        purrpullberra
        • 5 Months Ago
        Well, lets see, does any other car manufacturer announce the cars they are going to build 3 years out? YES Do we know the future of Mercedes and BMW for instance? YES The car industry doesn't change just because you have an inferiority complex about EV's. You're really only outraged at yourself you know. Not Tesla or batteries or libtards.
        Grendal
        • 5 Months Ago
        The i3 is a great city car. Tesla intends to make a sedan to rival gas cars. There will be very minor cross shopping of these two.
      Johan
      • 5 Months Ago
      By 2017 BMW will have revealed a new generation 3-series, possibly with plug-in hybrid options similar to the BMW i7. Would rather just get a 3-series than a wannabe 3-series.
        PrintError
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Johan
        Although, honestly, I'd rock the hell out of an EV 3-series.
      rubmehard
      • 5 Months Ago
      BMW is POS German engineering. .. they break down all the time and they are expensive to fix. Yes everyone wants them for their euro look and semi Decent power train but that's about it. There is too much sugar coating when it comes to BMW. I 3 is too small and dorky looking and no middle class person can afford the I 8. Now 35k for an all electric car that is made specifically by an electric car company that is a very good deal. The battery packs can come off and be replaced with better ones once the technology comes out. So don't think 200 miles is permanent. Same thing with the S... When the III comes out they will compensate the people who bout the expensive S to be fair. Tesla is a good company. Tesla ftw.
        PrintError
        • 5 Months Ago
        @rubmehard
        I beg to differ, my BMW has 78,000 miles and besides a headlight bulb and disposables (fluids/brakes/tires), I haven't had to do a damn thing to it. It's by far one of the most reliable cars I've ever driven. My previous BMW had 106k when I sold it, and nothing had ever gone wrong with it either besides a dead battery and the same general disposables. For both of them, and the E30 BMW I had before those two, parts have been plentiful and inexpensive. Maintenance is extremely easy, and reliability is extremely high.
          timber
          • 5 Months Ago
          @PrintError
          Don't let facts ruin a good story
          m_2012
          • 5 Months Ago
          @PrintError
          Granted, it was a $300 bulb.
          clquake
          • 5 Months Ago
          @PrintError
          A $300 bulb that requires five hours for a technician to remove a panel that can only be removed with a special $2,000 tool that only fits that one model year.
        • 5 Months Ago
        @rubmehard
        $35,000 for a small car is ridiculous. You can buy a Mercedes CLA for $30,000 with options and have $5000 left over. And "shittiy BMW"...can only come from someone who doesn't has never owned a BMW. When Tesla competes in Formula 1, you can make that comment again. Until then, Tesla is a the POS brand, thank you very much, from a BMW M3 owner.
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          You'll feel silly when a Model III blows the doors off your M3. It won't be a base model but then again your M3 isn't one either. The most impressive thing about the Tesla drivetrain isn't the 100% torque at 0 MPH however. It's the fact that at 50 MPH you step on the accelerator and the car has 100% torque immediately. Even your M# needs to downshift for power which creates a lag. There is no lag in the Tesla at any point. That is where the car really shines over any ICE drivetrain.
          turbo_awd
          • 5 Months Ago
          Really - did you read the previous CLA thread (the one with the appearance package)? $30K CLAs (the "no options" model) is almost non-existant on dealer lots, and the fit and finish isn't that great.. $40K CLAs are much more the norm. Factor in a federal tax credit, AND the "HOV bonus" for CA (worth $1-2K/year for me easily), and it's a no-brainer.. Tesla S3 >> base BMW/Audi/MB
        Jon
        • 5 Months Ago
        @rubmehard
        "When the III comes out they will compensate the people who bout the expensive S to be fair." Compensate them how? Why do they need compensating? The Model S is a great car and still will be when the 3 comes out.
          NightFlight
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jon
          I didn't get that either, a really silly comment by the OP.
        550PlusX5
        • 5 Months Ago
        @rubmehard
        Haven't had any problems with my...Or for that matter, my audi and mercedes either... I suspect the people that have reliability issues with their german cars are the same ones that end up taking their cars to jiffy lube for "maintenence" lol...
      RomanM
      • 5 Months Ago
      If they'll do a stellar job like they did with the S, they'll crush BMW in sales. They are already crushing the 7-series in sales. I had a new 2006 3-series when the new shape just came out. And even though the car was excellent as far as performance, the interior and comfort level were seriously lacking. And the new ones are not much better, not a fan of the bimmer. Hopefully Tesla will refine their interior, theirs is lacking much as well, and its model S seriously lagging behind MB S-class. I think if they'll deliver another fresh product here, they'll have a tough time making them fast enough.
        Grendal
        • 5 Months Ago
        @RomanM
        I doubt that Tesla interiors will change drastically except the seat comfort will improve. I'm fairly certain the Model III will have a Spartan interior. I'm hoping that Tesla will offer an upgraded luxury interior for those that want it.
          Matt Mossberg
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          I agree the model III will have a conservative interior like the model s which IMO is quite fine. since it's two years out, I think quality of materials will rise a bit( as in better soft touch plastics)but I too would love to see a luxury package on the model s and the III. Having an optional jag xj or s class type interior with 2-300m range for both the III and for the model s would be insanely fantastic but I don't know if tesla would go for it because adding a couple hundred pounds of leather and aluminum to their cars would not be the best for range. I don't see tesla going that all out on a lux package but I can dream and realistically see a package as good as an audi a6. I agree with roman that the new 3 series at least in base trim is not that great. the difference sitting in an seemingly all optioned leather/aluminum/carbon fiber m3 trim to a base 328i is vast. But don't see how he thought the 3 series seats were uncomfortable.
        Matt Mossberg
        • 5 Months Ago
        @RomanM
        I don't think its fair to judge the model s interior to the MB s class which can easily exceed $140k and the upper model s models is only really going to the extra range, not refinement. The 7 series is having trouble selling more then just tesla. The new MB s class as well as the 7s aging body style (maybe even audis s/rs7 ) are all to blame on bmws premium sedan not doing so well.
      jamsbong
      • 5 Months Ago
      I am serious about considering a Tesla with 3 series pricetag. I think the 2016 is a good time frame because Tesla would have set up more of their supercharger stations which hopefully will reduce mileage anxiety.
      SteveM
      • 5 Months Ago
      Tesla will have my deposit the very day they start collecting them.
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