In an exclusive interview with AutoExpress, Elon Musk revealed that the car formerly known as the Tesla Model E will actually be called the Tesla Model 3. With a starting priced of around $35,000 and a promised driving range of at least 200 miles, Musk also revealed details about an upcoming upgrade for the Tesla Roadster.
As was widely reported, Tesla had indeed been seeking to trademark the “Model E” moniker, though Ford shot that down, claiming they wanted to use that trademark for themselves. Doubtful, but that certainly didn’t stop Musk, who says the new car will instead be called the Model 3. For those of you well versed in “1337” speak, 3 can be translated to E, meaning there will be the Model S, Model X, and Model 3…or S 3 X. Oh Elon, you speak for my oh-so-nerdy-soul.
Musk says that the Model 3 will be represented by three bars, though whether those bars are vertical (III) or horizontal (≡) he didn’t specify, S-E-X lives on…in a way. More importantly, Musk confirmed that the Model 3 will have a “realistic” driving range of 200 miles and a price of $35,000, giving it the same range but at about half the cost as the entry level Tesla Model S.
The Tesla CEO also promised strong performance, saying: “We want people to fall in love with their car and look forward to driving it.” And yes, the Tesla Model 3 will be compatible with the free Supercharger network, meaning fast and free refilling for consumers the world over. It will also be about 20% smaller and will use a 48 kWh battery pack for motivation of a primarily steel body structure.
Musk also dropped hints about the previously-mentioned Tesla Roadster upgrade, saying a new battery pack could give the two-seat sports car a range of 400 miles or more. That’s almost double the 245 miles the Roadster is officially rated at, and could be a tidy hold over until an actual Roadster successor hits the market sometime after the Model 3.
I knew my next new car was going to be a Tesla, and now I know what it’ll be called…the Model 3. Not the best name in the world admittedly, but I can work with it.