Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has officially confirmed it. The EV maker said in a tweet that its Gen III mass market car will be named Model III. In an interview with Auto Express, Tesla founder Elon Musk said the all-electric Model III will challenge BMW 3 series. The San Francisco-based company is scheduled to launch Model X crossover next year.
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Tesla had to withdraw the trademark for Model E
Auto Express said the third-generation car will be unveiled in 2016, and go for sale in 2017. Previously, there were reports that the mass market car will be named Model E. In fact, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) had even applied to trademark the name “Model E.” The company has already launched Model S, and the Model X is currently in the works. Tesla wanted to name the next car Model E to complete the word “S-E-X.”
That didn’t go down well with Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F). The Michigan-based automaker threatened to sue Tesla if it named that car Model E. So, Tesla withdrew its trademark filing in May this year. In a candid interview, billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk said Ford has killed “S-E-X.” Anyway, Musk said the new name will represent ‘E’ with three bars, and it will be S III X.
Tesla Model III to retail at $35,000
The mass market car won’t be a cut-down version of the Model S or Model X. Instead, it will be based on an all-new platform. Recent reports suggest that the third-generation car will be 20% smaller than the current Model S, and will be priced at $35,000. However, the car’s range will be less than 306 miles offered by Model S.
The confirmation came just a day after Chinese Internet security giant Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU) claimed that it had identified a software flaw in Tesla Model S. The Chinese company has informed Tesla about it.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares were up 0.63% to $221 at 10:44 AM EDT on Wednesday.