Tesla has announced the $35,000 Tesla Model III for 2017

Electric-car manufacturer Tesla might be dreaming up an alternative world in which we all drive electric cars, but its next model will be very much based on the world we’re currently living in. Tesla’s next car model, called the Tesla Model III, is directly aimed at taking on the new electric BMW 3 Series, the company confirmed today to trade publication AutoExpress. This new car will be smaller, likely by 20 percent, than its sedan model, the Model S. Tesla will unveil the Model III in 2016, and the car will go on sale by 2017. The new car will also most likely be re-engineered by Tesla’s British engineering head Chris Porritt, formerly of Aston Martin. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk confirmed that he expects the new car to have a range of 200 miles, just like the Model S.

Late Tuesday night, Tesla Motors confirmed that a third-generation car called the Model III will be coming in 2017. The car will cost a mere $35,000, half the price of the popular Model S. The pricing will position the vehicle to compete with the BMW 3-series. Tesla’s confirmation came in a Tweet, responding to to an exclusive article by Auto Express magazine, which wrote: “Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has exclusively revealed to Auto Express plans for a new electric BMW 3 Series rival, including its name – Tesla Model III. There were rumours that a new smaller Tesla was to be called Model E, but in one of his most candid interviews yet, Musk revealed why he had to have a rethink on the name. “We had the model S for sedan and X for crossover SUV, then a friend asked what we were going to call the third car,” Musk told us. “So I said we had the model S and X, we might as well have the E.” The Model 3 is technically Tesla’s fourth car, scheduled to hit the market after the Model X. The X is a seven passenger ”crossover” vehicle. The vehicle is rumored to have a range of less than 306 miles (the current range of the Model S). Earlier this year, Elon Musk spoke about the vehicle noting that it would be 20 percent smaller than the Model S, with a shorter range. Auto Express posted photos of the new car, which Tesla says are mock-ups based on Auto Express speculation.

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