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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Tesla dubs new small car Model 3, and keeps the S-E-X-Y dream alive



There's a big reason so many cars come branded with a combination of letters and numbers today rather than an actual name: Most of the good names are taken, and it's ever more difficult to find a word that resonates around the world.

 Tesla Motors went the simple route for its first two models, with the Model S for sedan, and Model X for crossover. Today, Tesla's Elon Musk revealed that the third, smaller sedan Tesla plans next will be called the Model 3 — and by doing so, will still keep a inside joke alive.

In an interview with Britain's AutoExpress, Musk fleshed out a few details of the Model 3, which he expects to go into production around 2017, once the Model X launches and Tesla's Gigafactory battery plant is in use. Tesla expects the Model 3 to have a 200-mile maximum range and a starting price tag of about $35,000, aiming for an all-electric competitor to entry-level luxury sedans like the BMW 3-Series.

Musk has long said that after naming the S and the X, the next model Tesla built should be called the Model E so that the lineup would spell S-E-X. The only hurdle: Ford, which feels somewhat aggressive about non-Ford cars named Model anything, and threatened a lawsuit should Tesla go ahead with the E nomenclature.

 So, Musk says for the Model 3, Tesla will represent it with three bars — spelling S-III-X instead.And there's one more reveal left. The Model 3 will get a new platform, which like the Model S will spawn a crossover variation. Tesla's already applied for and cleared a trademark name for that vehicle — the Model Y, ensuring that it has a sexy future.