Skip advert
Advertisement

Tesla Model III could spawn SUV and estate

Tesla's Model 3 compact executive car will lead a new range of smaller electric models to take the fight to BMW and Audi

Tesla has revealed that its new BMW 3 Series rival, the Tesla Model 3, will spawn a number of derivatives that could include an SUV and an estate in order to attract a broader spread of customers.

British-born Chris Porritt, Tesla’s vice president for engineering, told us the new small Tesla – expected to be revealed in 2016 for a 2017 launch, and hinted at in our exclusive images – is still in the early stages of development and that nothing is being ruled out.

Advertisement - Article continues below

“We don’t know what type of customer we’re trying to appeal to yet, but we want to speak to more customers… Lots of them!” he said. “We’ve got specific customers for Model S, we have an idea with Model X, but we need to appeal to more people with Model III.

"We want this car to be £30,000 to £35,000 with derivatives which will appeal to all sorts of people. SUVs, estates – who knows?”

Achieving pricing targets will be crucial for the Model III, and Tesla’s future as a whole, Porritt explained: “The type of technology we have now is quite expensive. To enable us to sell Model III for a more cost-effective price, we need to take the 
cost of building it down as well.

UK Tesla owners create power-sharing network

“We’ve got to be more efficient in the way we build it and we will have to use more cost-effective materials and/or be cleverer with the materials we use.”

A new Gigafactory, based just outside Reno in Nevada, will allow Tesla to mass produce batteries at a cheaper rate, but maintain the extended range for which the larger, 5 Series-rivalling Model S has become famous. Expect a range of between 200 and 300 miles for the Model III compact electric saloon, while Tesla is aiming for a total volume of “well over 200,000 a year”.

Beyond the Model III, Porritt was coy about a new sports car to replace the Tesla Roadster, but he didn’t rule it out. “We may do a Roadster or a sports car again, but at the moment we are on a trajectory to get more volume rather than focus on a specialist product,” he said.

Find out about the best electric cars you can buy now in our round-up story.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2024: new cars and highlights
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2024 - MG sculpture
News

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2024: new cars and highlights

2024’s Goodwood Festival of Speed was a celebration of over 130 years of engine tech, but it also looked well into the future
17 Jul 2024
UK new car buyers love a Mercedes-Benz but Ford is favourite when used
Mercedes A-Class - front cornering
News

UK new car buyers love a Mercedes-Benz but Ford is favourite when used

Data from YouGov’s BrandIndex shows that Mercedes-Benz is a top choice with new car buyers, with used buyers favouring Ford
2 May 2024
Tesla slashes Supercharger membership cost with 42 sites now open to all EVs
Tesla Superchargers
News

Tesla slashes Supercharger membership cost with 42 sites now open to all EVs

Tesla has cut the costs of its Supercharger Membership, which grants access to lower charging rates, by £2 per month
19 Apr 2024
‘BYD is rubbing salt into Tesla’s wounds’
Opinion - BYD
Opinion

‘BYD is rubbing salt into Tesla’s wounds’

Mike Rutherford thinks BYD’s superb start to 2024 is part of the reason Tesla’s market valuation has plummeted
28 Jan 2024

Most Popular

New EU worn tyre rules could save 400m tyres and £5.9 billion a year
Skoda Octavia heavy braking on a wet road surface
News

New EU worn tyre rules could save 400m tyres and £5.9 billion a year

Tyres at the 1.6mm legal minimum tread depth must still meet same performance standards as new tyres, says the EU
18 Jul 2024
New Kia Picanto 2024 facelift review: classy small car keeps big car appeal
Kia Picanto facelift UK - front
Road tests

New Kia Picanto 2024 facelift review: classy small car keeps big car appeal

Kia's revised Picanto city car remains a grown-up choice with plenty of appeal for buyers
19 Jul 2024
It’s a shame Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover or Rolls-Royce aren't good enough for the Prime Minister
Opinion - Bentley
Opinion

It’s a shame Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover or Rolls-Royce aren't good enough for the Prime Minister

Mike Rutherford looks back at a rollercoaster week in the automotive world
14 Jul 2024