Tesla Motors Names Its Smaller, Cheaper Electric Car: Model III

The smaller, cheaper version of Tesla Motors' Model S luxury sedan finally has an official name: the new mid-size car will be called the Model III.

In a "world exclusive", British car magazine Auto Express quotes Tesla Motors boss and founder Elon Musk telling a story he's told before, but with a new ending:

"We were going to call it Model E for a while and then Ford sued us saying it wanted to use the Model E -- I thought this is crazy, Ford’s trying to kill sex! So we’ll have to think of another name.

"The new model is going to be called Model III, we’ll have three bars to represent it and it’ll be S III X!"

Auto Express's pictures of what initially seem like the Model III are actually fan renderings by RM.Designs, the automotive illustrator Remco Meulendijk. The renderings show a shorter car with a cut-down boot and a bodyline reminiscent of the BMW 3 Series with which the Model III will compete.

If the new car is 20 per cent smaller than the Model S as long-swirling rumours suggest, the renderings look accurate -- although the new Model X crossover SUV has a more evolved design than the 2010 Model S and another two years could see the newest car look markedly different. [Auto Express]

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