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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tesla’s electric 3-series rival on sale in 2015

Work on Tesla’s third model line — a range of cars to rival the BMW 3-series — is under way. Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, confirmed that the first of the new models could launch as early as 2015.

Tesla has just started deliveries of its new Model S saloon, and will put the Model S-based Model X SUV into production late next year.

“The third model will continue to drive down the price point as fast as possible,” said von Holzhausen. He indicated a target price for the new entry-level car of $30,000 (£19,000).

Von Holzhausen also admitted that the new model will boast more distinctive styling than the relatively conventional Model S. “We will become more experimental as we develop as a brand,” he said. “Our cars need to have some personality.”

The Tesla platform, which locates the batteries in a 10cm-high stack below the cabin floor, offers plenty of flexibility. “There are lots of ways in which we can exploit the platform,” said Von Holzhausen. “There will be a time and place for us to develop something around a pick-up. That’s a market for which the torque of an electric motor would be ideally suited.”

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