Tesla has run figurative roughshod over the performance EV market for the last several years, but the American automaker wants an even bigger piece of the pie.
Auto Express is reporting that the brand’s upcoming Model III sedan, which will be revealed in 2016, could spawn SUV and wagon derivatives. Chris Porritt, Tesla’s Vice President of Vehicle Engineering, says diversification could allow the manufacturer to reach new demographics, expanding the company’s influence.
“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,” he said. “SUVs, estates – who knows?”
As far as cost, Porritt anticipates the Model III to be significantly cheaper than the Model S’ $69,000 base, with prices staying competitive with the BMW 3 Series’ $32,950 MSRP.
“We want this car to be £30,000 to £35,000, with derivatives which will appeal to all sorts of people,” he continued.
To keep costs down, Tesla is currently constructing a massive, state-of-the-art Gigafactory in Storey County, Nevada. The Gigafactory will be responsible for the Model III’s batteries, as well as employing 6,500 workers.
“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.”
Originally called the Model E to complete Tesla’s ‘S – E –X’ lineup, the Model III was eventually renamed after a complaint by Ford.
Rounding out Tesla’s range is the Model X, a family-friendly SUV due out in spring 2015. The all-wheel drive X will feature unique ‘falcon-wing’ doors, two trunks, and seating space for seven. Despite the SUV’s size and weight, Tesla estimates it will be capable of a 0 to 60 mph sprint in less than five seconds.
(Model III rendering by RM Design)