Tesla has confirmed a report from British news site AutoExpress that it will be rolling out its 3rd generation vehicle, to be called the Model 3, for sale in 2017.

It’s designed to challenge BMW’s 3-Series, the site says.

“The new car is rumoured to be about 20% smaller than the Model S,” AE says. “Key to the new model, which Musk said should retail for around $35,000 is cheaper battery technology made possible by Tesla’s forthcoming gigafactory.”

Musk is hoping his gigafactory battery manufacturing plants will double the world’s supply of lithium ion batteries.

Musk also told the site the Model 3 is likely to have a range of over 200 miles. “We want people to fall in love with their car and look forward to driving it,” he said. The Model S has a range of 300 miles.

Musk had alluded to most of this at Tesla’s 2013 shareholder meeting. But there’d been lots of speculation about what it would be called — Musk had once said it would be called the Model “E,” but was sued by Ford for rights, causing Musk to bemoan that Ford had killed SEX (Tesla’s first car was the Model X).

Click here to read the full story at AutoExpress »

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