Elon Musk says his car company, Tesla, is preparing to build a new model, and he’s not talking about the Model 3 announced last month. This is another new Tesla to sit under the Model 3 at an even more accessible price.
Speaking at the Future Transport Solutions conference in Oslo, Musk said, “With something like the Model 3, it's designed such that roughly half of the people will be able to afford the car. Then, with fourth generation and smaller cars, we'll ultimately be in the position where almost everyone will be able to afford the car.”
Musk didn’t give anything away about a name or timeframe for the next Tesla model, though it’s safe to say Tesla has engineers deep into the project already. We should hear more about it once the Model 3 debuts in 2018.
Global pre-orders for Tesla Model 3 are now at almost 400,000, and there’s huge local interest according to Heath Walker, senior marketing and communications manager Tesla Australia.
When asked about the Aussie appetite for a new, cheaper Tesla, Walker said, “We had hundreds of people outside the door when [Model 3] pre-orders opened, if that’s any indication.”
“These people are not just lining up for a vehicle because it’s electric but because they believe in Tesla and the change [it wants] to make.”
A Tesla SUV called Model X is also on the way, set to arrive in Australia before the end of this year.
Tesla has issued voluntary recalls for Model X in overseas markets due to issues with the ‘falcon wing’ doors that open vertically and third-row seats that could fold over in an accident.
Walker says the recalls have not affected delivery of Model X to Australia as production of right-hand drive vehicles is yet to start.
“That’s one of the good things about being late to the market,” says Walker.
“The Australian market is ripe for Model X,” he says. “Model X and Model S are quite different here. We have only sold Model S as a five seat car, but Model X can come with seven, six or five seats.”
Model X is the fastest accelerating SUV ever built and can hit 0-100km/h in 3.3sec, though Walker says Model S is for performance buyers and always will be due to weight and stance differences between vehicles.
If you have time to watch all 35 minutes of the video of Musk speaking at the conference we would recommend it. Musk lets a few more hints slip about other major future ideas, including some sort of autonomous Tesla ‘bus’.