With a new home battery just hitting the market, the Model S P85D kicking down supercar doors around the world, and a series of drone rockets (nearly) landing on drone ships, Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] CEO Elon Musk must be feeling pretty good about himself. By the time next March roles around, he’ll be even more smug: that’s when the upcoming Model 3 is expected to make its public debut.
We already knew the Model 3—or Model III, as it’s likely to be badged after a naming-rights fight with Ford canned the planned Model E name—would make its debut in 2016, but we didn’t know the month. Now we do.
The Model 3 is the car that will take the brand beyond the high-performance, luxury status earned by the Model S and its variants and into the mainstream—perhaps even into your driveway. With an expected price of around $35,000 and a range thought to hover around the 200-mile mark, the Model 3 will take the fight to every other carmaker, too.
There's yet another Tesla vehicle waiting in the wings, too—literally, with its falcon doors—in the form of the Model X crossover.
Whether Tesla has what it takes to fight the big brands on their own turf remains to be seen, but given the pluck and pomp of Musk himself, as well as his track record at the helm of Tesla, we aren’t counting him out yet.