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USA: Tesla Plans Two More Launches: A Smaller Crossover SUV, Sports Car

Tesla is drawing plans to produce a smaller crossover SUV that will compete against the BMW X3, as well as a new sports car to succeed the discontinued Tesla Roadster, according to founder Elon Musk.

The new designs, planned for 2016, will bring to five the total number of models produced by the Silicon Valley electric car maker. They will join the current Model S sedan, the already announced Model X crossover, and a planned entry-level sedan that Musk says will launch in 2015 at a price tag of around $30,000.

Musk shared few details about the new models, but said they were needed to reach the economy of scale necessary to turn a profit from Tesla’s new vehicle architecture. He tells Wired that the small crossover and the sports car are planned for launch at the same time — after the unnamed entry-level sedan. “We’ll do the X3 equivalent [crossover] and then a Roadster follow-up in parallel,” says Musk.

Musk wouldn’t say whether the small crossover will feature the innovative, dual-hinged gull-wing doors of the Model X.

More intriguing than the smaller crossover is the prospect of a new sports car from the electric vehicle start-up. Over 2,300 original Tesla Roadsters were sold over the course of its four-year model run, and sports car helped solidify Tesla’s reputation as a bona fide automaker. Musk has said on a number of occasions that his goal for Tesla was to create a low-volume, high-end sports car for the world’s elite in order to fund more models that would have larger public appeal.

The 2016 timing of the new sports car launch is key. At that point Tesla should have its model line-up fleshed out – perhaps turning a profit in the process – and can begin concentrating on a vehicle that will appeal directly to speed freaks.


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