Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed plans for a new and more-affordable model beyond the coming X SUV, speaking at the company's annual shareholder meeting this week.
Revealed last year, the coupe-like Model X is scheduled for a late 2014 debut, and Musk has hinted that more models may be built on the platform. The X's sedan stablemate, the Model S, also uses this architecture.
After the Model X arrives, Tesla will debut a new third-generation platform in 2016, underpinning a new volume-selling sedan.
Musk said the new model will be around half the price of the Model S, which sells at around the $50,000 mark in the US market - but it won't be a no-frills offering.
"A significant improvement in technology is needed to have a compelling affordable electric car," Musk said.
Tesla has also been working to develop autonomous driving technologies, and Musk hinted that the 'Gen 3' sedan could feature such systems.
Battery technology is also expected to take a leap forward by the time the Gen 3 model arrives, becoming more affordable and boosting driving range to around 320 kilometres from one charge.
Musk also promised to continue pushing the Tesla brand into other regions, with a mainland Europe launch planned in the coming months.
As for Australia, a late 2013 debut for the new Model S had previously been expected, but the carmaker has offered no new details on confirmed timing.
The company's Australian PR representative, Jay McCormack, has also moved on, now working with McLaren.
The Model S is now expected to come to Australia early next year, according to representatives at Tesla's Asia-Pacific office.
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