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Tesla says the Model S, not the Model 3, is its flagship car

Later this year, Tesla will begin production of its Model 3 electric car. The Model 3 will start around $35,000 and include a 215-mile electric range, making it Tesla’s most affordable car and one of a handful of “affordable” long-range electric cars along with the Chevy Bolt.

The company published a blog post today reminding customers that though the Model 3 will be its newest car model, it won’t be its most advanced. Even after the Model 3 is released, Tesla says, the Model S will remain the company’s flagship vehicle:

With a new model coming this year, we know our customers will have questions about which car is right for them. One question we’ve been asked is, “Should I trade in my Model S for a Model 3?” While Model 3 will be our newest car, it isn’t “Version 3” or the next generation Tesla. Our higher priced premium models still include the most advanced technology and the best driving experience we have to offer.

A few weeks ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned this in a series of tweets, noting that “many people think Model 3 is the ‘next version’ of a Tesla, like iPhone 2 vs 3. This is not true.” Instead, Musk compared the Model 3 to a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4 — a smaller, more entry-level vehicle with fewer overall features than those available in a larger, more advanced car like the BMW 5 Series or Audi A6.

Though the Model 3 will bring many new customers to Tesla, the company would prefer if you bought a more expensive (and more profitable) Model S or Model X — today, if possible:

And while innovation at Tesla will never stop, the very best vehicles we make are already available for purchase and on the road today.


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