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Tesla's entry-level Model E to debut in January 2015?

by Nat Shirley

Tesla\'s $30,000 compact sedan could be unveiled in little more than a year.

Tesla's hotly anticipated entry-level offering - a compact sedan likely to be called the Model E - may arrive significantly earlier than previously expected.

Originally slated for a 2016 unveiling, the all-electric four-door could greet the public as soon as the 2015 Detroit show, Tesla design chief Franz Von Holzhausen stated in an AutoBild interview.

In the past, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has hinted that the BMW 3-Series-sized Model E will possess a range of 200 miles and a starting price of roughly $30,000 (likely after federal EV tax credits).

The California-based EV automaker's existing Model S sedan starts at $62,400 for the 60 kWh battery variant with a 208-mile range, while the 85 kWh model commands $72,400 and provides a 265-mile range (both prices after credits).

Despite its earlier-than-anticipated debut, the Model E may not actually hit the market until 2016. A small crossover variant will follow about a year after the sedan's launch.

Von Holzhausen also revealed that Tesla's Model S-based Model X crossover is nearly finished, with engineers currently wrapping up final aerodynamic revisions.

After work on its current crop of models is complete, Tesla will consider expanding into the pickup and city car segments, Von Holzhausen said.

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