Tesla Motors is reportedly in the process of tweaking the design of its upcoming Model 3 electric car to lower its aerodynamic drag coefficient.

The lowest possible wind resistance is important for electric cars to maximize efficiency, and the Model S' low coefficient of drag (cd) was touted by Tesla as one of the car's most impressive features.

But if a new report proves true, the smaller Model 3 could do even better.

DON'T MISS: Tesla Model 3 Unveil Comes In March, Pre-Orders Start Then, CEO Musk Says

Tesla is aiming for a drag coefficient below 0.20 for the Model 3, according to Electrek, which cites an anonymous source who is not a Tesla employee, but a friend of one.

That figure is significantly lower than the 0.24 of the Model S, and could make the Model 3 among the most aerodynamic vehicles in mass production.

And it will be even more impressive considering that Tesla is expected to give the Model 3 a fairly conventional sedan body--rather than a more exotic shape that might offer better aerodynamic properties.

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

The Model 3 will be roughly the size of a BMW 3 Series, meaning it will be shorter and narrower than the Model S.

It also won't use an all-aluminum structure as the Model S and Model X do, insiders suggest, but a blend of steel and aluminum.

Tesla officials have said the smaller sedan won't exactly copy the styling of the Model S, which could leave room for some changes that enhance the car's aerodynamics.

ALSO SEE: Are These Tesla Model 3 Prototypes Under Those Sheets? (Video)

A crossover model is also rumored, possibly to be named Model Y.

As with the Model X compared to the Model S, that smaller crossover will likely incur some aerodynamic penalty because of its taller, wider stance.

The Model 3 will be shown to the public in March 2016, and Tesla will begin taking pre-orders for the car then.

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

Production will start about two years from now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously said.

Tesla is hoping a 200-mile range and $35,000 base price will allow the Model 3 to appeal to a wider range of buyers, and help increase its sales volumes.

MORE: Tesla Model 3 Lineup To Include SUV, Sedan; 1 Million Electric Cars By 2020

To meet that price point, Tesla will rely on the economies of scale offered by its massive battery-cell "Gigafactory," currently under construction just outside Reno, Nevada.

Tesla has said the Gigafactory will be the largest producer of lithium-ion cells in the world when it becomes fully operational.


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