There’s an interesting story behind the name of the Tesla Model 3. Those who have been following the company for a while might know that it was originally supposed to be called ‘Model E’. Due to a trademark problem with Ford, Tesla changed it to ‘Model 3’ and stylized the ‘3’ with 3 horizontal lines ☰ – like the ‘E’ in the ‘Tesla’ logo.

The company has been using this stylized ‘3’ since the introduction of the vehicle in March 2016, but they changed it back to a normal ‘3’ on the branding of the upcoming all-electric sedan on their website this week.

The 3 lines style made it look closer to the original ‘Model E’ name since Tesla is using it for the ‘E’ in its company logo and of course, it completed its ‘SEX’ vehicle lineup. And eventually, ‘SEXY’ lineup with the Model S, X and upcoming Model Y.

During the shareholders meeting in July 2014, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that the company had to drop its “Model E” trademark after Ford threatened to sue over having a similar naming scheme. At the time, Musk said that “Ford tried to kill sex.”

I suppose ‘S3X’ still works.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of what the Model 3 page was showing up until Monday (left) and now today (right) (hat tip to /u/110110 on Tesla’s subreddit for spotting the change first)

Tesla applied for trademarks last year for the Model 3 with the 3 lines, but the company also already had trademarks for simply ‘Model 3’. So it looks like the company was ready either way.

We reached out to Tesla to ask if this week’s change represents a permanent change in branding for the Model 3 or if there’s still a chance the upcoming vehicle can still be badged with the 3 lines. We will update if we can get a confirmation, but so far the updated branding on the website is a good indicator.

A quick poll to know which branding you prefer:

You can also tell us why in the comment section below.

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