Elon Musk promises Tesla 'D' details on October 9

The CEO of the electric car maker tweeted a mock-up hinting at an upcoming Tesla Motors product announcement next week.

Nick Statt Former Staff Reporter / News
Nick Statt was a staff reporter for CNET News covering Microsoft, gaming, and technology you sometimes wear. He previously wrote for ReadWrite, was a news associate at the social-news app Flipboard, and his work has appeared in Popular Science and Newsweek. When not complaining about Bay Area bagel quality, he can be found spending a questionable amount of time contemplating his relationship with video games.
Nick Statt
2 min read
Tesla Motors

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted this photo Thursday morning, promising more details on the Tesla "D" later this month. Tesla Motors

Elon Musk teased Twitter on Thursday with a cryptic message and graphic for an upcoming Tesla Motors announcement slated for October 9. "About time to unveil the D and something else," he wrote alongside a photo showing an opening garage revealing the front of a silver car emblazoned with the Tesla logo.

All the current evidence seems to point to a new vehicle announcement from the electric car maker, though it's unclear if the "something else" Musk mentions is a separate model entirely. Musk has hinted in the past that Tesla may produce smaller models of its upcoming $35,000 Model 3 sedan and Model X crossover SUV, so those two lines are likely contenders for Tesla to build out with size and price tag choices.

Tesla stock is up $10.53 a share, or 4.38 percent, following the news.

Tesla broke ground on a construction site outside of Reno, Nevada, in July to begin building the so-called gigafactory, a next-generation lithium-ion battery producing plant that Musk hopes will be providing the juice boxes for 500,000 electric vehicles per year by 2020. The Nevada site was confirmed in September among a list of candidates and the gigafactory, set to open as soon as 2017, is paramount to Tesla's plans to ramp up production of its own vehicles.

Though the hint of a new Tesla model roused excitement, it was Musk's choice of phrasing -- "unveil the D" -- that stole the spotlight.

Musk, who heads up space transport outfit SpaceX when he's not leading the charge at Tesla, is known for having a sense of humor. Despite having a net worth of more than $11 billion and being lauded as the next Henry Ford and Steve Jobs, Musk tends to fire off the occasional joke on Twitter -- when he's not tweeting about rocket launch tests.

So the Internet naturally reacted to the tweet with the cheekiness one saves for that variety of innuendo, the letter D being a shorthand reference to a slang term for a part of the male anatomy. Musk's response in a follow-up tweet: "I love the Internet. Comments had me literally ROFL. No, it wasn't intentional. Glad I didn't mention the other letter!"

It's important to remember that the CEO wanted to name Tesla's Model 3 the Model E, which would have spelled "sex" when placed between the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X. The company decided on Model 3 only after Ford threatened a trademark lawsuit over the Model E name.