Well, it’s finally here — the day Tesla CEO Elon Musk debuts the electric car maker’s third-generation vehicle aptly named the Model 3.
So, just to be clear, this is a big deal.
Tesla first confirmed that the Model 3 was in the works back in July 2014 and, ever since, the automaker has teased tantalizing details about what consumers can expect from Tesla’s first mass-market vehicle.
Perhaps the most enticing detail being that the Model 3 could cost as little as $25,000 — depending on where you live.
Known for its high-end luxury electric vehicles, Tesla isn’t a name most consumers — or automakers for that matter — associate with affordability or mass appeal.
Consider, for instance, that Tesla currently only sells two vehicles: the Model S sedan (the company’s flagship EV) and the Model X SUV. The Model S starts at pricey $71,000, and the base price for gull-winged Model X is around $80,000.
Starting at $35,000, the smaller and cheaper Model 3 marks a significant departure for the 13-year-old Tesla Motors which, under the helm of CEO Elon Musk, made its name by courting a niche market of high-end luxury and environmentally conscious customers.
However, the decision to produce a mass-market EV has been a long-time goal of Musk, who has consistently stated that introducing a wider range of more modestly priced EVs is part of Tesla’s vision to “speed the world to a more solar-powered future.”
No one knows too much about what to expect from Thursday’s unveiling, but rumors are circulating about what some of the Model 3’s features might include.
The latest leak reports that the Model 3 can allegedly do 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds and that the EV will have a range of over 300 miles.
Industry experts also speculate that the Model 3 will be about 20 percent smaller than the Model S (or roughly the size of an Audi A4). Tesla is also sticking to its original statement that the Model 3 will start at $35,000 before incentives.
Reservations for the Model 3 also begin worldwide starting March 31. Of course, people who already own a Tesla get priority but a $1,000 down payment will get your name on the reservation list.
Musk will reveal the Model 3 at the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, California, Thursday evening at 11:30 ET/ 8:30 PT.
To watch the big unveiling, tune in to Tesla’s website to livestream the event.
Do you think that the Model 3 is a risky move for Tesla? Will the $35,000 EV live up to all the hype?
Comment below or tweet me at @AbbDean.