Tesla Unveils Sleek Mass-Market Model 3 Set For 2017 Release

Even the before details were released, eager customers placed 115,000 pre-orders for the car deemed to be a game-changing electric vehicle.

Mnet 69591 Tesla Model 3 3

After more than a year of suspense, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the company’s official entry into mass-market EV sales on Thursday evening: the Model 3.

Even before the details were released, eager customers placed 115,000 pre-orders for the car deemed to be a game-changing electric vehicle. All of those orders rolled in within 24 hours at $1,000 a pop.

But before Musk welcomed a parade of the new vehicles onstage, he took a moment to recap Telsa’s previous models, going back to the Roadster and ending with the Model X, thanking all customers for supporting the Model 3’s development. 

The Model 3 sports a different, more blunt nose than the previous models, lacking the front Tesla emblem. The sporty headlights call back to Tesla’s Roadster days, while the interior looks just as luxurious as the high-end Model X.

 

(AP Photo/Justin Prichard)(AP Photo/Justin Prichard)

As we knew in advance, the Model 3 starts at $35,000 and is the brand’s most affordable car to date. “You will not be able to buy a better car for $35,000,” Musk said. “Or even close.”

Musk also touted that the car will have 5-star safety in all categories and will come standard with Autopilot hardware and all Autopilot safety features.

The Model 3 can seat up to five adults and boasts leg room for everyone, thanks to space saved by the lack of combustion engine and accompanying firewall, which also leaves room for front and rear trunks.

The base model can accelerate from 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds, but “of course there will be versions of the Model 3 that will go much faster,” Musk said.

 

Mnet 69586 Tesla Model 3 2 Mnet 69591 Tesla Model 3 3 Mnet 69596 Tesla Model 3 4

(Slideshow images via Tesla Motors)

Supercharging is standard on the Model 3, and it has a range of at least 215 miles — a number the company hopes to surpass come 2017 release. For those concerned about charging stations, Musk also announced that the company will double the number of superchargers to 7,200 around the country and have 15,000 destination chargers in place.

Despite Tesla’s history of delays, the CEO argued that so far, the Fremont, California, factory has been able to turn out 500,000 cars per year, and that he expects that level of production in the future as well, aided by the batter production expected to begin soon at the immense Gigafactory.

Do you think Musk’s Model 3 lives up to its hype? Does it have all of the features you’d expect from Tesla? Comment below or tweet @KatieeMohr.

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