Here’s All We Know about Tesla’s Model 3
We’re now just days away from the March 31st unveiling of the Model 3, Tesla Motors’ bid to build a more affordable electric vehicle. The degree of secrecy around the new model has been remarkable—almost no information has emerged except what’s come straight from Tesla and CEO Elon Musk.
But, if you’re considering lining up or logging on for what will likely be a hectic day of reservations on the 31st, here’s everything that we do know about the new model.
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It’s Cheap. Ish. Maybe.
The announced price point for the Model 3 is $35,000. That’s way less than the $70,000 you’d shell out for a Model S, and it’s a number that’s key to Tesla’s long-term goal of going mass market. It’s still not what you’d call a budget ride—that’s still more than an Audi A3, BMW 2-series, or Mercedes CLA-class.
However, buyers should be eligible for a $7,500 tax credit, putting the effective price for many buyers closer to a Ford (F) Fusion than a BMW. But that credit only lasts until Tesla sells a total of 200,000 EVs, which, if all goes according to plan, could be as little as a year after the Model 3 arrives in garages.
It’ll go 200 Miles on a Charge
Slightly less than the Model S, but nearly twice the range of the Nissan Leaf. And there are expected to be options for bigger batteries, though not necessarily in the first wave.
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It’s a Sedan
The initial Model 3 will be a standard 4-door, though smaller than the Model S. However, we can expect a variety of future versions built on the Model 3 platform, with a lot of speculation focusing on a crossover “mini-SUV.”
The Name is Part of an Elaborate Dirty Joke
Tesla (TSLA), like other tech companies, apparently loves its Easter eggs. Tesla’s first two scale production cars were the Model S and the Model X. According to Green Car Reports, what we now know as the Model 3 was originally going to be the Model E, but Ford already had a trademark on that name. So now we’ll have the Model S, the Model 3, and the Model X. Close enough.
You’ll Have to Wait
After next week’s pre-order scrum settles down, it’ll still be a couple of years before anyone gets a car—recent statements from Musk and the company have Model 3 production starting in late 2017.
And that’s . . . well, that’s really just about it, folks. We have no leaked blueprints, no promo shots, no detailed specs. So with Tesla competing for Apple’s (APPL) corporate secrecy crown, we’ll all just have to wait for Thursday.