Tesla Motors and Elon Musk just unveiled their long-awaited Model 3, and it’s exactly what buyers and car industry experts expected: a $35,000 fully electric four-door that delivers over 215 miles of range, 5-star crash test ratings in every category, and a design that’s still sexy (check out all of the images in the gallery below).
— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) April 1, 2016
According to Musk, there are already 115,000 pre-orders for the vehicle. The event, which was broadcast live last night on Tesla’s website, kicked off with Musk discussing climate change, and the fact that ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles are obviously bad for the planet.
Musk, who is both the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, said “That it stands to reason that if a vehicle is spewing toxic gas, that’s bad for your health.” He noted that the Roadster, the Model X, and the Model S were all produced with the Model 3 in mind, in order to give the company enough cash and enough experience in R&D to build the Model 3. (Fun fact, the original name of the Model 3 was going to be the Model E, allowing Musk to spell out S-E-X with his model line-up, but that was vetoed by Ford, who owns the name “Model E.”)
Musk says the base Model 3 will do 0-60 in less than 6 seconds (which is quite fast for a factory-produced $35,000 sedan), and also notes that all Model 3 cars will come standard with autopilot hardware, as well as—comfortable—seating for 5 adults. All in all, it really is essentially a 20% scaled-down version of its big brother, the Model S.
There will also be tons of (probably very expensive) options available, which will make the car go much, much faster, as well as some very big announcements closer to the actual production start of the car that Musk said will “take things to another level.” This could mean fully autonomous vehicles.
Musk also showed off the Gigafactory, which has the largest footprint of any structure of any kind in the world, and is set to produce the equivalent number of lithium-ion batteries as the rest of the world’s factories combined.
If you want to pre-order a Model 3, you can do so through Tesla.com. Deliveries are expected to start around the end of 2017.
To take you even deeper into what these announcements mean, amateur Elon Musk impressionists/bat experts Dan Casey and Kyle Hill on a Nerdist News Special Report.
What do you think about the Model 3? Are you ready to put down $1,000 for a pre-order, or are you going to wait to see what the car actually looks like in person? Let us know in the comments section below!