Elon Musk revealed the first Tesla Model 3 to the world via Twitter over the weekend. The first production Model 3 was bought by Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis, who immediately gifted it to Mr. Musk.
It’s been over a year since Tesla started taking preorders for the Model 3, and since then, there has been some serious doubt that customers would see their new cars before 2018. But, always one to keep the world on its toes, Elon Musk has silenced the critics.
The new $35,000 Tesla Model 3 is designed to seat five adults, has a range of 215 miles and comes equipped with Tesla’s autopilot hardware. And since the Model 3 is, at its core, an efficient sedan and less of a luxury performance car like its bigger Model S sibling, the sub-six-second 0–60 time falls farther down the totem pole of priorities when it comes to specs. So when updates come over the wire, expect the range to increase rather than the sprint time to decrease.
The Model 3 is and was always meant to be the affordable and sensible way into the luxury market — the revolutionary car Musk promised when he first announced the Tesla brand. The Tesla Model S and Model X were put into production first to build up the brand’s image — but their $70,000+ price tags put them in a bracket that was far from the “electric car for the people” Musk touted. Now that Model 3s are hitting the road, we can finally see if Musk can deliver on his promise to put luxury and technology within the reach of the masses.