Two trim levels revealed, up to 310 miles per charge and 60 mph in 5.1 seconds

We’ve been waiting and waiting for Tesla to finally begin deliveries of the new Model 3, and now, the wait is over. The first 30 Model 3’s destined for private owners just got handed over to their beaming owners in a live stream broadcast on Tesla’s website. Attending the event were swarms of the automaker’s designers and engineers, with quick back and forth tosses that provided a look inside the Tesla assembly line in Fremont, CA, as well as the newly erected “Gigafactory” in Nevada. The event also provided some hard specs on the new 3, plus a look at the final exterior design and the interior.

The Model 3 is a hugely important vehicle, both for Tesla and EV fans in general. Framed as the California-based automaker’s first entry-level, mass-market, affordable vehicle, the 3 promises sexy styling, long range, peppy performance, and zero local emissions, all for around $35,000 before incentives. We’ve got the lowdown on everything that was revealed during the stream, plus lots of new pics to sort through, so read on.

Continue reading for the full story.

It Looks Good On The Outside

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First off, we think the 3 is a snappy looking automobile. It’s got the same general styling as the Model S, with a low stance, gently curving lines, and sleek features. The roofline on the 3, however, looks particularly broad and long, which should provide occupants with a good deal of headroom without sacrificing too much in the aerodynamic drag department. Indeed, with a drag coefficient of just 0.23, the Model 3 is quite slippery.

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In terms of styling options, six paint options are on the table, with wheel sizing ranging between 18 and 19 inches.

Oh My God Becky, Look At That Screen

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Tonight, we got a closer look at the 3’s interior, and the first thing to jump out is the central infotainment screen. Basically, it looks like Tesla took a desktop computer monitor and glued it to the dash – this thing is huge, and although Tesla says it’s about 15 inches, it looks even bigger to us.

The rest of the interior looks simple and uncluttered, with lots of straight, horizontal lines, minus the usual buttons and trim embellishments that are so common these days. Seating is maxed out at five passengers. In back is a large glass canopy that is intended to enhance a feeling of airiness inside, and was one of the most difficult engineering aspects of the 3, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

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What’s more, Musk reiterated that every Model 3 (and indeed, every Tesla currently in production) comes equipped with all the hardware needed for full autonomous capability, that is, no human driver. That means the 3 gets stuff like cameras, radar systems, ultrasonic sensors, and the like, and presumably, all it’ll take is a software update to go full robo chauffeur.

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And while the safety of such systems is still in debate, Tesla is adamant that the Model 3 will be the safest vehicle in the world, even comparing it to the Volvo S60 in a dramatic crash test video.

Okay, Fine, But What About The Important Specs?

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For now, the Model 3 is offered in the trim levels – the Standard Model 3 and the Long Range Model 3.

The Standard trim level will go 220 miles per charge, hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, and reach a top speed of 130 top speed. Pricing slots in at $35,000 before incentives.

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Then we have the Long Range, which will go 310 miles between plug-ins, hit 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, and top out at 140 mph. Pricing looks like $44,000 before incentives.

Tesla Is Expanding, Both It’s Supercharger Network And It’s Production Capacity

Elon Musk acknowledged the fact that demand for the Model 3 far outstrips supply. Tesla’s biggest challenge now is ramping up production to fill those hundreds of thousands of preorders, with Musk alluding to a looming “production hell” for “at least six months, maybe longer.”

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The goals, while lofty, are straight forward. Tesla has roughly 500,000 Model 3’s slated for production at the moment, in addition to about 100,000 Model S and Model X units. That means a huge boost in production in the hopes of reaching
5,000 cars per week in the near future and 10,000 cars a week by next year.

That’s good news for the approximately 400,000 eager buyers who plunked down a $1,000 deposit at the first Model 3 reveal. New orders should expect their Model 3 in about a year’s time.

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What’s more, Musk says Tesla will triple the number of superchargers in service over the course of the next year, even promising owners will be able to go “almost anywhere” in North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia very soon.

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We’ll update our full written review next week, but in the meantime, what do you think? Does the Model 3 live up to the hype? Let us know in the comments.

Further Reading

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Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3

Model 3 is a smaller, simpler and a more affordable electric car. Designed and built as the world’s first mass-market electric vehicle, it is a critical step in Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Like every Tesla vehicle, Model 3 combines range, performance, safety and technology. Intelligent design maximizes interior space to comfortably fit five adults and all of their gear. The high-efficiency powertrain provides zero to 60 mph acceleration in as little as 5.1 seconds.

Model 3 is designed to achieve the highest safety ratings in every category. Combined with 220* to 310 miles of range and a starting price of $35,000 before incentives, Model 3 is Tesla’s most affordable vehicle yet.

Model 3 is currently in production, and deliveries to employee reservation holders began on July 28, 2017 at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, CA. Reservations for Model 3 first opened on March 31, 2016 and remain available today.

* EPA estimated range

STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Price - $35,000

Standard Battery

Range: 220 miles (EPA estimated)
Supercharging rate: 130 miles of range per 30 minutes
Home charging rate: 30 miles of range per hour (240V outlet, 32A)
Deliveries begin: Fall 2017

Performance
0-60 mph: 5.6 seconds
Top speed: 130 mph
Interior
15” touchscreen display
Dual zone climate control system
FM/Internet streaming radio
Textile seating
Front center console with open storage and two USB ports

Convenience
Onboard maps and navigation
Wi-Fi and LTE internet connectivity
Keyless entry and remote climate control using the Tesla app
Voice activated controls
Bluetooth hands-free calling and media streaming
60/40 split folding rear seat to maximize cargo options
Back-up camera
Auto dimming rear-view mirror
One-touch power windows throughout
Power-adjustable side mirrors
12-volt power outlet

Safety
Full LED exterior lighting
Eight cameras, forward radar and twelve ultrasonic sensors enabling active safety technologies including collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking
Six front row and two side curtain airbags
Three-point safety belts with belt-reminders for driver and four passengers
Two LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) attachments in second row
Electronic stability and traction control
Four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic parking brake
Child safety locks
Anti-theft alarm system
Tire pressure monitoring system
Warranty
Vehicle: 4 year, 50,000 mile limited warranty
Battery warranty: 8 year, 100,000 mile (120,000 mile with Long Range Battery)

OPTIONS
Long Range Battery - $9,000
Range: 310 miles
Supercharging rate: 170 miles of range per 30 minutes
Home charging rate: 37 miles of range per hour (240V outlet, 40A)
0-60 mph: 5.1 seconds
Top speed: 140 mph
Deliveries begin: July 2017

Paint
Solid Black: Standard
Midnight Silver Metallic: $1,000
Deep Blue Metallic: $1,000
Silver Metallic: $1,000
Pearl White Multi-Coat: $1,000
Red Multi-Coat: $1,000

Wheels
18” Aero: Standard
19” Sport: $1,500
Premium Upgrades Package - $5,000
Upgraded interior with additional features and premium materials.
Premium heated seating and cabin materials throughout, including open pore wood décor and two rear USBs
12-way, power adjustable front seats, steering column and side mirrors, with custom driver profiles
Premium audio system with more power, tweeters, surround speakers and subwoofer
Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection
Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors
LED fog lamps
Center console with covered storage and docking for two smartphones

Enhanced Autopilot - $5,000
Model 3 will match speed to traffic conditions, keep within a lane, automatically change lanes, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway and self-park at your destination.

Additional features will roll out over time through software updates.

Full Self-Driving Capability - $3,000 (requires Enhanced Autopilot)
In the future, Model 3 will be capable of conducting trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat.

This feature is dependent upon extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary by jurisdiction.

VEHICLE SPECIFICATIONS
Dimensions & Weight
Length: 184.8”
Width: 72.8” (76.1” with mirrors folded)
Height: 56.8”
Wheelbase: 113.2”
Track (wheel center): 62.2” front and rear
Ground clearance: 5.5”
Head room, standard: 39.6” front row, 37.7” second row
Head room, glass roof: 40.3” front row, 37.7” second row
Leg room: 42.7” front row, 35.2” second row
Shoulder room: 56.3” front row, 54.0” second row
Hip room: 53.4” front row, 52.4” second row
Seating capacity: 5 adults
Luggage capacity: 15 cubic feet
Curb weight:
3549 lbs. (Model 3)
3814 lbs. (Model 3 Long Range)
Weight distribution:
47% front, 53% rear (Model 3)
48% front, 52% rear (Model 3 Long Range)

Body
Hybrid steel/aluminum body
Drag coefficient of 0.23
Chassis
Double wishbone, virtual steer axis front suspension with coil over twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
Independent multi-link rear suspension with twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
Variable ratio, speed sensitive electronic power steering
Electromechanically boosted four wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution
18” Aero or 19” Sport wheels with all-season tires
Standard Accessories
240 volt NEMA 14-50 adapter
120 volt NEMA 5-15 adapter
J1772 public charging adapter
20 foot mobile connector with storage bag

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