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2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3

Tesla’s first electric car for the masses

Say what you will about Tesla – the company’s ambition is undeniable. Founded in 2003, the California-based electric carmaker set out with the goal of overturning the auto industry status quo and hastening “the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” To that end, Tesla’s latest play (and arguably its more important) is called the Model 3. Framed as a more affordable alternative to the highly successful Model S full-size sedan and Model X SUV, there’s no shortage of excitement behind the more compact 3, and now, after countless rumors and practically unending speculation, the veil has been lifted. Following a massive live streaming event celebrating the handover of the first Model 3’s off the production line, it was revealed that buyers get two trim levels to pick from, with as much as 310 miles per charge and a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds for the range-topper.

But, as you might expect, there’s a whole lotta footnotes that go along with the above-mentioned specs. For starters, actually getting a Model 3 into your driveway is no simple endeavor. Following a brief pre-production reveal in April of 2016, an estimated 400,000 people plunked down $1,000 for a pre-order, and that means if you don’t have a spot in line, it’s gonna be a while. Then there’s the list of ultra-pricey extras that add significant weight to the bottom line. Simply put, the question remains – does the Model 3 live up to the hype? Read on to find out.

Updated 08/23/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the 2017 Monterey Car Week.

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