- Tesla Motors
When Tesla was founded 13 years ago, its ambitions were never to be just a one-hit wonder.
The electric car maker has always dreamed big, especially since CEO Elon Musk arrived and took over in 2008. What started with the peppy Roadster in 2006, evolved to include the luxurious Model S sedan, which hit the streets in 2012, and the Model X SUV, a 2015 arrival.
The master plan had always been to deliver all-electric mobility to the masses, and that’s where the Model 3 comes in.
It’s a $35,000 car with 200-plus-miles of range. It’s also a platform for future vehicles – everything potentially from a small SUV to a sport coupe to a pickup truck.
At the debut Thursday night, Musk called the Model 3 “the next logical step of Tesla’s secret master plan” – one in which the company would accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Of course, the Model 3 is very much a “regular” car of sorts, in that it will seat five passengers comfortably on their way from A to B.
- Matthew DeBord
Safety is also a major priority here. Musk added that the sedan is expected to achieve a five-star rating “in every [crash-test] category.” And, as is the case with every other Tesla model, it’ll be fast. Perhaps not as lightning-quick in base-model form, but according to Musk, the 3 “will do 0-to-60 miles-per-hour in less than six seconds.” Other iterations of the car will likely be faster.
On battery life, arguably the most important element of any modern electric vehicle, the Model 3’s expected range will be “at least 215 miles,” Musk said.
The car will also have many of the same features as its Model S and Model X siblings, including Autopilot – the self-driving technology Business Insider tested last year.
- Tesla Motors
Worldwide, people began lining up at Tesla stores to preorder the 3 – for $1,000. A car that they might not even get until the end of 2017 at the earliest. Commenting on that during his presentation, Musk said “I do feel fairly confident that it will be next year.”
Despite the long wait, Tesla announced that Model 3 preorders had topped nearly 130,000 in the 24 hours leading up to the debut.