Tesla will launch the Model 3, its first mass-market vehicle, on Friday night.
The Model 3 is Tesla’s first sedan targeted at a general consumer audience. Priced at $US35,000, the car is sold out through most of 2018 after securing more than 350,000 pre-orders in April 2016.
Tesla will begin Model 3 deliveries at Friday’s party as it slowly ramps up production to 20,000 per month in December.
The vehicle is arguably the company’s most important car yet, but there are still some unanswered questions about the Model 3.
Tesla has yet to provide a real glimpse of the car’s interior or finalise specs for the $US35,000 Model 3. There are other potential reveals we’ll be looking out for as well.
We rounded up everything we know about the car and the details that are still under wraps. Scroll down for a closer look:
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First, the basics. Tesla will offer at least four colour options for the Model 3: red, silver, metallic grey, and black.
Tesla says the car will be able to drive at least 215 miles on a single charge. That's pretty darn good for a $35,000 car!
The latest models of the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Ioniq Electric cost about $US30,000 but have more limited ranges: 107 miles and 124 miles, respectively.
The Model 3 will compete more closely with the Chevy Bolt, which can drive 238 miles on a single charge and starts at $US37,495.
That edges out the Chevy Bolt, which can do 0-60 mph in about seven seconds.
Musk has said that Tesla plans to unveil different Model 3 trims in the future with longer ranges and faster acceleration times.
'Of course, there will be versions of the Model 3 that go much faster,' Musk said at the Model 3 unveiling. 'In terms of range, the range will be at least an EPA rating of 215 miles. I want to emphasise that these are minimum numbers; we hope to exceed them.'
Tesla has been testing a Model 3 mule with a 70 kWh battery pack that could bump the range to 300 miles, Electrek reported. We'll be listening for an announcement on this front and how much a more powerful battery will tack onto the base price.
The Model 3 comes with eight cameras, one radar sensor, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and a new Nvidia Drive PX2 supercomputer to support Tesla's second-generation Autopilot system, dubbed Enhanced Autopilot.
Tesla says Enhanced Autopilot will eventually allow the car to match its speed to traffic conditions, automatically change lanes without driver input, merge on and off highways, and park itself. Tesla owners could also summon the car in more complex environments, like a crowded parking lot.
It costs an extra $US5,000 to activate Enhanced Autopilot features at the time of purchase, but standard safety features will come free.
Tesla says the new hardware will eventually allow the cars to drive themselves. But the self-driving feature will cost an additional $US4,000 after purchasing the vehicle. The regulatory environment will determine when Tesla can release the fully driverless system.
Tesla's Supercharger network is nothing to sniff at. A Supercharger can restore 170 miles of range in 30 minutes. That's much faster than a Tesla partner station or a wall socket.
Better yet, Tesla is doubling the number of Superchargers worldwide by the end of 2017. The grey dots on the map above show the new Superchargers expected to come online by the end of the year.
Just like it does with the Model S, Tesla will offer an array of premium features for its Model 3, Electrek reported. In addition to the glass roof, Tesla will allow customers to purchase 18- or 19-inch wheels, according to the report.
Tesla opened its glass division in October to make its solar roofs. The group is developing glass that can use heating elements to clear snow while generating energy. Musk said this kind of glass could be used as a rear defroster on cars, but it's unclear whether we will see this technology on the first production Model 3 vehicles.
It also comes with a massive 15-inch tablet. But unlike the tablets in the Model S and Model X, the display is horizontal.
Reorienting the touchscreen might make it easier to access different features while driving.
Aside from the horizontal touch screen, we have yet to get a real understanding of what the interior will look like.
There have been rumours that the Model 3 may feature a heads-up display that shows information like speed and navigation directly on the windshield. The event will finally reveal whether the rumours are true and if there are any other surprises inside the car.
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