Tesla's newest and most affordable electric car is set to be unveiled this Friday, but confident buyers will be able to secure their place in line for pre-orders from Thursday morning. And there's already a queue.
Image credit: Heath Walker / Tesla
Andreas Stephens set up his camping chair outside Tesla Motors' Artarmon showroom this morning, marking his place as the first in line -- 48 hours ahead of pre-orders opening at 8am Thursday. Speaking to EFTM, Andreas said he doesn't even own a garage, but has two years to build one ahead of the Model 3's likely Australian delivery date of 2018. He's going to be the first person in Australia to put down $1500 to secure an early Model 3 delivery, and it'll likely be a massive upgrade from his current Toyota Corolla, but Stephens doesn't know much about the car beyond its expected price tag of $65,000.
Nobody does, actually. Tesla is holding an event in California to introduce the Model 3 -- you can watch it along with us at 2:30PM on April 1 -- and that's where more details about the car, including everything from its design to its battery and electric motor specifications and the details of its price and release date, will be announced. On the back of their experiences with Tesla's Model S and the brand's alluring vision of a petrol-free future, there are likely to be more than a few more people -- including a couple of members of Australia's technology and motoring press -- in the line come Thursday morning.
On Friday afternoon, we'll bring you all the news of the new Tesla Model 3 as it's announced -- so stay tuned. Here's a quick overview of what we already know (or can reasonably expect) about the Model 3, according to various tweets from Tesla CEO Elon Musk and leaks from within the company itself:
- It'll be a four-door sedan, approximately 20 to 25 per cent smaller than the Model S
- It'll (likely) have over 200 miles of electric battery range, versus the Model S' 270 miles
- It'll cost approximately US$35,000 "before incentives", or "£30,000 or less” in the UK -- we expect AU$65,000 plus after Australian delivery, compliance and currency conversion
- It'll (likely) have advanced autopilot and self-driving hardware built in like the Model S and X
- It'll (likely) lack some of the Model S' advanced in-car entertainment features, like the big touchscreen -- but Tesla says you'll be "surprised" by the level of tech inside
- It'll use an entirely new chassis platform and battery architecture, with cells from the Gigafactory
- It'll be built more economically, using more steel than aluminium and simpler, faster construction methods, and this is the primary reason for its lower cost versus Model S and X